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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
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Im from California and was visiting a friend in New York.

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I'm from California and was visiting a friend in New York. I got cited for public urination in Kings County and now have a summons to appear in court on May 6th. If I just want to please guilty is there anyway I can just mail in a fine and not have to fly back to New York to go to court? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
jacustomer,

Sorry, but no. You can't pay this one by mail. It's a violation of the NYC Administrative Code and although the penalties are only civil, it is handled in criminal court where the judge will determine what the fine will be.

Chances are when you appear, it will turn into an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which is a deferred dismissal that seals by operation of law 6 months after you are given it in court. It does not involve any kind of a plea of guilt and will not turn up on your record. That looks better than having public urination on your record, which is what you'll get convicted of if you were able to mail in the fine.

___________
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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.



Edited by FranL on 4/1/2010 at 4:11 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Do I need to hire a lawyer for this? Also you said this won't appear on my record correct?
Hello,

You shouldn't need a lawyer for this, and you ought to ask for an Adjournent in Contemplation of Dismissal. (An ACD). An ACD is a conditional dismissal. It doesn't involve taking any sort of plea. It's usually offered for a first offense when the offense isn't particularly serious.

I'm generally of the belief that one should always have a lawyer when you find yourself a defendant in a criminal courtroom. But this has civil penalties only, so you're not risking jail. You should be able to dispose of this on your first and only appearance.

___________
If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your Atate for specific legal advice.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your reponse. I appreciate your feedback and will ultimately reward you for your time. You do mention a "first offense." I do have to note that I received a misdemeanor DUI 5 years ago. I'm not on probation or anything like that. Does this cause extra cause for concern?
Hi,

I just assumed a first offense because the police gave you a summons rather than arrested you.

In any case, there would be no extra cause for concern with a case like this. Actually there are two public urination statutes here in NYC. One is in the administrative code -- that's the one with just civil penalties. The other is a violation of the Health Code. Both are treated more or less like misdemeanors.

With either one you're likely to wind up with a small fine $25-$50 and either the ACD or, if you can't get that, a Disorderly Conduct. A Dis Con in NYS is not a crime. It's a violation, the criminal court equivalent of a traffic ticket. It looks better than "public urination" on a record if you can't get the ACD.

Are you aware, incidentally, that California will make you register as a sex offender for public urination if you're convicted of it over there? Something you might want to keep in mind when you get back home.

___________
If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your Atate for specific legal advice.
Zoey, JD and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok well that's pretty good news...relatively. Well it looks like I'll be making another trip to NY soon! And from now on I'll make sure to find a private restroom whether in CA or NY or wherever. Thank you so much for your help. If I need any further questions can I still contact you?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
One more question - can I hire a lawyer to show up for me in court to represent me or is that "frowned upon?"
Jacustomer,

You could certainly call a lawyer and see what he'd do for you. It's not frowned upon unless there's no good reason for it. But all it would likely get you would be a date on which you'd have to come to court anyway, unless the matter was dismissed outright. The lawyer could not take a plea for you, for example and could cost you as much as your plane fare.

Alternatively, you could call the court clerk and tell them you're from out of state and ask if there's any way that you could just mail in a fine, but the problem is that there's probably no fine indicated on the ticket because it gets determined by the judge in court.

You're going to be told it's best to come in, but it's all worth trying.
___________
If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your Atate for specific legal advice.



Edited by FranL on 4/1/2010 at 12:17 PM EST

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