What to do if I received a failure to stop and ID after property damage accident?

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What to do if I received a failure to stop and ID after property damage accident?

I am supposed to enter a plea before the 25th and am not sure what to do. I am aware that I made a mistake and am willing to take the heat for it. I have no other prior legal trouble and a bit concerened that I may hay to serve time since it could carry a 90 day sentence. As I cannot afford a lawyer, I do not know what to do.

Asked on July 11, 2012 under Accident Law, Michigan

Answers:

Jeffrey Kaplan / Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Kaplan

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the crime for which you are charged carries jail time, you are entitled to have an attorney appointed for you if you can't afford one. It sounds like your hearing on the 25th is an arraignment. If so, the judge will inform you at the arraignment of your right to appointed counsel. Tell him you would like him appoint counsel for you. Do NOT enter a plea until you have spoken with counsel. The judge may enter a plea of "not guilty" on your behalf.

If you have already been arraigned and the judge hasn't appointed counsel for you, you need to request a court appointed attorney at your next hearing.  

If you cannot afford an attorney and the judge does not appoint one for you, he can't sentence you to jail time. Still, even if you don't do jail time, you don't want this on your record if you can avoid it. You should still try and speak to an attorney who might be able to get you a plea deal. 


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