I have been served with a 415(c) Notice to Appear in regards to noise complaints. It is the first time I ever have to go to court, should I look into getting legal help? What is the best approach for this kind of infraction?
2 Answers from Attorneys
If it is charged as an infraction it is not absolutely necessary that you have a lawyer. However if you want to fight the allegations, you will be a lot better off if you have a lawyer. If it is charged as a misdemeanor you can spend up to 90 days in jail and you should have a lawyer to fight the charges.
If it is filed as an infraction, you can represent yourself if you choose or you can hire an attorney if you want, but you are not entitled to a public defender. If it is a misdemeanor you would be.
If you choose to fight (and this one you should seriously consider fighting), the complaining witnesses would have to testify since it isn't the officer who is the victim, nor can they testify as to the hearsay statements.
If you lose, you could be setting yourself up for them to bring a civil harassment restraining order against you, leading to further headaches.
This is at least worth sitting down face to face with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your options. I'd strongly suggest you find someone who focuses on criminal law and who routinely practices in the court where this case will be heard.
Please pardon any typos - posted via mobile device.
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