I’m charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. I was outside my home at 2am when arrested after fighting back agaisnt my husband.

UPDATED: Jun 20, 2009

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I’m charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. I was outside my home at 2am when arrested after fighting back agaisnt my husband.

I would like to plead guilty to get it over with but can’t afford a fine or a haunting record. how bad can a guilty plea haunt me?

Asked on June 20, 2009 under Criminal Law, Utah


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

If you can't afford a fine I assume that you can't afford an attorney.  However, you can try legal aid or the like.  You really should try and get legal representation on this.  An attorney might be able to get the charges thrown out on a technicality or at least reduced.  He will also be instrumental in minimizing any penalties if you are convicted of the charges (also if you are a first time offender that will help). 

If convicted Utah has a liberal "expungement" statute.  That is most felony and misdemeanor convictions can be cleared from your record.  Typically, felonies can be expunged after 7 years, Class A misdemeanors can be expunged after 5 years, and all other misdemeanors and infractions can be expunged after 3 years. 

By getting an expunction, you can tell employers that you have not been convicted of a crime and  you will be eligible for student loans, housing assistance, and professional licenses and certificates .  Additionally, you can stop fearing or being embarrassed when someone does a background check on you.

However, you would have to wait the statutory period as stated above.  Also, in this age of information even though the facts of this conviction should be cleared from your record, they may still leak out. 

Your best bet is to consult with an attorney in your area on all of this.  One way or the other you either need an attorney to represent you on the charges or to help you get your expungement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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