i have been charged with violations 28.15BCCR, 7145A FG and received a notice from the court to pay $950. This is the first time i went fishing without a license as it was a last minute idea and this is the only time i caught anything worth keeping, and cannot belive this is going to cost me that much money... is this right?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): California
Have you gone to get a license since this citation?
Yes i just bought a license yesterday
If you have not gone to court on this yet and have obtained a license you can go to court and plead not guilty and show your license to the court and the prosecutor will agree to reduce the fine for the violation. Upon appearing in court ask for a conference with the prosecutor, show them your license and ask them for some type of deal, whereby they will generally reduce your fine and charge you with the only single charge and dismiss the other charge.
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The license violation is $190 and the license has the date it was issued on it, so i still plead not guilty on that? Also the undersize fish $750 for an undersize halibut.... really?
They treat these violations like you committed murder, it is very frustrating. I would not plead guilty to anything without a deal, this is why I stated you speak with the prosecutor, the fine for the license will be substantially reduced if you now have a license and you would need to make a deal with the undersized fish and many times they will reduce the fine, but it is still likely not going to go down any further than about $400 or so (I had one person who paid $900 for one fish, so the fines are crazy).
So basically i have to go to court, plead not guilty and speak to the judge and pray they're not in a bad mood... right?
No you have to go to court and plead not guilty and ask for a conference with the prosecutor if you cannot get to court early and speak to the prosecutor prior to going before the judge. If you cannot speak to the prosecutor before your name is XXXXX XXXXX you stand up before the court you tell the judge you would like to plead not guilty but would request a conference with the prosecutor and then the court will accept the plea and you would be able to confer with the prosecutor and negotiate a deal with them.
oh OK, only ever been to traffic court... different way of doing things. Thanks for your advice. One last thing would it be worth taking my tax returns to court to show how little i'm making these days, would that work in my favor?
Generally, the only thing that would do would maybe convince the court to allow you to do community service instead of paying the fines, but it cannot hurt.
JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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