I had an MIP charge in Aug which resulted in dp & 12.5 hours of comm serv. I was told at the court I had 4 months to complete my hours & to report to a comm serv center to get the necessary time sheets & register where I was going to do the hours. I put the hours on the back burner so I could focus on school & recently got around to completing them. When I looked at the comm serv papers, they said "completion date 10/1/09." I went ahead and did the hours anyway, but now I am unsure of how to approach the community service center and the court about my accidental date mix up. I have technically still completed them on time according to the 4 month date, but I am about a couple months late on the October date. Is that a valid excuse? How should I approach the matter?
Criminal Defense Attorney
I'm a bit confused. "I have technically still completed them on time" is a good thing. Make sure you note to the court the confusing issues surrounding "reporting to the comm. service center within 4 months" and completing the hours, etc etc. Bring in your report card for that time period, showing the course load you had and the grades you received. Were you working at that time as well? Bring in the pay stubs too. Usually, on dp cases, the court will have some flexibility so long as you show proof. Remember, however, that proof of work and class schedule/grades is not a "defense", it's just an excuse, so be humble.
Yes, your phrasing is a little confusing, but generally, you need to show honest effort and any evidence of being law abiding so that this one instance is out of character for you.
I believe you can show exactly that by explaining the confusion you mentioned here, showing you actually did complete within the larger window, and that you have other activities in your life, like work and school, that are progressing well. Yes, by all means be humble, contrite, remorseful, sincere, etc. If you charm your way through the community service center folks you may avoid court altogether. I believe they have to say you failed in your tasks and forward that to the State attorney in order for the matter to heat up again. Then you get to charm the State attorney and/or judge, who should be more interested in the four month deadline than one imposed by the CS people. But I do not believe anyone is eager to punish you for actually completing the hours while working and going to school.