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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27080
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My 19 year old son recieved a summons for littering in public

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My 19 year old son recieved a summons for littering in public while riding in someone car. The summons state that this is a violation sec 16 sub 118.4 in Brooklyn New York and has to appear in front of the judge in December should he bring legal counsel with him or is he looking at jail time.

Hi Jacustomer,

Here's the section of NYC's Administrative Code as it applies to littering, ADC Law 16-118,4 The penalty would appear to be a criminal violation which would carry a maximum penalty of 10 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $250.

He's not looking at jail time. The DA will probably offer him a plea to the violation and a fine. With a lawyer he may be able to get an Adjournment in Contemplation of dismissal, which is a better disposition, because it is a conditional dismissal and does not involve taking any plea. But even if he were to plead guilty to the violation, it will seal a year later. And, as it's only a violation (less than a crime) he could honestly say that he's never been convicted of a crime, even before this offense seals.

Given his age and the fact that even a criminal violation has to be disclosed sometimes -- if you are looking to get a professional license, for example -- the dismissal is better if he can get it.

This whole thing should generally take no moee than the one court appearance, While strictly speaking he can't hurt himself too badly going in without a lawyer, if it's not a hardship to provide him with an attorney for the proceeding, he likely will be able to get him a better deal and cause him fewer problems down the road.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Does it matter that he as had a retail theif which he completed his hours of community service hours. Do you think that that the judge might offer jail time?

Hi Gladys,

There is no way that he is going to go to jail on this offense unless he warrants for not showing up for his court date and is picked up and brought in involuntarily. That's not going to happen.

Yes, it matters that he had a retail theft, but only in that he's not likely to get an ACD with a prior offense. While a lawyer may be able to get something better for him -- it's possible that the case can be dismissed outright, depending on what the court papers say, for example -- he's almost certainly going to have to take a violation and pay a fine.

Now even more than before though, I think the lawyer is a good idea, just for better damaqe control.