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I have a summons for selling alcohol to someone under 21…

Customer Question
I have a summons...

I have a summons for selling alcohol to someone under 21 need to know to plead guilty or not guilty and do I need a attorney?

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

Colorado

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No I don't have a lot of money and lost my job for this.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not that I can think of

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/27/2017
Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 10 months ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 15,326
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Good evening,

Normally there is no benefit to a person pleading guilty at their first court appearance. The burden of proof is on the prosecutor and simply pleading guilty, without giving your lawyer opportunity to both request "discovery" from them (all the evidence they have) and/or the opportunity to negotiate a possible reduction in your charge or sentence if it cannot be defended would take that away. Thus it is always better to plead not guilty. You can always change your plea later on if advised to do so by counsel.

Whether you get a lawyer is of course entirely up to you. It isn't required, and you may choose to represent yourself, as well. My professional opinion is that no one should go to criminal court without a lawyer. This charge, while a misdemeanor is punishable by up to 18 months in jail as well as a possible suspension of your driver's license for up to 6 months. While jail time is unlikely -especially if this is a first offense, you certainly do not want to be saddled with a criminal record and stiff penalties if you can avoid them. An attorney may be able to negotiate a lower charge or sentence or get you into something like "diversion" where in exchange for completing the court's terms, the charge is later dropped.

If you don't have a lawyer before your court date and cannot afford one, go to your arraignment, plead not guilty, and then when the judge asks, tell them you do not have a lawyer and need the services of a public defender. They will accept your not guilty plea and continue the case to a future date where you will then get to meet your lawyer.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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