Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight
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I am sorry for your niece's situation. Allow me to explain how this works and what her options are.WHAT HAPPENS
Essentially, she has a choice:
1) plead guilty and simply hope that the Court takes pity on you (not recommended, and the Judge will likely not);
2) take the matter to trial and risk either being convicted, or, acquitted of charges (risky); or
3) make a plea deal with the DA.
It sounds like the DA was offering her a "deferred" sentence, meaning if she agrees to pay a fine and then stay out of trouble for an allotted amount of time, the charge is dropped. This is actually a pretty good deal as it allows her to keep a clean record. The DA does not have
to offer this deal, but low-level, first-time offenders usually do receive it.HER OPTIONS
It sounds like she refused it and the matter was then set for trial. At trial, it will be the officer's word versus hers. Now she can always request a jury trial
and perhaps the 12 jurors will agree with her and acquit her, and the matter will be over; but there is always a chance that they will agree with the DA and convict her (especially since she will admit she was intoxicated, which makes her look guilty). This may not be worth the risk. Many individuals in her situations would opt to take the deal
and avoid trial, but of course, this is up to her.
She can still approach the DA via her attorney at the next setting (there will be several until trial, it will not be immediate), or, have her attorney call the DA to arrange this.
The choice is hers, of course.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck to her.
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