What is the name of your state? California
I was recently arrested and cited with Public Intoxication (PC 647(f)). I spent the night in county jail but have very little memory of it, or the arrest itself. (a weekend of binge drinking will do that) Upon my release, I was informed of a court date set in December. As this is my first offense (and I am a poor college student who can't afford to pay a lawyer for advice), I'm completely in the dark as to what this all means and what to expect in court. I have gotten some advice from friends, though I doubt they really know what they are talking about. I'm hoping to get some advice before my court date so I have a better idea of what will happen.
Should I get a public defender? How does that work? Should I plead "no contest"? What exactly does that mean? I've been to AA meetings since, will that make a difference? What kind of punishment is typical for this kind of offense? I know jail time is highly unlikely, but what about a fine (amount?), probation and community service? What about expungement? What exactly does that mean?
Most importantly, I'd like to know what implications this will have on my future. Will this stay on my record forever? If so, how will it affect any future plans I may have (employment, etc). If you can't already tell, I'm quite nervous about this whole thing so any help offered is much appreciated. Thanks!!