Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Dear JACUSTOMER - Since this is a misdemeanor the charges are not "serious" in the sense of a major amount of prison time etc however they are serious enough that you need to get an attorney and if you cannot afford an attorney the court will appoint counsel for free. In any event you definitely need to be represented. You should also not discuss the case with anyone but an attorney.
It is virtually impossible to predict an outcome of any court case so I cannot tell you what you will receive as a penalty. It could be anywhere from a fine to probation or even a small amount of jail time. At this point you need to be more concerned about getting the best possible deal as far as a possible plea agreement since that will determine what you will eventually face as far as a penalty.
You certainly need to plead not guilty and allow your attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor to make certain all of your rights are protected and that you get the best plea bargain possible. Then you can start talking about the possible penalty and get that worked out before you enter a plea. Of course you have the right to a trial if thee is some defense to the case.
All of the words such as "use" or possession" probably will not be important in the end since all of this is likely to come down to a plea bargain and it won't matter what the original charges say. Only if you went to trial and they had to prove each and every detail would these words matter. So get an attorney and keep quiet.
As far as your record is concerned that will be up to the judge at a later time and you always have the opportunity to ask for a pardon from the governor. There's nothing you can do about that at this point so once again you need to concentrate on getting the best possible result and then deal with the other issues.
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).