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.