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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27741
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My name is***** saturday I got a PI at Winstar & they

Customer Question

Hi, my name is***** saturday I got a PI at Winstar & they held me in jail for 6 hours. I paid $330 to be released & I have a court date of June 2nd. Ive been quoted $500-$1000 for a lawyer to help me try & keep this off my record, however I do not have the $$ to pay for a lawyer. What would you recommend I do in preparation for June 2nd in order to have a chance to get deferred adjudication?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just fyi, I live in Forney, Tx & I am 22 years old.
Thank You!
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
You can reach out to the DA before the court date and see if he or she would be amenable to giving you a shot at a deferral for this charge. You'd need to ask to speak to the prosecutor assigned to the case against you. If this is your first encounter with the law, for a charge like this one, a deferral is a perfectly reasonable request which is likely to be granted.
Some DAs are very leery of negotiating with unrepresented criminal defendants and they won't do it anywhere but in court on the record. So if the DA won't talk to you, then you can go into court, plead not guilty at your arraignment and when you are before the judge ask the DA if he would consider a deferral option for you. If he says yes, you can go ahead and take it. If he says no, you would ask for a continuance to come back on a later date with a lawyer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well, unfortunately I dont have the $$ for a lawyer :( Basically what you are saying is ...if I dont show up with a lawyer, more than likely I cant get it deferred & I would just have to have a PI on my record?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know you said there is a chance they would honor a deferral if it was my first offense like this, but I lived in San Diego last year & I got a wet & wreckless at a check point last July.. So with that being said, do you still think Id have a chance of deferral attending arraignment without a lawyer?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
I didn't say that at all. A deferral is at the discretion of the prosecutor and you may not get one even with a lawyer. It's all up to the DA who will be looking at the facts and circumstances of the case as well as your personal and criminal background.
However, yes, I still think you have a decent chance at a deferral for an offense like this one despite a California misdemeanor driving offense. All you can do is ask for it. If you are indigent -- a student or unemployed, for example -- you could ask for a public defender if you can't get the deferral yourself.