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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23176
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My 21 year old son was arrested on Saturday the 28th. He has

Resolved Question:

My 21 year old son was arrested on Saturday the 28th. He has one charge of felony possession (heroin) He has one charge misdemeanor parephenelia.

He went to court yesterday for the felony charge. They moved the date until June 7th, Tuesday.

He went in front of the judge for the misdemeanor yesterday and he plead "not guilty" for paraphenelia. His public defender told him if he plead "guilty" and accepted their offer? It would be on his record. To keep moving forward he plead not guilty. The court set the date down for July 13th.

What should he do? The outcomes that we want to create are:

1. Rehab into the Salvation Army
2. Dropping the charges so he will be able to go into the military

Please give me advice so I can adequately make good decisions.

How should he really stucture this? How can we get the court to reduce this down so it will not be on his record? He is a first time offender.

My son wants to go to rehabilitation, then prepare to go to miltary. We need to have NO CHARGES on his record or he will not be able to join the military.

I am trying to 1. get the public defender for felony case to suggest to the DA that Austin go to Salvation Army drug rehab program. If the district attorney suggests that Austin go to rehab right away? I can have him enrolled.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

If your son's two charges are in the same county, they really should be joined up so that they can be disposed of together. If they are not, he has to be most concerned about the felony charge, since that's the one on which he can potentially risk prison.

It's pretty standard in most jurisdictions that someone in your son's position with a drug problem who is arrested for felony possession (as opposed to sale or possession with intent to sell) can get some kind of a treatment-oriented program. However, particularly when the charge is a felony rather than a misdemeanor, the court will usually insist on picking the program. Some are more structured than others and have much more credibility with the prosecutor's office and the court system than others.

Nevada has a Drug Court program. If he can get a Treatment Court disposition, he would get the opportunity to plead guilty to the possession, participate in a heavily supervised court mandated drug treatment program and essentially work off his criminal conviction. If he meets all of the conditions the court imposes and is successfully rehabilitated, the felony charge would be dismissed at the end of his probationary period, and there would then be no impediment to his becoming a member of the armed forces.

Drug Treatment Court is difficult and is best for someone who is really committed to getting help for his problem. But if your son falls into that category, it would serve both his short term and his long term goals.

Good luck!
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