I just got a drug paraphernalia ticket and a criminal trespassing ticket, Im supposed to call a judge before May 10th. This is in Texas, north Fort Worth. Is this just a ticket? Do I need a lawyer?

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I just got a drug paraphernalia ticket and a criminal trespassing ticket, Im supposed to call a judge before May 10th. This is in Texas, north Fort Worth. Is this just a ticket? Do I need a lawyer?

Im in Texas and Im 19

Asked on April 20, 2019 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require you to obtain an attorney...but I would strongly recommend one.  At first glance, these do not appear to be 'life altering' charges as you won't be sent to prison.  However, even lower level misdemeanors can have an effect on a young person's life.  For example, if you plead guilty to the paraphernalia charge, some apartment complexes will not rent to you because of your "drug history."  Some scholarship programs consider criminal trespass a potentially violent offense and will disqualify individuals from receiving the scholarship (even if they were otherwise eligible when they first received it.)
The value of an attorney is that they can make an argument on your behalf that because of your age that you should be granted some relief.  Because of your age, some prosecutors and judges will let you "earn" a dismissal by completing a certain number of community service hours.  A dismissal is better and cleaner on your record than a "guilty" or a conviction/probation.


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