If I was arrested for disobeying a police officer, do I really need a lawyer or I can handle this on my own?

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If I was arrested for disobeying a police officer, do I really need a lawyer or I can handle this on my own?

I am 18 and a college student. This is my first offense and I cooperated with the officer. I was planning on pleading guilty.

Asked on January 3, 2012 under Criminal Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You do not indicate whether the offense was a misdemeanor or a felony-- but regardless, you should really get a lawyer who is familiar with the justice system in your area to help you handle the resolution of your case.... especially because you are a college student.  Some misdemeanors and many felonies can disqualify you from receiving federal student aid.  In this economy, loosing funds can crush a college career.  Second, and similarly, many felonies and misdemeanors will disqualify people from obtaining a license in certain careers, even though you have completed a full degree program.  Considering your age and if you were coopertive, your jurisdiction may offer some type of diversion program where you perform community service or other program in exchange for a dismissal.  If you cannot get the case dismissed, you at least want to a type of offer that you can later can expunged or "non-disclosed" from your criminal record so that it won't haunt your future career options.  It sounds like you're trying to stand up and do the right thing, but you could do yourself a lot of harm just because you don't know all of the options that are available to you. 


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