How can I appeal in court with an underage possession charge? 9 Answers as of April 20, 2011

Tonight I was going out to a party and I was on the sidewalk when I was pulled over by a police officer. I had a water bottle with alcohol in it. It was in my pocket and he told me to give it to him and I obliged. I have court in a few days and I am wondering if there is anything I can do to keep my license and/or lower the fine

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
It sounds like it could be a questionable search. You might want to get a lawyer either appointed or retained to advise you. Depending on the judge you might be able to avoid a conviction by agreeing to do some classes otherwise you will lose your license which you already seem to know. A lawyer could help with that too.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
What can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to not talk to anyone except an attorney about the case.

Effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts and evidence. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial. If serious about hiring counsel, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/19/2011
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
Don't plead guilty. Fight it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
Unfortunately, I cannot tell from the limited information you gave if the officer had the right to detain you and search you/issue orders regarding your possessions. What time was it? Search and seizure issues aside, you might be able to have your attorney or the Public Defender negotiate an infraction or a diversion disposition that would result in an eventual total dismissal. Consult your attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2011
Law Office of Andrew Roberts
Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
You need an attorney to deal with this for you. You do risk a license suspension. Continue your arraignment if you cannot get am attorney in time.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I would recommend hiring an attorney to handle your case. Is it charged as an infraction or misdemeanor? You can contact me through my website if you would like to speak about your case in further detail. There may be a good argument for lack of probable cause or other arguments, which could potentially lead to a dismissal. It is also possible that an attorney may be able to work out a deal to avoid the minor in possession conviction and agree to a lesser charge that won't impact your drivers license and/or lower fines.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/18/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Consider hiring a lawyer. This type of charge is relatuvely minor, and an experienced attorney can often get a dismissal. Sometimes it involves you doing some class. But that is a lot better than pleading guilty, having a misdemeanor record, and losing your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/17/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    The first thing you should do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to thoroughly discuss and evaluate your case. That being said, you absolutely do not want to have a conviction for a minor in possession as this will result in the loss of your driver's license for 1 year. There are a number things that can be done to avoid a conviction which vary depending on the county in which your case is filed. Whatever the case, you do not want to plead guilty to this charge. I hope this answer was helpful. If you would like to discuss your case in more detail, I would be happy to speak with you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/18/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Hire an attorney. You will need to have some one look at the possibility of a motion to suppress.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/18/2011
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