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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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how do i get out of a drug abuse charge?

Resolved Question:

how do i get out of a drug abuse charge?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney, and will be happy to try and assist you further, if you could provide me with some more information first. Also, you should know that due to site limitations, I can't always see all of the information you may have typed, so if I ask a redundant question, I apologize in advance. Can you please tell me:

 

1) Can you explain the circumstances a little more? What exactly do you mean?

 

2) What state is this in?

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.
The rest of your information just came up after I submitted my info request -one more question though: The link you provide is for Ohio -did you get stopped in Indiana or Ohio, as the laws may be different?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I got pulled over in OH with 2 ounces of weed, this is my first time, i would like to keep it off my record, how can i do that, they said that they pulled me over for my windows being to dark and that i didnt use a signal. Well I have a turn signal out that why he thought I didnt use a signal which i also got a ticket for that, but not for my windows being to dark. They also have me a ticket and said that I have to be in court on the 11th of this month and appear in front of a judge and then we will make the final rulling of what will happen. Am I going to go to jail becuase i read on this one site and it said"The proposed law increased the penalty to a fourth degree misdemeanor, carrying penalties of up to a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail." is there any way to stay out of jail and it also not be on my record becuase I am also tring to get a job and that will not help me at all. Can you help me? Thanks for your time.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your reply and patience while I researched. The law in Ohio for such minor possession makes this a minor misdemeanor, a civil infraction that is not a criminal offense and carries a maximum penalty of a $150 fine and no jail time. The exception is in Cincinnati, where the municipal code apparently treats this as a fourth degree misdemeanor (as you've discovered) and can carry a maximum of 30 days in jail. I am assuming that's where you got pulled over?

 

In any event, for a first offense on such a minor charge, you are not going to get jail time, even in conservative Cincinnati. In fact, the law has been heavily criticized for not doing anything to reduce drug offenses in the city. You are far more likely to get a fine, maybe court costs, and possibly community service. Keeping it off your record could be harder. However, you may qualify for a "drug intervention" program, where if you complete the program successfully, they agree to dismiss the charges. You would then be eligible to have your record expunged/sealed.

 

The stop appears to have been valid, but you don't mention how they found the marijuana. If the search was improper or baseless, you could argue to have the search thrown out, and if successful, the charge would likely go away on its own due to no evidence.

 

I would suggest consulting with an Ohio criminal defense lawyer. You should be able to get a low cost or free initial consultation, and even if you don't hire them, it may be helpful to go over the incident with an attorney familiar with Ohio law and discuss your possible options.

 

Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.

 

DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do not smoke the weed i told them that I was getting it for a friend, so by me completing that program will not help me at all becuase i dont even do it. They asked me if i had anything in the car and i told them no, but i knew that they knew something was up becuase they seen someone get out of my car. When they searched my car they said that they could not even find it, i had to tell them where it was. During searching my car they dumped 2 shirts out of a bag that i got from the small and somehow i had a foam cup with ice in it and they got them all wet. And where they got it from was under my back set and they just left it and didnt even put it back when they was done.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

Well, I only mention the drug program because it could be a way to have the charge dismissed and get the record expunged if you were found guilty. I did not know the drugs were not yours. When you say they saw someone get out of the car, do you think they witnessed you buy the drugs? The simple act of someone getting out of your car isn't a sufficient basis necessarily to want to search it after a stop. Did you give the police permission to search your vehicle, or did they just do it on their own?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What does the drug program do? How long is it and is it something i can keep from my parents? The cop told me is a fourth degree misdemeanor, and i looked it up and it has jail time and $250 fine. He didnt say it was a minor, he told me it was a fourth degree misdemeanor. And no i dont think i have them permission to search my car. They told me to get out, they searched me and told me to sat on the crub, one cop talked to me the other searched my car. They asked me what i was doing in that area and i lied to them at first and toldd them that i was up her working on a computer, and i went around to get a business card and i thought he was going to freak out, i told him its ok i am just getting a business card to show him that i worked on computer. And he asked me if they search the car if they would find anything and i told them no they wont, and i know u could smell it a little and he asked me again if they would find anything and i told them yes, and thats when he asked me to step out of the car, but i dont remember him asking me if he could search it.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

A fourth degree misdemeanor is a minor offense, relatively speaking. While the maximum penalty a court could impose is a fine of up to $250 and 30 days in jail, it is very unlikely (I would say highly doubtful) that you get any jail time whatsoever, especially in light of this being your first offense. Also, marijuana possession is a minor offense overall. Courts do not want to put people in jail for having a little weed, especially when it's their first time.

 

As far as the search goes, if they could smell the marijuana when they pulled you over, then that would give them the right to search your vehicle without consent, because they have probable cause at that point.

 

I can't find any specifics on the drug intervention program in Ohio. However, in other states, like Florida, it's usually a weekly program of meetings (once a week) for a period of several months. I don't know what your situation is as far as keepinng it from your parents, but it could be difficult to do so as you'd be out of the house regularly. The court isn't going to notify them though, or anything like that.

