My friends and I climbed an old fort to take pictures for my photography course in college, and a police officer told us to come down, and we got charged with a Class B Misdemeanor for Criminal Trespassing. He said that at the arraignment, we might be able to get it down to just a violation. No damage was done to the property, and we exited as soon as the officer told us to get off. None of us have had a criminal background. And since it's a Class B Misdemeanor, he said we're not allowed to get lawyers.
1) How should we plead in the court? Is there even a point to trying to plead not guilty, or should we fess up that we did indeed trespass the property?
2) What do you think will be the consequences? Fines estimate? Community service? Jail time?
3) What comes after an arraignment?
First, never listen to what a police officer tells you, they are permitted to lie to you in order to incriminate you. Second, never talk to a police officer, always assert your right to remain silent and refer any questions from law enforcement to your attorney. You are always entitled to hire an attorney, I recommend you consult with a local criminal attorney regarding this case asap (use the search function on avvo and look for a criminal attorney in NH). If you don't have an attorney absolutely you should plead not guilty and ask the court to appoint you an attorney. Best of luck.
Family Law Attorney
You should consult a criminal defense attorney in your area. Feel free to call my office at 603-476-3261.
I suspect that the officer told you that you are not entitled to a public defender, because the charge is only a Class B misdemeanor. You can always hire a lawyer, though.
That being said, you probably should hire a lawyer if you want to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor. Best of luck.
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