Whether it is DUI, Battery, Domestic Battery, Violation of an Order of Protection or any of a number of cannabis offenses a misdemeanor charge usually requires the services of an experienced attorney. In my 20 years of experience as both a prosecutor with the Madison County State's Attorney (criminal division) and a criminal defense attorney, it is obvious that the best results occur when a defendant is represented by knowledgeable counsel. When choosing counsel for representation a local attorney is generally the best choice. Further, if a client's interests are best served by another judge than the one originally assigned the case we can take one substitution of right. An attorney from out of the county generally does not have any idea whether the prosecutor he deals with is best for the client.
Likewise for the judge selection. Each different offense has its own unique method that best results in a conclusion. A dismissal of the charge is always our first goal. If the case is very strong and cannot be dismissed then we move towards resolving the case via court supervision. Supervision is a disposition that results in a dismissal of the charge against the client. Generally, this disposition protects a client from having a permanent criminal conviction against them. After the term of supervision is concluded the client is well advised to pursue an expungement (see my legal guide on expungements). Resolving a misdemeanor case in this manner keeps my client's criminal "record" clean. Certain misdemeanors are subject to special "diversion programs." Typically, a diversion program will result in a dismissal (sometimes without fines) after successful completion.