Do I need a lawyer for a first offense MIP?

Asked almost 4 years ago - Bellingham, WA

i have a clean record and i am 19 and a college student.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James Michael McKain

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Any time you are charged with a crime you should at least talk to a lawyer. MIP is a crime, it carries the potential serious penalties and a criminal record. At this point you have many options available to you, it would not be to your advantage to choose one of them without knowing about all of them. Talk to a lawyer, discuss the specifics of your case, and then decide what you should do. Resigning yourself to any one option without knowing about all of them would be a ready, fire, aim approach.

    Many attorneys, myself included, offer a free initial consultaiton. You should take advantage of such a consultation.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

    Thank you,

    James M. McKain


  2. Fletcher L Findley

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . I agree with both of the answers above, it's always in your best interest to at least speak with an attorney. You should know that even for misdemeanor charges like MIP there are public defenders available. Since you are a student and likely have little income you may qualify for representation by a public defender. They may be able to help you out at little or no cost to you. It would probably still be worth your while to speak with a private attorney or two that offer free consultations, like myself, because we generally have a little more time to dedicate to your case.

  3. Ryan Patrick Finnegan

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . An attorney can help negotiate a reduced penalty with the prosecutor, which seems likely to be available in your scenario. You always have the right to represent yourself (pro se), but you likely won't come to the same result. If your college has a law school, they may have a legal clinic staffed by students that can assist in your matter at either no or a reduced fee.

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