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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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Hello, about a month ago I was driving around with my friends.

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Hello, about a month ago I was driving around with my friends. A long story short, we were pulled over and we gave the cops the two pipes and about .6 of a gram of weed. He wrote me and my friend two tickets: one for possession of weed and the other possession of paraphernalia. All he said when he gave us the tickets, is to show up at court to determine the fine of the tickets, seeing as he did not write one down on the tickets. I live in Illinois, and am 18 years old. I am wondering: What can I expect from the court? Is this a misdemeanor/felony? Will it go on my record since it is just two tickets? I have never had any trouble with the law or a record for that matter, so I know nothing about what can happen. Will there be probabtion as well as what can happen is I ask for Court Supervision to keep the tickets off my record? THanks very very much, Alex
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

The officer wrote you two tickets because there was no reason to take you and your friend to jail, but it's not the same as if it were a speeding ticket (you can see that, in part because the ticket doesn't give you the option of just paying a fine to avoid a court date). In Illinois, possession of marijuana is a Class C misdemeanor, which mean there is a maximum penalty of up to one year imprisonment and a fine of $2,500. There is a mandatory minimum fine of $200. The judge also has discretion to sentence you to probation or drug abuse counseling.

I don't know where in Illinois you were caught, but if it was Cook County, you can ask to go to Drug School. If you complete the drug education program, the charges will be dismissed, and you may be able to have your record expunged later.

For the paraphernalia charge (with intent to use), it is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a minimum. fine of $750. The maximum penalty is one year imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500. The $750 is in addition to the fine otherwise imposed.

When you show up at the court date, the judge will explain the charges against you and notify you of your right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the judge will appoint one. Either way, you will plead not guilty, because that gives you time to get copies of the evidence against you and negotiate with the prosecutor (you have the option of pleading guilty at any time before the trial, if you want). With two tickets, you can often get one dismissed if you agree to plead guilty to the other one. Your lawyer will work out a deal for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. I do have a few onther questions though =/ . Like I said before, I have never had a record or any problem with the law, will that come into play at all? As well, the incident happened in Marengo Illinois, and I believe that is McHenry County. My ultimate goal I guess is to get out with little harm as possible, is there any way I can get the tickets off my record since Drug School isnt an option for McHenry? What is Court Supervision? Thank you very very much once again, I have no other ways of finding out.

 

Thanks ,

Alex

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
The judge will consider that you have no prior record.

In Illinois, "court supervision" is a sentencing option for misdemeanors. It is up to the discretion of the court whether to allow it, however, since you have no prior offenses, that will weigh in your favor. Basically, what happens is, if you agree to plead guilty, the judge places you on court supervision for a specified time period, up to 24 months. One of the requirements of court supervision is that you commit no other offenses - which includes jaywalking, traffic offenses, etc. You may also be ordered to pay fines, attend drug or alcohol treatment, and do community service. If you do everything you are supposed to, after the court supervision term ends, the charges are dismissed.

The judge doesn't have to allow it, but your public defender can help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX been much help. Should I just plead guilty right away ? Seeing as, how can I plead not guilty when the police found both the weed and paraphernalia?

 

Last question, I promise =D

 

Thanks again, alex.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
That's something that you have to think about for yourself. Basically, when you go in and say, "not guilty," what you are really saying is that, "Legally, I am entitled to have you prove the charge against me beyond a reasonable doubt and, until you do that, I am not guilty." Most defendants plead not guilty at the initial appearance, because you can then have a lawyer appointed, talk to him, and have him negotiate the best possible deal.

The problem you face is that, if you just go in and plead guilty, you're throwing yourself on the mercy of the court. You can ask for court supervision, but he doesn't have to give it to you. You won't necessarily know what sentence the DA is going to ask for.

But, if you go in and they say, "If you plead guilty, you're on court supervision for two years," then, yes, you'll probably save yourself a lot of time and effort by doing it.

Either way, good luck.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 21045
Experience: Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq.
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Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.