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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 29983
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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recently received a misdemeanor possession charge not sure

Resolved Question:

recently received a misdemeanor possession charge not sure what actions i should take but i must plea next week. How should i start?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 years ago.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Do you mean that you have to enter an initial plea next week, or that you are changing your plea to guilty?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes my intial plea is set to be given next Mon1/10/11
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Ok, thanks.

In that case, when you go in, the judge will explain the charges against you. A misdemeanor drug possession charge does carry a possibility of up to one year in jail. That means that, unless the DA is willing to state on the record that jail is not an option, you will have a right to have an attorney appointed if you cannot afford one. There will be public defenders at the hearing that you can talk to.

At the initial appearance, you'll enter a plea of not guilty. That gives your lawyer time to request copies of all the evidence against you and see if there is any basis for getting the charges dismissed. If there's not, then he'll see about negotiating the best possible deal. Often, with a first offense, they'll allow you to do a deferred adjudication, which means that, if you successfully complete one year of probation (sometimes more), the charges will be dismissed.

Good luck.
Lucy, Esq. and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Do I have to Plea In person or can i do over the phone or send in a letter or how does that work? Because if i plead not gulity wont they give me a trial date?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
You have to show up in person to enter a plea. If you plead not guilty, they may give you a trial date, but they usually do a pretrial conference or status conference instead. That way, there will be a date where the lawyers go back in and tell the judge whether the case is ready for trial.

Even if they do give you a trial date, if you're trying to negotiate a plea, you can always ask the DA to agree to a continuance. Usually, they will.