Hello again. I am sorry -- I do not mean to offend, but when cops are willing to turn in family members for what is seemingly a small offense, then I wonder (sometimes discretion is the better part of valor when dealing with other family members).
To your brother's problems -- if this is a first offense, he wants to see if he can get the drug trafficking charge reduced or dropped to simple possession. Obviously, he wants to talk this over with his lawyer, but if the DA is being hard nosed (on a first offense, the DA might simply agree to reduce the charge), then your brother may want to consider claiming that he has a problem with prescription painkillers and ask the court to order some type of rehab program that he would complete in exchange for reducing the charges and possibly letting the case be farmed out to a diversion program (where he would do community service or some such in exchange for the charges being dismissed at the end of a probation period) OR possibly enter a "continued without a finding" and if he does a rehab program and stays clean for a certain period of time, they may dismiss the charges at that point. Even if your brother does not want to admit that he has a problem, it might be in his best interests to do so (and claim that he bought the oxycontin pills for his own use and simply did not want to admit that, because he did not want to initially admit to anyone -- including himself -- that he has an issue with prescription painkillers).
It is very much in his favor that this is his first offense, and there are ways that he can work around this and plead to get things reduced, but he must be willing to do what the court appt lawyer wants him to do (even if it is admitting to a problem and seeking treatment until his case is dismissed). He should try to avoid having a "guilty" finding on his record -- because that will appear on his record as a conviction and will hurt him in the future if he is applying for jobs. If the arrest and charge appear, that is bad enough -- but when there is an actual conviction is when employers are leery of hiring you.
Obviously, I cannot guarantee that he will not do jail time -- West Virginia is one of those states where there are serious problems with oxycontin trafficking (it is in the news all the time -- we hear about it here in MA) -- so they may be a bit hard nosed on him and make him do a bit of time to teach him a lesson. My instincts for these cases, however, tell me that if the DA gets hard nosed and then he admits he has a problem to get a reduction, that it just might work.
And I seriously hope that your cousin the cop is no longer welcome at Thanksgiving dinner? I hope he realizes that he has put himself in a position where he may have to testify against your brother. This is just bad family business all around. Obviously, your cousin had no business helping him or facilitating your brother's 'crimes" -- but to pick up the phone and drop the dime on him personally is a different story. It is at times like these that you learn who you can trust -- I hope that the two of you have learned a lesson on this one.
Please press the GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so I will be paid for my time.
Edited by MaryMeadenEsq on 12/1/2009 at 2:15 AM EST