If you have no record and exhibit the same honesty and remorse that you have in the question I am sure the judge will take note. The issue will be your criminal history and the facts, hire a local attorney that will also show the court you care. good luck.
Sometimes I wish that lawyers on this site would stick to the states where they are licensed to practice law.
NC newspapers have taken to posting mug shots and police blotter sheets with names of people accused of various crimes. It's a fad. Some busybodies scan the papers or internet sites to see if they know someone who got arrested. Unfortunately these records are all in the public domain, and courts have upheld the papers' right to publish this information.
It sounds like you have learned a hard lesson. I'm sorry if you also become a public spectacle in the process. Keep your head up; do what you have to do; and when next week's paper comes out, everyone will forget about you. Good luck.