Generally, the initial charge is treated as a misdemeanor. I have personally handled hundreds of such cases and have NEVER seen one end up as a misdemeanor. In most instances the Court will offer you a violation and a fine at the first Court appearance.
Will the violation show up on my criminal record?
Violations are NOT crimes and do not add or create a criminal record!
should i plead guilty?
Generally, there is no real serious down side to pleading guilty to such a violation. HOWEVER, in my experience I have found that pleading guilty to such a charge coulkd potentially be severely damaging on an administrative level. I generally am hired by Stock brokers, CPA's, attorneys, Doctors, Dentists etc. who are charged with this violation in order to ensure that their licensing is adequately protected. In most instances where you hold a professional license, or will be seeking to hold one it is to your advantage to have a privately retained attorney.
Should I hire an attorney?
see step 3. ONLY if currently hold or will be looking to hold a professional license!
Do I have to be there in Court?
the summons which you were issued explains that you MUST show up either in person or by attorney. What this means is that you MUST show up and you are given two options, either in person OR through an attorney who shall be representing you on this charge. If yo uare unable to appear in Court then you MUST hire an attorney!