How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 24965
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
18321761
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was charge with disturbing the peace and I wanted to pay

Customer Question

I was charge with disturbing the peace and I wanted to pay the 400:dollar fine but the court said I could pay the fine but I still have too appear in court. My record is clean but I was wondering if the judge could give me jail time if I plead guilty.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Villeplatte LA
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No I didn't think I had need one because the court and police told me I just had to pay the fine.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My court day is Oct 10
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Are you online at this time?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Thank you for the reply. Do you have any prior criminal record?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Never mind we could chat online
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I was charge at 17 years old misdemeanor possession of marijuana
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

I'm working on an answer for you. Please be patient while I finish typing it.

Thanks!

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Here is the statute for disturbing the peace in Louisiana. As you can see, it is a misdemeanor, which is why you must appear. It has a maximum possible penalty of 6 months in jail or a fine of $100, depending upon the subsection or 90 days in jail and/or $100 fine for the less serious subsections.

The Police officer is probably right. There's no reason to believe you'll go to jail, or he would have taken you in, in the first place. A fine is all a matter like this is typically worth.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I did went got bonded out. But my fine is 400 dollars. Should I payvit before court
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

You and I may be looking at a different statute. Can you tell me the section of the code that you were charged with?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Its a appearance bond and it don't have a sector code
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

How did you find out that the fine was $400? Who set that amount?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The city court but first they said it was 200 and when I call the court said its 400. They said its 200 for the fine and 200 for my bond. They had let me bond out for 10 dollars the night of the incident
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Are you saying you've already seen a judge, been arraigned, pled guilty to these charges and been sentenced to a $200 fine?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No my first appearance on Oct 10
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Okay. That's what I thought, but I needed to make sure.

In general, it's not a good idea to pay the fine before the court date. Paying the fine is an admission of guilt, and maybe that's what you want. But you can't predict with 100% certainty what will happen on your court date. Maybe there is something wrong with the case, for example, and the DA will dismiss it at your arraignment. Or maybe you'll find that you'll be arraigned on an unexpected additional charge. You won't know until you get there.

Also, it's the judge who has to set the fine and agree to it. The police can't determine what your sentence will be. So it's best to go to court and have the fine money with you but first make sure that the judge agrees to allow you only a fine.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Is an appearance bond for a arraignment
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

You can pay it in court.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Is an appearance bond, arraignment
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Unless I am misunderstanding what you've told me, you've already paid the bond. That's why you're at liberty. The clerk of the court can tell you whether you can wait until your court date to pay the balance of the appearance bond. But you would not pay the fine at this time.