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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    6

    Default Minor in Possession, Failure to Appear

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California

    To begin with, this is my second offense of MIP and I am 21 now. I really don't have a problem with alcohol and I've had a beer or two in me while getting my both tickets. I RARELY get drunk, so please focus on helping my legal situation and not give any thought on how I should work on my personal life.

    Anyhow,I was cited with a minor in possession of alcohol in August, and when asked if I had an ID, I showed the officer my foreign drivers license. He did not write down my foreign drivers license number and he did not take my fingerprints and the address is wrong. The first time I was charged with an MIP, they took both my drivers license number and my fingerprints. I decided not to appear to court, acting like I did not receive the ticket and I did not get a notice by mail since the address given is wrong. However, I just received a letter from the DMW that my license was suspended and I should contact the court. I did so and they told me about the story and I acted like I never received a ticket. They told me to appear to traffic court mon-thur 8am and file a misperson claim or something like that.

    Now, my question. What are my chances of fighting this charge and what are your suggestions? I really can't afford to lose my drivers license since I am alone in a foreign country and it would really make my life more difficult without a car. Other than that, I am an Engineering student with 3.0++ GPA with no other violations than the first MIP charge.

    A friend of mine told me to contact the DMW of my country and tell them that I lost my drivers license and tell the court that someone must have used my ID and I did not know that it was gone until I was notified by the court about the situation. If the officer would have taken fingerprints it could prove that I was innocent.

    Also, this happened in a college town where more than a 500 MIPs are given out every week. What are the chances of the officer remembering me after 6 months?

    Thank you in advance!

    Sincerely,
    A worried college student.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    15,109

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Ca, Fta

    If you failed to appear, then you will potentially have a warrant for your arrest. You might also lose your privilege to drive in CA no matter what state or country you have a license in. If you intend to commit the crime of perjury and lie about receiving the citation, you turn an offense which has NO POTENTIAL of jail time (if cited under the state B&P code) into a misdemeanor criminal offense that can result in jail and, maybe, deportation. You really want to do that?

    As a matter of fact, as a student here, you are required under CA to obtain a driver's license here. You are already in violation of the law.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,979

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Ca, Fta

    Quote Quoting lajjvi
    View Post
    To begin with, this is my second offense of MIP and I am 21 now.
    If this is your second offence, there is a pattern here and that makes it more difficult for you to be believed as credible.

    Quote Quoting lajjvi
    View Post
    I showed the officer my foreign drivers license. He did not write down my foreign drivers license number
    Then can you explain how the DMV contacted you? I could only think that the officer wrote your driver license number down in his notes.

    Quote Quoting lajjvi
    View Post
    A friend of mine told me to contact the DMW of my country and tell them that I lost my drivers license and tell the court that someone must have used my ID and I did not know that it was gone until I was notified by the court about the situation. If the officer would have taken fingerprints it could prove that I was innocent.
    So your going to state that "you had lost your drivers license, and someone else presented that identification without your knowledge and received a summons".

    Here are some things to think about:

    1. Are you going to tell the judge that your drivers license just magically reappeared and is back in your possession after you lost it and that someone else used the drivers license to present to the police and they were issued a summons with your identification?

    2. If your going to say that the drivers licence is still lost, have you obtained a new drivers licence, and if so, how long ago and how long after you were notified in the mail about the summons that made you aware of the lost license?

    3. Have you made a police report about the lost drivers licensee, if so, when - if not, then why not?

    4. Was your drivers license that you (or supposable someone you don't know) presented to the officer issued to you with a photo?

    Quote Quoting lajjvi
    View Post
    Also, this happened in a college town where more than a 500 MIPs are given out every week. What are the chances of the officer remembering me after 6 months?
    Out of the 500 or so MIP issued summonses, how many of them are issued to people with foreign drivers license and how many were issued by this officer only?

    If the number of summonses issued from this officer were a low number, you may just stand out in the crowd a little more then you think. If this officer wrote all 500 of them, you may just blend in a little more.

    Did this officer take extensive notes that will joggle the officers memory and that he can refer to in court?

    Were you polite or rude to the officer?

    Did you give the officer any reason to remember you?

    If the drivers license was photo issued, did the officer make a copy of the license for his notes? Some police vehicles are equipped with scanners and printers.

    Doe's the police officer work for a municipality or for the campus? If this is a campus police officer, his only job dutys are in this particular campus and knows a lot of faces on the campus because he sees the SAME faces day-in and day-out. This would make you more recognizable to him. If this is a municipal officer, there would be a lot more faces to remember because the police officer would constantly see new faces everyday and have a lot more territory to cover. This would make it a little more difficult for the officer to remember a face.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Failure to Appear

    No, the drivers license did not magically appear. I'm still not in possession of my foreign drivers license and I'm thinking of reporting it stolen to the DMV of my country, now that I know that someone else used my Swedish drivers license.

    The court and the DMV probably worked together and suspended my Californian Driver's license using my Name and date of birth. I was notified in the mail about a week ago and I have yet to contact my country about the loss of the license.

    No, the cop did not take a copy of my foreign license and I am sure of that he did not take any other notes for himself since it was on the streets outside a university and the only thing he wrote down was on the ticket.

    The cop works for the campus but I do not attend to that University and there are about 500 students from my country studying in the same city who frequently get the same ticket as I did, so him remembering me is unlikely... but you never know. I was very polite and did not give any reason at all for him to remember me. I stayed at the same place for another hour and I saw him give out at least 20 more tickets from the same place, same night, same hour.

    What do you think my chances are? If I go to court and want to file a misperson claim, do I tell the judge I'm not guilty and receive a new court date where I explain my situation or do I tell the judge immediately that it's a misperson claim?

