Probation for a 3 yr term for petty theft and given a citation for public intoxication. Can I fight it without violating my probation?

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Probation for a 3 yr term for petty theft and given a citation for public intoxication. Can I fight it without violating my probation?

Recently I got a citation for public intoxication. I hadn’t intended to drink and go walking. I ran after a friend who was angry at their parent for not picking him up. He did not know the area so I left after him to get him. I convinced him to come back, and that’s when the police got me and gave me a ticket. They mistakenly thought we were other suspects that had broken into a house. They were trying to say I threw something in the bushes. I was pleading my case that i had nothing illegal with me.  They kept searching and they found a beer can and automatically assumed it was mine.  It was not mine.  Can I fight this without violating my probation?

Asked on June 25, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of Califonia, there appear to be a few issues as play here.  First, the decision whether to violate your probation most likely rests with your probation officer.  Therefore, he/she could most likely violate you for 1) your citation, or 2) a conviction with respect to that citation.  Therefore, although it may be less likely for your probation officer to find out about the citation if you do not fight it, it is more likely that you will be violated if he/she does find out about it after you have already plead guilty to it.  Thus, it is never a good idea to simply plead guilty to a crime that you have not committed, due in part to the potential consequences (violation of probation) being one of them.  On the other hand, I am sympathetic to your concern that fighting the citation may bring unnecessary attention to the citation.

Due to the complexity of this matter, and the fact that you have a potential period of incarceration hanging over your head depending on its resolution, I highly recommend that you consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney in the interest of obtaining the most favorable resolution of this matter as possible.


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