Question: “For a first time offender, what is the best possible outcome I can get for a misdemeanor?”
Answer: Each case is different, and the defenses and arguments to be made vary from case to case, even when the charges are the same. With respect to whether you can keep your record clean, the answer is yes, possibly, in this type of case it is sometimes possible to complete informal diversion whereby you complete some tasks, return, and upon proof of completion, you obtain some benefit ranging from a reduced charge to, in some cases, a dismissal. A pardon would not be applicable in your case. However, should it be necessary, you could seek an expungement to clean your record. Consult with an attorney to represent you in this matter, and explain the possible outcomes with you further.
Question: “My husband has a prior misdemeanor from 2005 for domestic violence; has an INS hold; and was arrested on these charges: pc29805 and hs11377(A). What should I do?”
Answer: Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the immigration consequences that he is facing, as an offer that could be seen as ideal for a citizen client can have very serious consequences for him. It’s likely that you will also have to contact an immigration attorney, as aside from the open case, your husband will likely have to address the previous conviction as well.
Question: “I know that I have warrants from 13 years ago, but I don’t know what they ar all for. How can I find out what I am up against when I go into court? I want to turn myself in. I can’t afford a lawyer, so I will be representing myself.”
Answer: If at all possible, avoid representing yourself. You may have remedies available to you. If your only objective is finding what the warrants are for, I’d still suggest that you contact an attorney who provides a free consultation, as we do have the means of discovering the information that you seek; and furthermore, can discuss which remedies, if any, could be available to you.
Question: ”I was arrested for California health and safety code 11550. The court date has passed and I have not been charged. What happens now?”
Answer: Were you present in court on the scheduled date? If so, what were you told? The case may have been rejected by the district attorney’s office, or there may have been a delay in filing. There are statues of limitation within which the prosecutor’s office must file a case against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate further and contact the proper people and offices on your behalf to determine that likelihood of a future filing or, in the alternative, determine whether a case has already been filed against you following the originally scheduled arraignment date.