If you have been cited for Minor in Possession of Alcohol in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, or elsewhere near the beach, what you likely have is actually two documents.
The first, on the front, is what is called a Notice to Appear, also known as a criminal summons. This paper indicates your name and identifying information as well as what charges are being brought against you. This is a document that is issued in lieu of being arrested for a crime.
Keep in mind, that the charges are REAL. It is not like a traffic ticket, citation, or infraction. It is a misdemeanor criminal charge that will be a part of your permanent criminal record.
The second part of the document may be on the back side of the Notice to Appear. There may be a heading indicating that it is a “Written Plea Agreement” or “Plea and Sentencing Agreement.”
If your document contains this or any language similar, do not sign it or send it to the clerk of court without first speaking with an attorney.
If you sign this paper and send it in, you will in fact be entering a plea of guilty or no contest to an actual criminal charge!
It still may be possible to get a better result, even possibly a dismissal under certain circumstances.
But no matter what, do not assume that this supposed agreement is anything less than a fast-track criminal conviction, because that it exactly what it is. Court dates down here can be taken care of by an attorney, so don’t let that stop you from doing what’s best for you and your future.
Contact me for a free consultation to discuss your options – (850) 362-6655.