Q: I live in NC and got an underage alcohol ticket at the 500. How do I avoid my court appearance and clear my record?
I am 20 years old with a clean record and don't want to drive from NC to Indiana to go to court.
A: Look at the ticket or Notice to Appear. File a written plea of not guilty in the case and you will get a court date. Next, file a motion for a plea in absentia and to appear pro se (without an attorney). You can go online and find a pleading to enter but only after the judge approves your motion to appear without an attorney. Based on the prosecutor's position if the State of Florida is not seeking a jail term of ten days or more you will not have any legal issues which would require the judge to hold a hearing on your competency to effectively represent yourself. A better way to handle this is to retain a local attorney to resolve the charges. If you do nothing there will be a warrant issued for your arrest and in the future if you have any contact with law enforcement you can be detained and extradited as an in-custody defendant to the Florida jurisdiction in which you were criminally charged.
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