So I'm out deer hunting in the middle of the forest with my rifle on my ATV. I am frequently getting on and off the 4 wheeler, so I leave the rifle loaded but with the safety on. On a lonely rocky dirt road, I come head to head with a F&G officer, and I pull over so he can pass, and I stop to chat for a bit. I didn't realize I was doing anything wrong. He asked to check my stuff and to confirm I was "unloaded". I said "uh-oh...I'm loaded". He proceeded to cite me for FGC 2006 (a) "possessing a loaded firearm on a vehicle on a roadway open to the public" which unfortunately is a misdemeanor. I guess I didn't realize my ATV qualified as a vehicle and the lonely forest trail was a "roadway". How should I plead, and can I have this reduced to an infraction?
You were cited for a misdemeanor law violation that cannot be infracted. This means that particular misdemeanor code section cannot be changed into an infraction.
An attorney cannot tell you how to plead to a case and whether your case can be resolved for an infraction without knowing a lot more information than can be posted on a free website like Avvo. There is no protection of the attorney-client privilege on a public website like Avvo. Anyone can read it, including the DA who will be assigned to prosecute this case.
It is sometimes possible to get charges reduced, obtain infractions instead of misdemeanors o even felonies, and to sometimes get cases dismissed. But only an attorney who has all the information on your case, has studied all the evidence, investigated the case, and who represents you can adequately answer your questions during the pendency of the representation.
You are required to appear at the court date indicated on your paperwork. If you don't appear, in person, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.
I recommend you hire an attorney to represent you. If you cannot afford an attorney, you will be referred to the Office of the Public Defender or its equivalent in the county where the criminal case is filed to determine whether you qualify for free legal representation. If you've been helped by my response, please mark it as helpful. Thank you.
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