ShouldI fight a nuisance party ticket or go to trial?

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ShouldI fight a nuisance party ticket or go to trial?

I am a college student, over 21, with 4 other roommates. We hosted a party and after most of the people left a police officer showed up. I answered the door and she asked me to have everyone leave who didn’t belong there. There was no music and only a few people outside. I asked a couple of people to leave. She then asked me to step outside and when I did she arrested me for a nuisance party. The prosecutor stated I shouldn’t plead guilty if I wasn’t but should go to a bench trial. Is it just her word against mine and should I just plead guilty or should I go ahead with the trial?

Asked on September 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no right or wrong answer. What you should bear in mind is that if it is just her (the police officer's) word against yours, the court is much more likely to believe the police officer than you; whether you think that's fair or not, police officers are generally judged to be more credible witnesses than the actual accused (who, after all, has something at stake, and therefore something to gain by lying). Therefore, if all you have is your testimony, there is a good chance you would lose, so if by pleading guilty it appears you would get more lenient treatment (which is very often, but not always, the case), then it may be to your advantage to plead guilty; again, though, we can't advise you as to what to do, but just lay out some of the factors for your consideration. Good luck.


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