What can I do if I’ve been charge with Drunk in Public to keep it from going on my permanent record?

UPDATED: May 8, 2009

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What can I do if I’ve been charge with Drunk in Public to keep it from going on my permanent record?

– Was picked up at a horse race- Was not breathalyzed- Was not read my rights- Was not making a scene

Asked on May 8, 2009 under Criminal Law, Virginia


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

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

DO NOT just go and pay the fine prior to a court date.  Even if you were able to do that, the plea would be deemed a "guilty" plea, and I seriously doubt that the judge would consider a deferral after the fact.

If you were given a citation, look at the ticket. Either a court date will be provided on the ticket, or it may say that you have a certain time frame in which you can call the court and get a court date to "contest" the ticket.  If you are given a specific date on the ticket, you must appear.  If you are given the option to call the court for a court date, then you should do so and they will most likely send you a date in the mail.

 If you go to court, you will have the ability to speak to a prosecutor, HAVE AN ATTORNEY APPEAR WITH YOU.  Don't just go and pay the ticket, even if that is an option.

Hopefully your attorney can get the charges dropped on a technicality or at least have you receive "deferred adjudication".  This basically would mean thatyou get a fine and probation.  If you don't get into anymore trouble during the probation period your record is cleared of the conviction.  Possibly the record of the arrest may remain but then you can apply for an "expungement"  (removal) of that as well.

You should seek legal representation ASAP on this. You are right to be concerned about your criminal record. Too many people try to represent themselves on these things when an attorney can help you sort through this so much better. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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