It is very difficult to not be sarcastic in this situation. Imagine going into a situation that is not good for the person who has violated the law, having various people making suggestions that sound good, but it is not clear is any of these suggestions are worthwhile. This can be cleared up immensely by getting a good lawyer to fight the battles, but, that lawyer is so expensive, who really needs one. That kind of thinking is so befuddling. It just does not make sense to even consider not having a lawyer there. It is that person’s life that could become worse than it needs to be. Okay, enough of the sarcasm. It is just so difficult to believe, except from a teenager or under-aged person, that one might go into such a situation without a good situational lawyer at the ready. Amazingly short sighted.
Most often, yes, a good lawyer is essential. Why? No matter how simple and straight forward a legal situation seems, one’s lawyer is that client’s side, looking out for ways to improve the outcome for the client. Small points can make a big difference, but cannot be presented if the lawyer is not there to catch them and present them.
However, given an officer of the law, and the court, has stipulated that a straightforward way out of this situation is to pay a relatively small fine and take specific classes. Additionally, the case will be dismissed, so that there is no record. Again, sounds good. But, what else might the judge state about this case that the officer and the accused did not discuss? What about any other impacts? Are there any? A person going into a court without a lawyer has no chance to change the outcome. A person with a lawyer always has a chance to lessen the penalty regardless of how small the penalty seems.
Experts caution those who want to go into the court room allegedly having a deal verbally stated by an officer of the law or the court. If the verbally stated deal seems to be being altered or deemed unacceptable by the court, or if the allegedly promised dismissal after the fine and course seems to be unavailable, politely state that no further discussion is warranted and that you want to discuss this with a lawyer. The court will cease proceedings until your lawyer gets involved.
In an actual situation, an under-age person was cited by ticket for drinking, but was not behind the wheel of a car. The criminal code that the person was arrested on turned out to have penalties that required loss of license and a maximum punishment can be more than a minimum of six months in jail. Imagine going into court and finding this out. Surprise!! So, it seems clear that even for just a drinking ticket in the wonderful state of North Carolina, a person can go to jail, and can lose one’s license. Last point to make on this situation: Go get a good lawyer!