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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My 24 year old niece was in court this morning and given a

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My 24 year old niece was in court this morning and given a Class B Misdemeanor for swearing at a police officer. She was walking from a club in Nashua NH with her boyfriend
and an altercation ensued. She was asked to stay out of by the police officer. She admitted to swearing and being intoxicated but said she swore once and that was it. She was hit with a $500 fine and clean record after 3 years if she stays out of trouble. She refused the offer and now has a court date because she will not plead guily to the misdemeanor. Should she redact her plea?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your niece's situation. Allow me to explain how this works and what her options are.

Essentially, she has a choice:
1) plead guilty and simply hope that the Court takes pity on you (not recommended, and the Judge will likely not);
2) take the matter to trial and risk either being convicted, or, acquitted of charges (risky); or
3) make a plea deal with the DA.

It sounds like the DA was offering her a "deferred" sentence, meaning if she agrees to pay a fine and then stay out of trouble for an allotted amount of time, the charge is dropped. This is actually a pretty good deal as it allows her to keep a clean record. The DA does not have to offer this deal, but low-level, first-time offenders usually do receive it.

It sounds like she refused it and the matter was then set for trial. At trial, it will be the officer's word versus hers. Now she can always request a jury trial and perhaps the 12 jurors will agree with her and acquit her, and the matter will be over; but there is always a chance that they will agree with the DA and convict her (especially since she will admit she was intoxicated, which makes her look guilty). This may not be worth the risk. Many individuals in her situations would opt to take the deal and avoid trial, but of course, this is up to her.

She can still approach the DA via her attorney at the next setting (there will be several until trial, it will not be immediate), or, have her attorney call the DA to arrange this.

The choice is hers, of course.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck to her.

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