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Pled not guilty to misdemeanor, disorderly conduct charge. Can you change to no contest & take care of before court date?

Clearwater, FL |

No priors, never arrested before. Judge offered no contest at advisory, but I opted for not guilty. Have had change of heart due to conflicting vacation dates with probable court date coming up. Have not received paperwork in mail yet. Will they offer any option other than court appearance for this?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Retain a local attorney (or try to DIY, but why risk it?). Here in NY, you can go to the Clerk of the Court on any date and ask to have your file pulled for an unscheduled appearance. Courts are usually more than happy to dispose a file sooner rather than later, so I don't expect you to have any trouble changing your plea from "not guilty" to "no contest."

    Good luck!


  2. You should get an experienced local attorney to assist you with this case, there are multiple options (including plea in absentia)- and to have them negotiate with the prosecutors so you know what the recommended sentence will be if you do change your plea. Avvo will list defense attorneys in your area.


  3. They will not offer anything before the pre-trial usually. You must attend the pre-trial and probably cannot settle the case prior to that. You can possibly hire an attorney and waive your appearance at pre-trials, so that you can go on vacation.


  4. If you hire an attorney, he or she will file a notice of appearance on your behalf and can waive your presence at your court hearing. Since you have no criminal record, I would recommend letting an attorney walk you through your options so that you can keep your record clean. You are likely eligible for the Pinellas County Diversion program. If you successfully complete this program, the charges are dismissed. You may also have defenses to the charges. Contact an experienced criminal attorney in the area. My office is located in Largo. Please feel free to call for a free consultation. (727)531-2926

    This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.

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