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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
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I need a sample letter to request a plea in absentia. I was

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I need a sample letter to request a plea in absentia. I was visiting FL and borrowed my 84 y/o grandmother's car to go to dinner. I got pulled over for driving a car with tags that are more than 6 months expired. It did not matter that it was not my car. Apparently any reasonable adult would check tags before driving a car to dinner (according to the cop). I had to get back to my job as a nurse in Ca two days later and was told by the court to write a plea in absentia, although I also want to request leniency. I don't know where to start.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 8 years ago.
You are going to need a lawyer to represent you in this matter. A lawyer will be able to appear on your behalf in court and resolve the case. A plea in absentia, is basically a plea sheet, sign and notarized by you. The attorney will submit it to a Judge and enter a plea of no contest on your behalf. Some courts, if you correct the problem, will consider dropping the charges. You would need to prove that the tags are now current. Moreover, since you just borrowed the car, you may have a legal defense. If you fail to show up at court and just write a letter, the Judge may reset the case for a new day. The Judge will likely want you or an attorney on your behalf present, to have you plea recorded and on the record.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I already spoke with the court, and in a case like mine they told me that all I need is to write a letter asking for a plea in absentia and explain why I cannot attend (financial hardship?). I was told a lawyer would not be necessary. All I need now is help in writing this letter. I could not find anything online to help me and I hoped this site would help. Any tips on what I should include in the letter? I am not very familiar with legal verbage. I also plan on including the current registration.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 8 years ago.

Sure. On the top of the letter, you want to write your name, the case number XXXXX the judge. Also, include the court that your case is being heard in. This information should all be available on the notice, you were mailed by the court. You would then include a copy of the up to date registration. You can enter a plea of no contest or guilty, which ever you feel is in your best interest. No contest is not admitting guilt or innocence, it is merely a plea to resolve your case. Pleading guilty, is admitting you did it. Explain, as requested, that your current location and the amount if could cost you to travel would create a financial hardship and that you would like to resolve your case. Make sure not only that you letter is signed but notarized. Also, include in your letter the name of the person who told you, that you could resolve your case, in such a manner. This way, if there are any problems, they are can be contacted.


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