Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I'm in CA and I was found with a pill in my purse. I thought it was xanax but I think they said it ended up being hydrocodone. I only had one on me and I have never been in trouble with the law or the police before. I was not arrested at the time, the police just filled out some paperwork and let me go, but now I received a letter saying 'A complaint was filed charging that you committed a violation of section 4060 BP Possess Controlled Substance without Prescription. To enter a plea of guilty or not guilty report to the justice center. What should I do? Do I need a lawyer or should I just show up on that day? If i do just show up and try to plead not guilty, what happens? Do they give you a lawyer? Do they just dismiss the charges or do you have to go to a trial?

Asked on 9/12/13, 6:26 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

If you cannot afford your own attorney, you can ask the court to continue the arraignment (which is the hearing where they take your plead) and ask the court to appoint the public defender to represent you.

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Answered on 9/12/13, 6:50 pm
Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro

Mr. Roach is right. But if you can afford an attorney you may bring one with you or you may ask the court for time to hire an attorney.

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Answered on 9/13/13, 2:03 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

If you do not understand what is going on, and need to ask 'what to do', then you are not capable of effectively representing yourself or making smart decisions. Hire an attorney. If you can't afford to, request the Public Defender be appointed, then follow his advice.

If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Iíll be happy to help fight and get the best outcome possible, using whatever defenses and sympathies there may be.

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Answered on 9/13/13, 12:36 pm

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