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I got a non traffic citation summons for disorderly conduct

Customer Question
hazardous/physi off, was not arrested...
I got a non traffic citation summons for disorderly conduct hazardous/physi off, was not arrested or anything but I pleaded not guilty, I can not afford an attorney or lawyer so at court will I have a public defender and will the charges be on my record, I'm currently in nursing school.. and want to know if you would affect me getting a job
Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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9/20/2017
Criminal Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 months ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 102,687
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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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. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

1) What state is this in?

2) Have you been to court yet, or not?

3) If you have been to court, did you plead/were you found guilty?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
It is in Pennsylvania I have not been to court yet but I had to send my plea in the mail, which I pleaded not guilty
Criminal Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 months ago

Okay. Two more questions, please.

1) What exactly happened to cause you to get the citation?

2) Do you have a past criminal record?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I was out with a few of my friends and they we out side to the back of the house to use the bathroom(it was dark and they went behind and car to hide) but a cop came up to us and then proceed to write us a ticket and I have had stuff expunged off my record does that matter?
Criminal Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 months ago

Not, if it is expunged (properly) then it would be as though it never happened.

At this point, someone in your situation has three options.

1) simply send in the fine (automatic guilty plea), or plead guilty at first appearance and pay the fine; OR

2) plead not guilty and the matter will be reset to trial. If the matter is reset to trial, then Defendant can normally request a jury trial, and retaining counsel is best. Of course, by retaining counsel, one may end up paying close to what one would with the ticket.

3) Informal negotiation - we will get to this in a moment.

Prosecutor's Leverage
If this case gets to trial, the prosecutor is likely to call the officer who will make an appearance and explain what he feels happened. He may or may not bring his body camera tape that can also show what happened, if there is one. Normally, the Judge (or Jury, if you have a jury trial) takes the word of an officer over the Defendant.

Defendant's Leverage
The 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.

Negotiation
Recall how I had mentioned negotiation as one of the options. Very often, individuals in your situation are given a "plea deal," if they have little/no criminal record. This means a probationary period without a conviction, for example.

Negotiating with the prosecutor for a deferment and/or reduced plea deal after pleading not guilty and setting it for a jury trial is normally a good way to use one's leverage to get a non-conviction plea offer. Of course, if this does not work, one's other option is to indeed set it for trial. Doing so may have the prosecutor reexamine their offer to you. Using counsel throughout all this is recommended - the prosecutor is likely to take the threat of trial more seriously if an attorney is already involved.

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