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Old 06-28-2011, 11:13 AM
 
17 posts, read 68,929 times
Reputation: 19

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Last month, I received a citation for driving on a suspended license from a FTA traffic infraction (stop sign) more than a year ago. On the actual citation, the officer wrote "warned for illegal left" and cited me for misdemeanor 14601(a).

I have since reinstated my license and set a court date for the original traffic infraction citation for January 2012. I have no priors or any other FTAs; an otherwise clean record, save for the open traffic case in January and the misdemeanor citation for driving with suspended license.

My arraignment is on July 20th for the misdemeanor citation at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Courthouse in Downtown LA.

I was originally going to have an attorney represent me at my arraignment. He will be charging me a flat fee of $750 to represent me up to, but not including trial. Should this case proceed to trial, he will be charging $2,000/day, minimum 3 days (total of $6,000). This seems a little steep to me and is a bit of a red flag due to the fact that most attorneys were charging over $1,000 for the initial representation, but less than $1,000 per day during trial.

I am actually considering representing myself at my arraignment and to negotiate with the prosecutor about a plea deal, to save myself $750. Should the prosecutors refuse, I will then ask for a continuance so I can obtain an attorney to represent me.

Any suggestions on how I should proceed? Or should I just suck it up and pay the $750 and hope the case doesn't proceed to trial? How often do these types of cases actually go to trial, and at the LA Metro court for that matter? I hear it's rather busy and most judges/prosecutors do not want to waste man-hours at a trial for lesser offenses.

Thanks!

 
Old 06-28-2011, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,960 posts, read 87,396,476 times
Reputation: 45520
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzsmiley View Post
Last month, I received a citation for driving on a suspended license from a FTA traffic infraction (stop sign) more than a year ago. On the actual citation, the officer wrote "warned for illegal left" and cited me for misdemeanor 14601(a).

I have since reinstated my license and set a court date for the original traffic infraction citation for January 2012. I have no priors or any other FTAs; an otherwise clean record, save for the open traffic case in January and the misdemeanor citation for driving with suspended license.

My arraignment is on July 20th for the misdemeanor citation at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Courthouse in Downtown LA.

I was originally going to have an attorney represent me at my arraignment. He will be charging me a flat fee of $750 to represent me up to, but not including trial. Should this case proceed to trial, he will be charging $2,000/day, minimum 3 days (total of $6,000). This seems a little steep to me and is a bit of a red flag due to the fact that most attorneys were charging over $1,000 for the initial representation, but less than $1,000 per day during trial.

I am actually considering representing myself at my arraignment and to negotiate with the prosecutor about a plea deal, to save myself $750. Should the prosecutors refuse, I will then ask for a continuance so I can obtain an attorney to represent me.

Any suggestions on how I should proceed? Or should I just suck it up and pay the $750 and hope the case doesn't proceed to trial? How often do these types of cases actually go to trial, and at the LA Metro court for that matter? I hear it's rather busy and most judges/prosecutors do not want to waste man-hours at a trial for lesser offenses.

Thanks!
DAmn, we missed our calling: $750 and then $2000 per day if it goes to trial.. I can't advise you on representing yourself, that can be a bad choice, but I certainly feel your pain.

Nita
 
Old 06-28-2011, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,663 posts, read 27,040,805 times
Reputation: 5105
CA law they could have impounded your vehicle for driving with suspended license.
I have no pity, you took a gamble and loss. Look at the fortune you saved by not loosing your vehicle.
 
Old 06-28-2011, 03:27 PM
 
17 posts, read 68,929 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretkona View Post
CA law they could have impounded your vehicle for driving with suspended license.
I have no pity, you took a gamble and loss. Look at the fortune you saved by not loosing your vehicle.

I never asked for pity nor sympathy. Just answers or insight into the questions I asked in my original post concerning the arraignment itself.

It was an expensive lesson to learn, but definitely not a lesson in which I am not willing to face and certainly not a mistake I wish to repeat.

Would appreciate feedback regarding the upcoming arraignment, not whether you lack sympathy for my predicament.

Thanks!
 
Old 06-28-2011, 03:31 PM
 
40,993 posts, read 25,416,598 times
Reputation: 13216
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzsmiley View Post
I never asked for pity nor sympathy. Just answers or insight into the questions I asked in my original post concerning the arraignment itself.

It was an expensive lesson to learn, but definitely not a lesson in which I am not willing to face and certainly not a mistake I wish to repeat.

Would appreciate feedback regarding the upcoming arraignment, not whether you lack sympathy for my predicament.

Thanks!
What's the maximum penalty you could incur? Have you thought about calling up a legal aid service, and just getting their input?
 
Old 06-28-2011, 03:37 PM
 
17 posts, read 68,929 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC at the Ridge View Post
What's the maximum penalty you could incur? Have you thought about calling up a legal aid service, and just getting their input?

I'm more worried about being able to afford the attorney to represent me in the first place than I am about facing the penalty. That's why I would hire an attorney to begin with so he can negotiate with the DA to prevent the case from even going to trial.

Just wondering if anyone else is going through, or been through the same experience with/without a lawyer and how the case worked out.
 
Old 06-28-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,849 posts, read 31,201,147 times
Reputation: 22436
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzsmiley View Post
I never asked for pity nor sympathy. Just answers or insight into the questions I asked in my original post concerning the arraignment itself.

It was an expensive lesson to learn, but definitely not a lesson in which I am not willing to face and certainly not a mistake I wish to repeat.

Would appreciate feedback regarding the upcoming arraignment, not whether you lack sympathy for my predicament.

Thanks!
Tough call.

I'd certainly initiate some dialog with the prosecuting attorney WAY PRIOR to the actual arraignment date and see if you can strike a deal (suspended imposition of sentence maybe). A guilty plea for a lesser charge and a SIOS will save him time and trouble.

Attorneys typically do not like pro se cases because it is taking money out of the mouths of other attorneys, however, you sound intelligent, well spoken and capable of handling your own defense. I'd certainly try to test the waters with the prosecuting attorney well in advance.

Best of luck

20yrsinBranson
 
Old 06-28-2011, 03:45 PM
 
17 posts, read 68,929 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Tough call.

I'd certainly initiate some dialog with the prosecuting attorney WAY PRIOR to the actual arraignment date and see if you can strike a deal (suspended imposition of sentence maybe). A guilty plea for a lesser charge and a SIOS will save him time and trouble.

Attorneys typically do not like pro se cases because it is taking money out of the mouths of other attorneys, however, you sound intelligent, well spoken and capable of handling your own defense. I'd certainly try to test the waters with the prosecuting attorney well in advance.

Best of luck

20yrsinBranson
Thanks for your feedback! Sounds like a great suggestion. Would you know how I can attempt to contact the DA handling my case? Do the courts even provide defendants with this information if I asked for it if I am not an attorney?
 
Old 06-28-2011, 06:13 PM
 
Location: West New York, NJ
69 posts, read 135,380 times
Reputation: 51
Default Yikes!

Sorry to hear about this. What a nightmare. In CA they suspend your license for running a stop sign? That is strict. I''m learning that the fines out here are steep.

I wish I had professional advice. I can only wish you good luck.
 
Old 06-28-2011, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,663 posts, read 27,040,805 times
Reputation: 5105
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephPorterPitt View Post
Sorry to hear about this. What a nightmare. In CA they suspend your license for running a stop sign? That is strict. I''m learning that the fines out here are steep.,,.
No, they do not suspend your license for tickets on infractions.
They suspend them for driving without insurance, non appearance for ticketed violations, DUI, and several more reasons usually because drivers ignore the law.

You really have to f**k up bad to have your license suspended in CA!
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