What should I do if charged with possession of a restricted species? 6 Answers as of May 11, 2011

Don't think I can fight this away. How do I plead? For reduced fine? What kinds of questions will I need to answer to the judge?

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Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Sometimes it is possible to get a permit for certain restricted animals. Even after the fact, if you could obtain a permit it would help your case. You should plead not guilty and let an attorney review the discovery (evidence) against you. The specific facts of your case will determine the offer made by the DA. The judge will not question you; your attorney will speak for you. Feel free to call our office if you'd like a free consultation. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
You dont get to talk to the judge about your explanations unless and until you simply plead guilty. If charged with a misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 6-12 months in jail. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. 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, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2011
Robert Mortland
Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
This may be charged as a misdemeanor. If so, you have the right to an attorney. You will be given the public defender if you cannot afford an attorney. I would advise that you initially plead not guilty and discuss the facts with your attorney or call some attorneys and do an initial consultation to discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
You would do better with an attorney. You can certainly try to negotiate the case, but there is such a wide variety of possibilities , it might be a good idea for you to try to get a free consultation with an experienced, local Criminal Defense Attorney, if you cannot afford to hire one. Do you qualify for representation by the Public Defender?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2011
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
Before just assuming there's no other option but to plead guilty and have a conviction, it's always worth it to discuss the situation with a local criminal defense attorney. Find somebody that handles criminal matters exclusively and routinely practices in the court where your case will be heard. There may be things they can do to significantly reduce the fine or avoid a conviction altogether, even if it looks grim.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    I would recommend at least talking to an attorney prior to pleading guilty. Your first appearance is your arraignment. There you can either plead guilty or not guilty. You can request an indicated sentence from the judge if you plead guilty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
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