 

Because I am not an Ohio lawyer, I would encoruage you again to speak with a criminal defense lawyer in that area about this matter further.

 

 

Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.

 

DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok thanks for all your help, but is there still another way to keep it off my record without going into a program?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

Not that I am aware of, no. Ohio law does allow you to have your record expunged (sealed) following a conviction should you be found guilty, though you must wait one year from the date of final discharge of the case before you can apply to do so.

 

Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.

 

DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
what do you mean i must wait one year from the date of final discharge of the case before you can apply to do so.And how will this affect me in the future, as far as schooling, jobs, and stuff like that? Do i have to report a Minor Misdemeanor or a Fourth Degree when i am apping for a job?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

By final discharge, I mean when the case is offically resolved So, for example, if on your court date, you are found guilty, and only ordered to pay a fine, the case is offically over (final discharge) as of that date. If instead, the judge were to order that you be on probation for 6 months (and that's just a hypothetical, I'm not saying a judge would do that), the final discharge doesn't occur until you are off probation.

 

If you are convicted of the charge, you would have to answer "yes" to any application that asked if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor. Some applications only ask if you have been convicted of a first degree misdemeanor, or felony, and those you could answer "no" to. Also, once you get the charge expunged, you can answer "no" to these types of questions.

 

As far as the impact of such a minor charge, I would say it's minimal, and the impact will diminish with time. I went to law school with a significant number of people who had similar charges who had no trouble getting into school and are today successful lawyers, just to put it in perspective.

 

 

Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.

 

DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
How would i get the charge expunged? And how long does it stay on my record? This is my last question.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

Oh, I don't mind the questions, that's what the site is about, after all. I just hope I've been of some assistance. Essentially, the process works this way:

 

Steps You Must Follow to Get Your Record Sealed

1) You need a copy of the final order of the conviction you wish to have sealed. Contact the Clerk of the Court in which you were convicted. Remember your case was "criminal," so be sure to go to the appropriate part of the Clerk's office. Request a certified copy of the Judgment Order of Conviction(s). You will need to give the Clerk your case number. If you do not have the number, ask the Clerk to use the computer to look it up. For a small fee (one or two dollars), the Clerk will give you a certified copy. Make sure it is certified (stamped with court seal).
2) Fill two forms, (a) "Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record Pursuant to ORC§2953.32"; and (b) "Judgment Entry for Sealing."
3) To apply to have your record sealed, you will have to pay $50 to the Court. If you cannot pay the fee, fill out the "Poverty Affidavit" form. If you do not complete this form, be prepared to pay the $50 fee.
4) After the forms are filled out, attach the "Judgment Order ofConviction" to the "Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record". Make three copies of everything. Take the original and the three copies of the "Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record" and the "Poverty Affidavit" or the $50 fee to the Clerk of Courts in the Court where you were convicted. (Do NOT file the "Judgment Entry"-bring this completed form with you to the hearing. If you are successful at the hearing, the Judge will sign it.) Tell the Clerk that you would like to file your documents. The Clerk will take all copies, stamp them, and give one copy back to you. KEEP THIS COPY! You will need it later.
5) The Court will set your case for a hearing. You will be notified by mail of the date set for the hearing. Mark the date on your calendar.
6) Before the hearing date, prepare what you will say to the Judge. You must convince the Judge that you are no longer someone who would commit a crime (you have been rehabilitated). Explain that you are sorry for what you did and explain how you have changed since that time.
7) On the day of your hearing, the Bailiff will call your name and ask you to present your case. Tell the Judge that you want to have your criminal record sealed, explain the charges you wish to erase from your record and that the proper time has passed. Explain to the Judge that you have been rehabilitated and why it is important to have your record sealed. The Prosecutor will be given the chance to object to your request.
8) The Judge must make a decision weighing your interests in having the records sealed against the government's need to keep these records. The Judge may give a decision in Court or take time to think about the case and make a decision later. If no decision is made in Court, a copy of the decision will be mailed to you. Make sure the Court has your current address!

 

You don't need an attorney for this, you can get the forms yourself from the Clerk of Court and file them on your own, if you wish. The process does take several months though. Once the records are sealed/expunged, they are "gone", for all intents and purposes. You can deny ever being convicted of a crime at that point. Note that law enforcement can still access the records, and should you ever get arrested or charged with another crime, the records can come up again in court. Otherwise, an expungement is good forever, you don't have to renew it or anything like that.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What is a Poverty Affidavit and about how long does this entire process take?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

The expungement process varies from state to state, but count on it taking at least a couple months. I'd say average is probably about 3-4 months.

 

A poverty affidavit would be a form availble from the Clerk whereby you basically attest to not having the income to be able to pay the filing fee, and thereby requesting a waiver of it.

 

 

Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.

 

DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 10266
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well thanks your all your help and all the info.

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