Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I was given an infraction for pssessing less than an oz of marijuana in November. I went to my court date and originally the fine was 400. He took off 100 so now it's 300. My first question is will this show up on my record? And also how come it was so much? I guess I'm just really confused. I read that because I went to court there is a paper trail or something but I didn't have the option to just pay the ticket. I had to go to court. Is paying the fine an admission of guilt?

Asked on 5/22/13, 3:00 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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Every arrest and every conviction 'shows up' on your permanent DOJ/FBI record. Yes, paying the fine is a guilty plea and a conviction results. If you wanted to know why a judge did or did not do something, you should have asked at the time.

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5/23/13, 11:14 am
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach
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I disagree with Mr. Nelson.

First of all, it was an infraction. It does not count as a misdemeanor or a felony. An infraction is as serious as a parking ticket. An infraction is not considered a "criminal" charge. This means, if you are charged with an infraction, the punishment you may receive can not include jail time, just a fine.

The reason an infraction is not considered "criminal" is because it does not appear on your Department Of Justice criminal records. Infractions do appear on your driving record, court record, local police agency records but generally are not reflected on your DOJ records because they are not considered as serious as a misdemeanor or a felony.

The fine is listed as being $100.00, but there are other code sections that allow the court to tack on other fees and assessments. You should have been given a sheet that set out all the charges.

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5/23/13, 12:29 pm

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