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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I got a trespassing ticket this Sunday while fishing. We

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I got a trespassing ticket this Sunday while fishing. We were fishing on public land and went under a couple of fences. One of the fences was posted with yellow paint we still went under the fence. Shortly after a man approached us saying that don't you know that you are traspassing. We said no that we do not know. We thought that we had access to the river as long as we stayed in the river. He said no that you do not and that you are traspassing and that you are going to jail. He said stay put that he was calling the police. Meanwile we tried to say that we were sorry and that we would leave. He said no stay put and that the cops would see about that. So the police came wasatch county sheriff's department and DWR asked for are fishing licences and ID went to there vehicles and then came back and issued us the trespassing ticket code # 23-20-14.1 Utah what kind of fine do you think I am looking at. And how bad is this what should I do and what I shouod plea.
Hello friend. My name is ***** ***** welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.
I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:
1) How old are you and
2) Do you have any prior criminal record/history, or is this the first event?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

09/18/1980 and no

Thank you, E.
This is a class A misdemeanor, which means a fine of UP TO $2,500 and (in worst case scenarios) up to a year in jail.
First of all, take a breath and relax. Although I know you are worried, understand that this is a relatively minor charge and is very likely to be taken care of without a guilty plea on your record.
This will not be over immediately. The first setting is the arraignment where a plea is entered (NOT GUILTY). These hearings will reset several times to allow your attorney and the prosecutor (DA) to discuss a plea deal. Normally, the case is reset about 3-4 times before you have to make a choice (see below). If you do not have an attorney at your first hearing, one may request a reset to get one, although if you can find one prior to this, then great.
Essentially, you have a choice.
1) plead guilty and simply hope that the Court takes pity on you (not recommended, and the Judge will likely not);
2) take the matter to trial and risk either being convicted, or, acquitted of charges (risky); or
3) make a plea deal with the DA.
The DA's leverage is that possible certainty that you would be found guilty if he takes this to trial.
Your leverage is not only possibility of being found not guilty if taken to trial, but also the pressure exerted unto the DA if the defense pushes for trial, which means man hours, preparation, and a lot of court time.
Because this is a relatively minor charge when all is said, and you are young, and have no criminal record, the DA may and likely will be willing to negotiate a plea bargain. Of course, you may also risk trial, and your attorney can possibly seek to have you acquitted on a technicality or simply argument - the onus is on the DA to convict you by showing you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But since this is a minor matter and since the plea deal may involve the case being dropped and/or a minor fine only, in most cases, the plea deal is taken.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.
Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.
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Ely and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You did say your attorney can I ask for one to represent me or do I need to find one

It is strongly recommended to retain counsel ahead of time, because if you are of work age and have no disability, the Court may not grant you a free public defender.