I did not realize that my court date was today, I thought it was tomorrow. What should I do?

DETAILS

I work at a bank and can not afford to have a petty misdemeanor on my record because from my understanding that can lose me my job. I got a ticket for speeding, posession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. My court date was apparently scheduled for the 9th of October, and I thought it was for the 10th. Today being the 9th I am going to go to the clerk first thing in the morning tomorrow. Is this a good idea, or should I just pay the fine over the phone and make sure a warrant is not issued.

ANSWER

Paying the fine over the phone = guilty plea. Do not do that if your goal is to keep your record clean. If you pay the fine, you will automatically be found guilty of all the charges. The warrant can be taken care of without you pleading guilty. That is a totally separate issue.

The better option is to consult with an attorney who can review your case and help you get the best possible outcome for your situation. A criminal offense is a serious matter with serious collateral consequences. Going in alone is never advisable.