Should I plead not guilty to underage possession and fake ID charges?

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Should I plead not guilty to underage possession and fake ID charges?

2 undercovers stopped me right outside of a gas station and asked my age. I didn’t want to lie and risk further consequences so iI told them that I was 18. They took my alcohol and ID before cuffing me. Once they got all my information they let me go and gave me court papers. I have been through the diversion program before and finished successfully, including expungement of my charges so my record is clean. Just wondering if I should plead not guilty at my court date? Should I speak with a criminal attorney? In Columbus, OH.

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Anytime criminal charges are involved it is always advisable to have legal counsel.  An experienced attorney can possibly get the charge dismissed on a technicality or possibly at least get it reduced. Since you are not a first-time offender, diversion will no longer be avaialble to you.  

Again, seek legal representation.  An attorney in your area can more fully advise you as to all of this.  If money is an issue, see if you qualify for representation by legal aid or see if they can recommend someone to help you.  Also, check if there is a law school nearby to where the arrest took place; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases.  Additionally, contact the local Bar Association in the county where the proceedings are being held; they may have a list of attorneys who will take hyour case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on hyour income/circumstances.


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