How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask xavierjd Your Own Question

xavierjd
xavierjd, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  Over 20 yrs experience in prosecution and defense work
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
xavierjd is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 18 year old son was caught in West Va with 18 grams of pot.

Resolved Question:

My 18 year old son was caught in West Va with 18 grams of pot. He was charged with two felonies..possesion and intent to sell. He is a good student and never had any issues with the law. We live in Va. He is out on bail. Will he be able to travel home for the holidays? and what is the likely outcome of this violation?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  xavierjd replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for using Pearl.com. It will be my pleasure to assist you today.

Do you know if your son has had an attorney appointed for him yet?

If so, do you know if he has talked to his/her attorney?

Has your son ever been convicted of a crime before?

Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He is in the process of being assigned an attorney. He has not spoken with an attorney. He has NEVER had any legal trouble...not even a traffic ticket. He is a good student, freshman year at college...you know the drill!


 

Expert:  xavierjd replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the information.

1. Will your son be able to travel home for the holidays?

If the case is still pending, it is entirely up to the judge as to whether your son can travel home. Your son's attorney can ask the judge to allow him a travel permit to travel home. The judge will require the date he will be leaving WV and the date he will be returning. The judge will also require who your son will be staying with as well as a telephone number that he can be reached. The judge may also require how your son will travel home (eg. plane, car, train, etc.) and who he will be traveling with. All of these things may be required so that the judge has assurance that your son will return to court to resolve the pending case.

If the case has been resolved (doubtful, but possible), and your son is on probation, it will be up to the probation officer as to whether s/he will make a recommendation to the judge to allow your son a travel permit to return home for the holidays. If your son is is compliance with any terms of probation set forth by the judge, it is more likely that your son will be allowed to return home.

If the case is pending (more likely than not), then your son's attorney can present an argument to the judge as to why your son should be allowed a travel permit to return home. For example, your son has never been in ANY trouble, he will be staying with you, you will make sure that your son returns back to WV to resolve the case, etc. Your son may have to take a drug test before he is allowed to leave WV and again when he returns. Again, the final determination will be made by the judge.

2. With respect to the likely outcome of the case, it is impossible for me to give you a specific answer. I do not know the facts of the case, the evidence that the prosecutor has against your son, any defenses your son may have, etc.

That being said, being arrested for the intent to distribute drugs faces substantial penalties if convicted. That is because West Virginia takes the unlawful selling and distribution of drugs very seriously. Police arrest on charges of unlawful intent to distribute based on the amount of drugs in the suspect’s possession. Distribution applies to the “local” dealer who sells in a limited area, just as it applies to those higher up in the distribution chain who sell across the country or even into other countries.

Distribution charges may also be made against a suspect if law enforcement finds drug distribution paraphernalia such as a large amount of cash, a scale, baggies, or other tools of the trade in a suspect’s possession. Depending on how the drug is packaged and where it was found, a suspect may face a distribution charge along with a drug possession charge. Distribution does not just mean the sale of drugs, but also includes the transportation of drugs.

 

Various factors can affect the penalties for a charge of intent to distribute drugs. Some of those factors include the type of drug, the amount of drug, and the suspect’s previous criminal record. Attempted sale to minors is also a very significant factor that enhances the penalties, along with distributing drugs near a school, park, or playground.

 

THERE IS A CHANCE THAT YOUR SON MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CONDITONAL DISCHARGE FOR FIRST OFFENSE OF POSSESSION. If your son's attorney is able to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecutor, it is POSSIBLE that if your son pleads guilty, if he complies with any and all terms of a probation as set forth by the court, at the end of probation the charges will be dismissed and he will NOT HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD.

 

The above is VERY important. If your son has a drug conviction, it can SERIOUSLY impact his ability to obtain employment, he will lose his drivers license, he will lose any government student loans and/or grants, he may be denied admission to graduate school and may be prohibited from obtaining professional licenses or other work related licenses.

 

Below is the WV statute for a conditional discharge.

 

 

§60A-4-407. Conditional discharge for first offense of possession.
(a) Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any offense under this chapter or under any statute of the United States or of any state relating to narcotic drugs, marihuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drugs, pleads guilty to or is found guilty of possession of a controlled substance under section 401(c), the court, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and place him or her on probation upon terms and conditions. Upon violation of a term or condition, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided. Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against him or her. Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt and is not a conviction for purposes of this section or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime, including the additional penalties imposed for second or subsequent convictions under section 408. The effect of the dismissal and discharge shall be to restore the person in contemplation of law to the status he or she occupied prior to arrest and trial. No person as to whom a dismissal and discharge have been effected shall be thereafter held to be guilty of perjury, false swearing, or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his or her failure to disclose or acknowledge his or her arrest or trial in response to any inquiry made of him or her for any purpose. There may be only one discharge and dismissal under this section with respect to any person.

 

Hopefully, your son will speak to his attorney about the possibility of trying to enter into this type of agreement. If however, he is NOT GUILTY of the charges, then he has the right to have a trial before a judge or a jury. Based on the evidence admitted in the trial, the judge or jury will determine whether your son is guilty or not guilty.

 

Good luck to your family.

 

 

 

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things.

What are your options now?

If you wish to continue this conversation, click on the Reply tab.
If you are satisfied that I have answered your question, then please rate the answer with “excellent service” so that I receive credit for assisting you. Positive ratings are the only way I receive credit for assisting you today.

IF you feel the need to click either
"Helped a little" or "I expected more," then do not rate me (not yet, anyway!). Instead, reply to me using the REPLY tab. Specify what additional information you need and I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.


Thanks

 

xavierjd, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience: Over 20 yrs experience in prosecution and defense work
xavierjd and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.