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My son was the one charged. I am retired Army and since he is a fulltime student, he has a family member military ID. He did not have his ID with him when he was picked up. As far as I know, I am thinking he is to appear in a federal court since the letter states, United States of America versus my son. This is his first time before a federal judge.
18 U.S.C.S. § 1382. Entering military, naval, or Coast Guard property Whoever, within the jurisdiction of the United States, goes upon any military, naval, or Coast Guard reservation, post, fort, arsenal, yard, station, or installation, for any purpose prohibited by law or lawful regulation; or Whoever reenters or is found within any such reservation, post, fort, arsenal, yard, station, or installation, after having been removed therefrom or ordered not to reenter by any officer or person in command or charge thereof-- Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
§ 844a. Civil penalty for possession of small amounts of certain controlled substances (a) In general. Any individual who knowingly possesses a controlled substance that is listed in section 401(b)(1)(A) [21 USCS § 841(b)(1)(A)] in violation of section 404 [21 USCS § 844(b)(1)(A)] in an amount that, as specified by regulation of the Attorney General, is a personal use amount shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $ 10,000 for each such violation. (b) Income and net assets. The income and net assets of an individual shall not be relevant to the determination whether to assess a civil penalty under this section or to prosecute the individual criminally. However, in determining the amount of a penalty under this section, the income and net assets of an individual shall be considered. (c) Prior conviction. A civil penalty may not be assessed under this section if the individual previously was convicted of a Federal or State offense relating to a controlled substance. (d) Limitation on number of assessments. A civil penalty may not be assessed on an individual under this section on more than two separate occasions. (e) Assessment. A civil penalty under this section may be assessed by the Attorney General only by an order made on the record after opportunity for a hearing in accordance with section 554 of title 5, United States Code. The Attorney General shall provide written notice to the individual who is the subject of the proposed order informing the individual of the opportunity to receive such a hearing with respect to the proposed order. The hearing may be held only if the individual makes a request for the hearing before the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date such notice is issued. (f) Compromise. The Attorney General may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without conditions, any civil penalty imposed under this section. (g) Judicial review. If the Attorney General issues an order pursuant to subsection (e) after a hearing described in such subsection, the individual who is the subject of the order may, before the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date the order is issued, bring a civil action in the appropriate district court of the United States. In such action, the law and the facts of the violation and the assessment of the civil penalty shall be determined de novo, and shall include the right of a trial by jury, the right to counsel, and the right to confront witnesses. The facts of the violation shall be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. (h) Civil action. If an individual does not request a hearing pursuant to subsection (e) and the Attorney General issues an order pursuant to such subsection, or if an individual does not under subsection (g) seek judicial review of such an order, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate district court of the United States for the purpose of recovering the amount assessed and an amount representing interest at a rate computed in accordance with section 1961 of title 28, United States Code. Such interest shall accrue from the expiration of the 30-day period described in subsection (g). In such an action, the decision of the Attorney General to issue the order, and the amount of the penalty assessed by the Attorney General, shall not be subject to review. (i) Limitation. The Attorney General may not under this subsection [section] commence proceeding against an individual after the expiration of the 5-year period beginning on the date on which the individual allegedly violated subsection (a). (j) Expungement procedures. The Attorney General shall dismiss the proceedings under this section against an individual upon application of such individual at any time after the expiration of 3 years if-- (1) the individual has not previously been assessed a civil penalty under this section; (2) the individual has paid the assessment; (3) the individual has complied with any conditions imposed by the Attorney General; (4) the individual has not been convicted of a Federal or State offense relating to a controlled substance; and (5) the individual agrees to submit to a drug test, and such test shows the individual to be drug free. A nonpublic record of a disposition under this subsection shall be retained by the Department of Justice solely for the purpose of determining in any subsequent proceeding whether the person qualified for a civil penalty or expungement under this section. If a record is expunged under this subsection, an individual concerning whom such an expungement has been made shall not be held thereafter under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury, false swearing, or making a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge a proceeding under this section or the results thereof in response to an inquiry made of him for any purpose.
I will supplement this as needed. Please reply if you need more information.
Under SectionXXXXXcan waive fines, court costs, and costs of prosecution if the defendant does not have the ability to pay. That is not dismissal of the charges it is simply waiving certain financial aspects of the conviction.
Under Section 844a (c), I do not think your son will qualify for the alternative civil penalty since he has a prior record (even though it is expunged it will very likely disqualify him).
He needs an attorney. If he is not financially able to hire an attorney, he should contact the federal public defender's office and inquire about their representation. They may not work with him until his arraignment date but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Please reply if I can assist further.
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I hope it all works out for you both. In cases where I see people who have been charged multiple times with possession, I always begin talking to them about rehabilitation options. I don't know if that is appropriate for your son, but I thought I should mention it. The overall goal of simple possession laws is rehabilitation but the system does a terrible job of it. Most people who successfully end a narcotic addiction do so on their own... not as the result of criminal sanctions.
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