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Ely
Ely, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 99988
Experience:  Private practice
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I went into my local police station on a non related issue

Customer Question

Hi. I went into my local police station on a non related issue to file a complaint on a matter, and the police asked for my licence and consequently issued me a motor vehicles ticket for driving with an experired licence or having no licence as it was expired so long in the state of nj they required me to retake the test again which I did not get around to yet. Now I was not pulled over in the car driving nor pulled over driving, they assumed I was driving. However, I did have my friend in the car also whom drove home whom had a valid drivers license and it was her car. I have to go to court tonight and can't afford a lawyer and do not know how to plea. The truth is I did drive there, never thinking it would matter if I wasn't pulled over in the act. My friend came to the first court date as a witness to testify it was her car and she drove, but she can't make tonights court date and the court will not grant me any further adjournments. I do not want to purjur myself under oath and outright lie, but I do not know if it is legal for the police to issue a ticket for driving with no licence when they did not in a sense catch you in the act if driving in the act. Very confused on whether to just plead guilty and take punishmemt or go to trial on premise of technicalities. However do not want police to then pull out video suivellance of police parking lot and lose anyway. It is municipal court in nj and a traffic ticket. Any help. Need desperate help for court tonight.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. First, lying to the Court will not only make matters worse as it can lead to sanctions, but will also likely make the punishment of the conviction worse, as well.

If you went to the local police station, it is very, very likely that they have 360 degree surrounding video of the facility, and your driving is on the tape. If you are smart enough to know this, assume the prosecutor is as well.

As such, someone in your situation may wish to plead NOT GUILTY still. Pleading guilty will only end the case then and there. Pleading not guilty will RESET the case months down the line for a trial. he prosecutor is normally very backed up. They are handling literally dozens of cases at once. Setting a matter for trial - jury trial, more so - is a serious issue since they have little time to prepare, file the proper motions, and generally make room for the trial to happen. As such, the prosecutor would very likely be willing to work out some kind of a plea deal which involves a lesser charge, a non-moving violation, or something that has no conviction at all. Using counsel is best, ***** ***** So one would normally have a chance to negotiate with the prosecutor before or after pleading "not guilty," and/or in the time before the case is set for trial way down the line.

Good luck.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am scheduled to go to trial tonight. The prosecutor said when I spoke to him he would prosecute. He wasn't very nice or negotiable. Should I ask for more time tonight to try to afford counsel which I really can't or just plead guilty in your opinion? The judge has set the trial date for this evening at 6: 15 and the issuing police office will b there. Any advice.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

I see. Yes, if possible, someone in your situation may wish to ask for a continuance to find counsel. Normally, the Court does allow this but it is at the Judge's discretion.

I would not simply "plead guilty" - this is the worst step one can make as it basically ends the case then and there.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Last question, if I ask the judge for a public defender, I know there is a manadory 200.00 fee, since I do not have all that amount as I am unemployed and on social services at the moment, will the courts accept payments for the 200 fee for a public defender, do you know in any cases with extenuating circumstances? Thanks so much.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

That is up to the Judge at the Court's discretion. It is entirely up to them, I am afraid. So one would simply explain the situation to the Court and offer a payment plan and see what the Judge says. It may help to bring proof of finances such as a copy of one's bank statement to show the lack of money at the moment.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Last last question, when I go to court tonight, do I wait to b called by the judge for the trial and explain my situation, or try to talk to the prosecutor again and explain I would like a continuance and apply for a public defender and postpone the trial to a later date instead of waiting for hours for a trial only to explain I'm not ready to the judge???? Prosecutor is a real jerk by the way. Not real compromising. . .advice.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Normally, the prosecutor will call each party into a side office prior to the case being called, in an attempt to work out a plea deal. The Defendant and the prosecutor can settle the case then, or, the Defendant can opt for a trial before the Judge later.

If this is not being done, one can seek out the prosecutor prior to one's case being heard and ask to talk/negotiate. This is not uncommon.

If one wants to ask for a continuance, one may wish to let the clerk know that one plans to ask the Judge, prior to one's case being called, and then ask the Judge once the case is called.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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