Ok, this isn't too serious, you'll have to pay the fine, but little else will actually happen. Especially since you are coming forward to clear this up.
And it probably won't cost you a lot of money. The crime was a misdemeanor to begin with, not many grades above a parking ticket. You'll pay the fine, some penalties and it will take a while to clear it up. You can probably do a lot of legwork for this yourself via e-mail with the state of NY department of justice.
Knowing people who've been in similar situations and have cleared them up fairly easily, I don't think you'll have a problem.
Ask the dept of justice if there is a bench warrant out on you, if so ask them how to get it lifted. They'll probably send you some forms, you'll fill them out, pay the fine, and the case will be dismissed. Usually after that it will take about 30 days for the warrant to be totally negated.
then you should have no problems. Doing the same thing via a lawyer would probably cost you a couple thousand and accomplish the same thing.
Forget all the lawyer/attorney rubbish for now.
All you need to do is contact the said police department concerned and ask them what is your situation.
Don't bother phoning - because they won't have a clue, for at least a week, who you are.
Either email the department or put it all in writing and post them a good old fashioned letter with a photocopy of your documentation.
I've found from past experience, that legal departments in the USA are not the quickest at replying to emails. I have been in touch with several Government departments out there too - and on more than one occasion have 'never' received a reply at all when I've sent an email. I think it's best you write a letter, if you want a reply before the end of the decade ! !
When you get the response, you'll know exactly where you stand - either in the clear, or in the s**t.
Contacting lawyers etc. is all just fee paying unnecessary procedures at this stage.
Excellent advice from Flying Bob, I am an ex pat and often assist people I have been in contact with to start their residency or work permit tramite (paperwork).. I advise people to bring two important documents Birth Certificate and Police Report for last 2 years in city, town or county of residence with them APOSTILLADO, certification by the Department of State in the capital city of US State or Canadian Province, et. where you were born and for the Police Report, the same from local police dept. or constabulary, costs usually $10 per apostillado and can be paid by credit card and securely mailed to you in your home country, there is a "Relocation Service" on line that charges $200 usd per apostillado for those poor souls who neglected to do their homework and in a rush to get their offshore residency or work permit. What did I do, I tell those sans their apostillado to call directly their Dept. of State..apostillados and Police Dept. (I let them use my MagicJack, free call to usa or canada) and arrane to pay by credit card online, the documents can then be mailed to a family member or close friend up north and be forwarded.You do all of this if you do not wish to pay the service $200 per document, the US or Cannuk or UK Embassies and Consulates are only able to give you address and phone number to contact, never ever ever bother to e mail public agencies, especially if you are abroad, and vice versa if relocating overseas dont waste your time e mailing Immigration offices, call on the phone or go in person. apunto.
Now the mystery of paying the fine for being a no show has been cleared up..yes, possession of a small amount in nyc is a misdemeanor, courts in nyc have too many serious felonies to worry about
Often asking for help works, bravo to Flying Bob, you are lucky you found this forum rather than T-------- T---!!!!!
Works when you work it and if one lucks out they find a public servant who is helpful, always be polite, explain your situation and never whine.....
The first and largest calcomanias..bumper stickers..on the wall of just about any gringo or ex pat watering hole way down south here is NO WHINING
Be grateful you have a 'hard' passport..us, uk, eu, japan, korea, australia, nz, etc. and funds to travel, yesterday got a grisly photo of 189 illegal immigrnts being held on a plantation in Mexico either pay ransom, or become a drug mule.
If you are a whiner, bleeding heart or faint of heart in this day or age travel with a tour operator.
As far as snail mail-sending a Registered Letter is one way to bring your missive to the attention of those responsible.
I do hope things will turn out fine for you.