Joplin, MO asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for Florida

Q: Was recently issued a criminal citation in FL for driving w/o a license. No past arrests but I can't afford a lawyer.

I was given a court date and I don't know what to expect or do? I cannot afford an attorney and I am concerned about having a conviction, granted it's a misdemeanor, but still. Without the representation of an attorney, will I be offered a court appointed attorney, or will this just be a quick process in which a fine is levied, or is there something more I should be concerned about. I don't want to go to jail, but I'm certain there will be some punishment right? Again, this is the first time I've ever been in trouble, and I did not in fact have a license. What am I looking at in terms of a punishment, realistically? And can you give me an idea of what I should do when I show up to court? I am lost and I am scared because I don't know what to do now. Again, hiring an attorney is not a possibility at this time. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Heather  Bryan
Heather Bryan
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Lakeland, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I am not sure if you have been given a civil infraction or charged with a criminal charge. If you have been charged with a criminal charge and you cannot afford an attorney, you will be offered the representation of a public defender. I would suggest saying yes to that option so that you have the attorney with you to explain the charge and all of your options. If it is a 2nd degree MM, the most the punishment can be is 60 days jail or 6 months probation. If it is a 1st degree MM, the most is 1 year jail or 1 year probation, or a combination of both, not to exceed 1 year.

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