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Can I speak to my arresting officer about dropping my drunk in public ticket?

Portsmouth, VA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

A few friends went out for drinks and one got belligerent and was walking in traffic so we all three got stopped. The obnoxious one wouldn't shut up and we all had been drinking so we all got drunk in public tickets. I really don't want a misdemeanor on my record but I was wondering if talking to the arresting officer would make a difference so I wont have to go to court. She told me to find a new friend (most definitely) and that she didn't want to arrest me and the other guy because we were trying to look out for him but we were all together and they had to. Also does it matter if the law section cited is not correct on the ticket? Everything I have found doesn't match the section.

Attorney Answers 3


Do not talk to the police. You are cited for an offense and what you say to the arresting officer can be used against you.

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It certainly reads like you were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong kind of "friend" and now face a real dilemma.
The real question to be answered here is "Should you speak to the officer?" and the short answer is NO.
The officer does not have the authority to "drop the charge."
Once the charge is issued, the matter is in the hands of the Commonwealth Attorney for your county (in Virginia).
Also, anything you tell the officer can be used as evidence against you in Court.
Your best move is to engage the services of an attorney experienced with alcohol-related matters.
He/she can then direct and guide an appropriate and goal-oriented strategy for defending against your charge, as well as negotiating a favorable outcome through the use of plea negotiations with the prosecutor.
Yes, the wrong code section being listed on the Summons could be a real problem for the prosecution, but this again demonstrates the need for the services of a lawyer.
I hope this helps.

James R. Parrish, Esquire
Parrish Law Firm, PLLC
10620-C Crestwood Drive
Manassas, Virginia 20109
(571) 229-1800 x203 Office
(703) 906-4229 Cell
(571) 229-1818 Fax
(703) 991-7096 eFax

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information and is not to be considered legal advice, nor does it constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship.

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As you have been advised, you CAN try to speak with the officer about this matter and you CAN represent yourself, but you SHOULD NOT do either of these things. I recommend you refrain from talking with the officer and retain an experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer to assist you with this matter.

Perhaps you've heard the old adage, a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. This saying illustrates the generally accepted thought that is unwise - even for trained lawyers - to represent themselves in legal matters. Do not let the officer's apparently kind words to you on the night of the incident cloud your judgment. You do not know how to be a lawyer and it is not wise to pretend like you do or that you can figure it out.

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information and is not to be considered legal advice, nor does it constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship.

T. Kevin Wilson, Esq.
The Wilson Law Firm
DUI, Criminal & Traffic Defense...When Results Matter
9300 Grant Avenue, Suite 301
Manassas, Virginia 20110

Telephone 888-DUI-LWYR
Telephone 703-361-6100
Facsimile 703-365-7988

For important answers to other Frequently Asked Questions about DUI, Criminal and Traffic Offenses in Virginia , visit

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