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legalgems
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17 year old, Two violations at a traffic stop on 10/16/16 1.

Customer Question

17 year old , Two violations at a traffic stop on 10/16/16
1. unlawful possession alc under sec. 21, 065-c alcoholic beverage control, caught with 6 unopened beers
2. unlawful possession of marihuana sec. 221.05 penal law, caught with empty pipe
Court date on Thursday 10/27/16. We have been trying unsuccessfully to find an attorney. Very small town that has no local lawyers. Should we go to court and represent ourselves .
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 1 month ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  legalgems replied 1 month ago.

I am sorry to hear this;

in criminal court, it is very important to have a personal attorney, either privately hired, or through the public defender's office. The reason is that many charges can be challenged based on many different theories; for example, the actual stop can be challenged, along with the chain of evidence.

The state has the burden of proof and often charges are dismissed because of evidentiary violations.

Even if there is not a basis for dismissing the charges, an attorney can be instrumental in arranging a plea bargain, or even a diversion charge.

For example, there is a youthful offender program- please see:

https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/7jd/courts/city/criminal/youthful_offender_sealing.shtml

Also, please keep in mind that drug offenses can affect one's financial aid eligibilty if the minor plans to attend college.

Here is what the state must prove:

charge #1

http://www.ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/opinion/I%202005-14%20pw.pdf

charge #2

http://www.nycourts.gov/judges/cji/2-PenalLaw/221/221-05.pdf

I would suggest attempting to contact attorneys in nearby towns.

Here is a referral page for the state bar:

http://www.nysba.org/lawyerreferral/

One can also check the various websites such as www. lawyers.com, www.avvo.com, www.martindale.com

Normally they will charge either hourly, or flat fee. Normally there are attorneys who specialize in this- one can look under juvenile law, criminal law, unlawful possession, or even DUI (they will have experience with the prosecutor, which can be very helpful when it comes to plea bargaining, and to know which judge to try and get the case in front of).

Questions?

Post here please

No further questions?

kindly rate positively!

all information is legal

information only and

does not constitute

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or a particular course

of action. Thank you

Expert:  legalgems replied 1 month ago.

This may be helpful- so one will know at least what to expect at the various stages:

https://www.nycourts.gov/litigants/crimjusticesyshandbk.shtml

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