Do i need a criminal Defense Lawyer?

Asked over 4 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

I was given a ticket in the state of Utah for possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) small amount and drug paraphernalia.Should I just pay the fine? If I do will it be on my record? I have a clean record and do not want to mess it up.

Additional information

Another person was driving ,the officer just gave me a ticket and let me go.Will I still have to appear in court even if It's out of state? What should I plea? Since i voluntarily gave them what I had. Can a lawyer get the charges reduced? Or will they disappear in a year with no future trouble on my behalf? Will it help that I have been since issued a cannabis card in California?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Ronald S. Pichlik

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . First of all you have been charged with crimes; these are NOT simply civil infractions that you can pay the fine for. You will need to appear in court. You need to get an attorney to represent you. If you plead guilty to these charges they will in fact be on your record and as drug convictions they can impact your present and future employment and will probably result in some type of sanctions on your drivers license for a period of time.

  2. Steve David Sitkoff

    Pro

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . If you simply plead guilty, the drug conviction will be on your record. That will certainly have a negative impact on your ability to go to college or get a good job in the future. I would see if there is some kind of "drug diversion" program in the area. If successfully completed, this would likely leave your record clean.

  3. Matthew Koken

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . In California a defendant can authorize his attorney to appear on his or her behalf without the defendant having to appear in court. The Penal Code section that allows this is 977. However, this is only for misdemeanors and infractions. If you are charged with any felony, it will be necessary for you to appear in court.

    I would contact an attorney in Utah to discuss your options. Best of luck.

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