How do I go about discussing a deferred adjudication?

first offense paraphernalia misdemeanor charge. Do I tell the judge on court day
or so I have to have a lawyer tell the judge? How do I go about this?

Asked on August 27, 2016 under Criminal Law, Missouri

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can request deferred adjudication in two ways:
1. You can hire an attorney to represent you and they can approach the prosecutor with the request for deferred adjudication.
2.  You can show up for your court date and ask to speak to the prosecutor directly.... and thereby ask for an offer of deferred adjudication.  (If you don't have a court date, get the contact info for the prosecutor so that you can call them.) 
It is very common these day for judges to allow defendants charged with lower level offenses to represent themselves.  This can be a cost effective option.  As a general caution, however, do not discuss the details of your case with the prosecutor.  Any statements that come directly from you can, and most likely will, be used against you later.  As a second caution, know and understand the consequences of your plea before you enter it.  If you are a young offender and are in college, a misdemeanor plea can have an impact of student loans and some scholarship programs.  Instead, you may want to see if your jurisdiction offers a pre-trial diversion program wherein you can eventually get the offense off of your record, thereby reducing the potential negative consequences on your future.


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