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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 32813
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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I got a ticket for possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana

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I got a ticket for possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana and paraphernalia (a pipe) in colorado. Its my first offense ever, I want to keep it off my permanent record. Is this possible?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Yes. This is possible. That is, its possible to "defer adjudiction" of this offense, which would allow you to avoid the conviction of the offense. That is certainly possible. Actually its common for drug cases first offense.

To qualify, you need the prosecutor to agree...its not the judges call, its the discretion of the prosecutor to offer this program or not. The program requires you to go through the criminal process...but if you complete the requirements of the court (typically probation, perhaps a treatment program), then at the end the conviction is would not have a conviction.

That said, with no priors, its certainly something that the prosecutor will consider.

How do you get it? Well, you can ask the prosecutor yourself at the arraignment. Or you can have a lawyer negotiate this for you.

I will paste the copy of the code (18-1.3-101) below

(1) Except as otherwise provided in section 18-6-801 (4), in any case, the court may, prior to trial or entry of a plea of guilty and with the consent of the defendant and the prosecution, order the prosecution of the offense to be deferred for a period not to exceed two years; except that the period of deferred prosecution may be extended for an additional time up to one hundred eighty days if the failure to pay the amounts specified in subsection (2) of this section is the sole condition of supervision which has not been fulfilled, because of inability to pay, and the defendant has shown a future ability to pay. During that time, the court may place the defendant under the supervision of the probation department and may require the defendant to undergo counseling or treatment for the defendant's mental condition, or for alcohol or drug abuse, or for both such conditions.

(2) Upon the defendant's satisfactory completion of and discharge from supervision, the charge against the defendant shall be dismissed with prejudice. If the conditions of supervision are violated, the defendant shall be tried for the offense for which he or she is charged. The violation of conditions of supervision shall be determined by a hearing before the court which granted the deferred prosecution. The burden in such hearing shall be upon the district attorney by a preponderance of the evidence to show that a violation has in fact occurred. However, if the alleged violation is the failure to pay court-ordered compensation to appointed counsel, probation fees, court costs, restitution, or reparations, evidence of the failure to pay shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation. The presiding judge at the hearing may temper the rules of evidence in the exercise of sound judicial discretion.

(3) Upon consenting to a deferred prosecution as provided in this section, the defendant shall execute a written waiver of his or her right to a speedy trial. Consent to a deferred prosecution under this section shall not be construed as an admission of guilt, nor shall such consent be admitted in evidence in a trial for the offense for which he or she is charged.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was in a mall parking garage in a friends parked car. We were first stopped by mall security, who then informed the police. Both possession of one ounce or less and paraphernalia is marked on the ticket. Its my first offense of anything other than speeding tickets. It happened in lakewood colorado. Thank you so much for your help, I will certainly accept answer after this.
Yes...its less than an oz...its a misdemeanor. The pipe is part of the same offense.

Now, they are NOT required to offer deferred adjudication...but I bet they do...and if they do not you can hire a lawyer to try and negotiate it from the prosecutor. Deferred adjudication is written for cases like yours.
P. Simmons and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
On the ticket it says it is a petty offense, not a misdemeanor. Does that change anything
Yep..its MUCH better...its good they charged the pipe a petty offense (they could charge as misdemeanor)...since its more likely that they will defer this.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thats a relief. We were in a public parking garage and I have read colorado statutes that say "use or display in public" could result in an additional 15 days incarceration (maximum). Is this something to worry about? Thanks again for your help.
They have to "plead this"...they have to charge it to get the extra time...but lets back up here...I do NOT see jail time for this...heck, you have NO priors and this was petty offense.

I understand your nervous...understandable...but I would not sweat this much...I bet the prosecutor offer deferred adjudication...if they do not, you can have a lawyer help.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sounds like a good plan. Thanks again, you have been so helpful.
welcome...thank you