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What does this ticket entail? Is paying it an admission of guilt? Will it appear on my record? Best course of action?

Santa Clara, CA |

-18 year old, no record, caught with less than an oz of marijuana on fed lands by fed officer
-confiscated the drug and pipe - no arrests. Issued a ticket for "possession of a controlled substance - marojuana", fine of $175. No court date, instead the box is checked that says it is only necessary to pay the fine.
What does this ticket entail?
Is paying the fine an admission of guilt?
Will this appear on my friend's record?
- Online, a comment regarding a similar situation from a federal officer said it was rare for tickets from federal park/land guards to make it onto one's record.
-My friend said the officer told her to simply pay the fine and that everything would be resolved...good sign?
Best course of action for my friend?

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Attorney answers 3


If there was no arrest/prints taken it is doubtful it will show up on hr record except if she receives another fed. Summons, but it is an admission of guilt. There is no simple answer of what to do, the discussion would need much more info to advise.



First, thank you very much for taking the time to respond. Following up, I am curious to know if you're saying that she could be summoned to court even after she pays the fine? And if so, what could be done to eliminate this chance? Also, what other information would you need in order to provide me with advice for her situation?


Does the citation list a code section? If so, that would help us answer the questions you are asking.

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In my opinion, your friend must assume that paying the ticket will create a record that he or she was convicted of the offense.  The "record" that is typically thought of is one's rap sheet or arrest record.  One's record, however, is not limited to actual arrests or convictions for felonies or misdemeanors.  Here, there is a court record and that court record shows a citation and if your friend simply pays the ticket your friend will have a record of conviction that may be accessible to employers and other interested persons in the future.  For most people this type of record would probably not be a big deal, but having represented clients who are police officers, politicians, and professionals, I can tell you that right now is the best time for your friend to consult with a qualified lawyer to discuss the potential implications to him or her.