I went to San Fernando court today and learned of additional charges against me that I was not aware of, is this allowed
Question: I went to San Fernando court today and learned of additional charges against me that I was not aware of, is this allowed? I went to court for a public intoxication charge, however when I went up to talk to the judge I learned that I had also been charged with underage possession of alcohol. I was pretty intoxicated when I was actually arrested and honestly do not remember much of the actual arrest but I never received a ticket for underage possession, only for public intoxication. I plead 1st time offender and got community service, alcohol classes, and probation which is very standard. However, I would like to know if there is anything I could do to maybe appeal the decision because I had no idea about my charged of underage possession of alcohol.
Answer: If you were made aware of the new charges, then knowingly and intelligently entered a plea to those charges, then it is not something you can appeal. The potential remedy in an event you were unclear of what was going on would be a motion to withdraw a plea, which must be made as soon as possible, and generally, within 180 days from entering the plea unless special circumstances exist. An appeal would be a potentially appropriate remedy in situations where there was an actual trial and you lost that trial.
To answer your other question, a prosecutor can add charges after initial filing and prior to resolution of the case. In the future, I would recommend having an attorney handle any matters such as this (and before entering a plea) to handle these situations as they occur.
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