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I have been charged in Arizona with 1 ct Dangerous Drug F4,

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Hi, I have been charged...
Hi, I have been charged in Arizona with 1 ct Dangerous Drug F4, 1 ct Narcotic Drug F4 & 1 ct Drug Paraphernalia F6. I have a Preliminary Hearing this Tuesday. I am thinking of pleading no contest and telling the judge that i have a drug problem and need help. I have an appointment with a place for intake for an intensive drug rehabilitation program. Do you think this will help me? I will be assigned a public defender...or do you think I would be better off with a private practice attorney? Do you have any other suggestions? Thank you in advance for your help!!
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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1/7/2018
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 3 months ago
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 29,994
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 3 months ago

I don't think you'll need a private attorney to get you Drug Court or some other type of treatment-oriented disposition. A public defense lawyer knows his or her way around plea bargaining.

However, unless you have your public defender already and he tells you to plead no contest, plead NOT GUILTY at your arraignment and then ask the judge for the public defender. A plea of no contest will result in an immediate felony conviction, just as surely as a plea of guilty will. Once you plead anything other than NOT GUILTY you lose control of the case and cannot bargain for anything. The only difference between a plea of not guilty and a plea of no-contest is that a no-contest plea cannot be used as an admission of guilt in a civil suit. Since you're not going to be sued, there's no advantage to it. In all other respects, a plea of no contest is identical to a plea of guilty.

If a criminal defendant has a choice -- and you do -- he or she should NEVER plead anything other than NOT GUILTY unless/until he knows what sentence he's going to get in exchange for his plea. A not guilty plea is the only plea that will keep your rights open so that you can get a lawyer appointed, be advised by counsel, have him negotiate the deal you wish, or fight the case. Once you get the best possible disposition offered to you, THEN you can withdraw your previously entered not guilty plea, and take a plea of guilty or no contest to get the deal.

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Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 3 months ago

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.

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