Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Thank you for your post.
I am not sure I understand your question. Certainly any drug offense is very serious. That is true even for a first offense. However, there are charges with different degrees of severity. As a result, the particular offense that you were charged with is critical to a determination of potential penalties.
Certainly, if it is a felony charge, there is a great deal at stake since a conviction, aside from potential prison time and fines, can have a long lasting impact on your ability to find employment or even to rent residences. There are also many potential defenses to the charge. Certainly, a significant issues is whether or not the officer had an articulable, reasonable suspicion of a particularized criminal offense in order to stop your vehicle. if there is no reasonable suspicion any evidence seized after the stop would be the product of an unlawful search and maybe suppressed.
You are only liable if you knew the contraband was in your vehicle and it was within your direct control or constructive control. It would seem that based on the facts presented, you would have a defense that you did not possess the contraband. I would consult with an attorney immediately before entering any plea.
A no contest plea results in a conviction. As a result, it has the same effect as any other conviction and can affect your long term record precluding you from finding employment or even being able to rent. As a result, I would strongly suggest that you consult with a lawyer.
Often, on first time offense, it is possible to avoid a conviction with an agreement to Stay Prosecution pending a probationary period. If you follow all conditions during that period, the charge is dismissed. that may include completing treatment.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).