QUESTION:
I’m 19 years old and decided it was smart to run in the middle of a college soccer game. I ended up getting arrested. I have court a court date at the end of November and want to know how to remove that off my record. It’s my first time ever being arrested and in trouble with the law. They never breathalyzed me but I did admit to being buzzed. If I represent myself, can I still get it expunged from my record by doing everything the judge wants me to do? Or would it be smart to get an attorney if they don’t already give me one? Like I said, this was my first time, so I have no clue what to expect. Thank you!
ANSWER:
It would be tidier to beat the case than to try to remove a conviction. Typically, the negotiations of requirements to get a dismissal or a different charge are conducted with the DA. Then on low-level misdemeanors, the judge will almost always sentence in accordance with that agreement, often without too much factual inquiry. Though in some situations when the DA won’t get on board, you can seek an indicated plea from the judge. In terms of expungement after a conviction. If you suffer a conviction, chances are it will be at least one year before you can expunge it. But the priority should be to avoid the 647(f) conviction to avoid the driver’s license suspension. If your income is below a certain threshold, you will be able to use the public defender, or you can hire a private attorney. Conventional wisdom is that self-representation is rarely a good idea.

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