Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today.
I am sorry to learn about your issue, please understand, you are being cited with a criminal (misdemeanor) violation (as compared to a traffic citation) and this does carry a risk of a jail sentence (this is generally a class 3 misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail).
Most individuals with a clean record are able to negotiate this down to a traffic citation, but please be aware of the severity of this matter going into it.
You may want to consider retaining a local (local to the county where your citation was issued) attorney to represent you in this matter.
You can represent yourself if you choose, but having an attorney will be helpful.
If you do choose to represent yourself, ensure that you appear in court on the hearing date scheduled, and that you listen carefully to what is stated by the judge and the prosecutor, generally you will have multiple hearings - the first is where you will be permitted to enter a plea (most defendants enter a plea of "not guilty" - this permits them to negotiate a plea with the prosecutor's office - if you plead "guilty" - the judge will sentence you based on the statute above).
You have multiple citations on your record - the court can consider the length of time between those violations and the date of the current citation in determining the current violation (as will the prosecutor in determining any sort of plea bargain).
Unfortunately, I cannot speculate on what the court will do with a particular case on this forum - doing so would be a disservice to you as I would be merely guessing at what a particular judge (or prosecutor) may or may not do (I don't even know which judge you will be assigned to).
But, I would definitely recommend hiring a lawyer if I were you. Reducing this matter from a criminal conviction to a traffic citation makes a huge difference.
You can find local attorneys using the State and local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).