    Also, if I go now to court and tell them it was me and I missed my court date, what are my chances of the judge reducing it to a infraction and giving me a restricted license? Will I have to pay extra for missing my court date?

    Thank you so much for all the help. It is really appreciated. I cannot believe I got myself into this situation after being such a good student and about to transfer to an excellent university to get my Bachelors and then Masters in EE. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Failure to Appear

    They may not want to be bothered with you. However, they might and this B.S. that you are trying out on this forum will probably piss the court off more than you being honest. You'd be amazed at how good a cop's memory is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,979

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Failure to Appear

    Strike 1 is your prior run in with the law for the same exact infraction. The judge sees your prior infraction for MIP and what do you think is going to be the first thing that runs through his head? I'll bet it will be "if this idiot thinks he can pull the wool over this courts eyes, he has another thing coming?"

    Strike 2 is that you haven't made a police report about a very important document that was lost or stolen. You should have filed the police report as soon as you learned the license was missing, but wait! You still haven't filed a police report and it has been how long? Your digging your grave and you don't even know it.

    Quote Quoting lajjvi
    View Post
    The court and the DMV probably worked together and suspended my Californian Driver's license using my Name and date of birth. I was notified in the mail about a week ago and I have yet to contact my country about the loss of the license.
    On a police officers ticket there are certain spaces allotted so the officer can write stuff down on the ticket without the person that receives the copy seeing what he has wrote. I can assure you that your DL number is on his portion of the ticket.

    Quote Quoting lajjvi
    View Post
    What do you think my chances are? If I go to court and want to file a misperson claim, do I tell the judge I'm not guilty and receive a new court date where I explain my situation or do I tell the judge immediately that it's a misperson claim?
    I think you have a 25% chance of walking out of the court room a free man and a 75% chance of walking out a felon. I can tell you one thing, catch a felony charge off of this and all the money you spent on your education would go right down the drain. Felons have a very hard time finding a job that pays minimum wage, not alone a job they can make a living on.

    Quote Quoting lajjvi
    View Post
    Also, if I go now to court and tell them it was me and I missed my court date, what are my chances of the judge reducing it to a infraction and giving me a restricted license? Will I have to pay extra for missing my court date?
    Your really better of paying a local lawyer that knows the court system that you will be dealing with, then someone on a web-forum that could be 1000 miles or more away.

    There is still one very important question that you haven't answered, was the foreign drivers license that you presented to the police officer issued with a photo?

    This is the question that seals your fate...
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Failure to Appear

    If you want to live in a foreign country, you should abide by the rules of that country.

    Right now
    1. You do not have a valid drivers license.
    2. You likely are not carrying proof of registration and valid car insurance. This will not look good.
    3. You have a prior charge.
    4. Don't even use your grade point average in college in your defense. You are smart enough to know that you are breaking a lot of laws.
    5. Happy Deportation!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,979

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Failure to Appear

    And here is what I don't get:

    He handed this officer a government issued document with his photo on it (I'm assuming), and he still wants to make his defense 'that it wasn't him'...

    I guess he doesn't think the officer didn't compare the photo to the holder? Or I guess the officer was wearing a Mickey Mouse costume?
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Failure to Appear

    Quote Quoting PandorasBox
    View Post
    If you want to live in a foreign country, you should abide by the rules of that country.

    Right now
    1. You do not have a valid drivers license.
    2. You likely are not carrying proof of registration and valid car insurance. This will not look good.
    3. You have a prior charge.
    4. Don't even use your grade point average in college in your defense. You are smart enough to know that you are breaking a lot of laws.
    5. Happy Deportation!
    1. My drivers license is going to be suspended starting January 1st 2012.
    2. I do carry both of them.
    3. The prior charge was reduced to an infraction and traffic violation after attending AA meeting and youth offending programs.

    To WhosThatGuy:
    I learned about the ID being stolen about a week ago, is it too late too late to report it stolen? Is a week really that long to report to a foreign country?
    I am pretty sure that he didn't take the DL number on his page since he really did not know how to read the license. He didn't even know what country it was from, country being a European and very famous one, using the same letters as English. Also, a lot of people can look just like me. People use others ID frequently, why wouldn't anyone be able to use mine?
    1 to 4 ratio doesn't sound promising. I really did f*ck up this time and I'm afraid I ruined $100.000 worth of education with a lot of student loans. I guess I should contact a lawyer, even though I am really low on money right now.

    Even though some of you respond in insulting way I still appreciate every single post of yours... I just have to figure out what to do from now on. Any ideas on how to get myself out of this situation as smoothly as possible?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: Minor in Possession, Failure to Appear

    Your ID wasn't stolen. You are just too gutless to take the responsibility for what you did.

    Nice try....it didn't work here, it will definitely not work in court. And the judge will take the "I just noticed my ID was stolen" lie into consideration when sentencing you.

    How to get you out of this as smoothly as possible?
    - Get a Criminal Defense Lawyer. You can afford the plane ticket, you can afford the lawyer.
    - Do not leave the country until your case is settled.
    - Do not lie your ass off to the lawyer, prosecutor, and judge.

    If you go to someone to ask advice....or to a lawyer....you should be honest.

    "A friend of mine told me to contact the DMW of my country and tell them that I lost my drivers license and tell the court that someone must have used my ID and I did not know that it was gone until I was notified by the court about the situation. "

    See, because of this, I can't buy your "My ID was lost/stolen" bullshit.

    Also...your prior charge was reduced....but obviously did not work. The prosecutor and judge will be aware of it. Expect more AA meetings. Possible probation with random drug/alcohol screenings (guess what, you get to pay for this privilege).

    A lot of people can match your description, but police are trained to note details. And yes, that cop can ID you in court.

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