What to do if I got cited for ticket scalping by undercover cops but had no idea it was a crime?

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What to do if I got cited for ticket scalping by undercover cops but had no idea it was a crime?

I have no priors and I didn’t know it was illegal to sell tickets to a fight on casino grounds, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. When I offered to sell tickets to an undercover cop I was completely unaware of the legality of the offense and they took me to a back room at the hotel and I wasn’t allowed to make phone calls. They took my tickets for evidence and I received a misdemeanor citation for ticket scalping. The cops didn’t explain that much and I wasn’t in any position to defend myself from implications. I was compliant and sincere yet I still got into trouble. What are my options I just turned 21 and I don’t want this to ruin my life?

Asked on November 15, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Hire a defense attorney to help you. Sadly, as the saying goes, "ignorance of the law is  no defense," so that fact that you did not know this illegal will not help you. But if you have a clean regard, express contrition, did not  resist arrest, are young, etc.--i.e, all the things you write about--you may be able to have the charge dismissed, or at least reduced to a lesser charge. Experienced defense counsel will be able to highlight all the factors in your favor and will have the best chance of coming to a good outcome.


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