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 CrimDefense Your Own Question
CrimDefense, CriminalDefenseAtty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23467
Experience:  9+ years defending Misdemeanor and Felony cases.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
CrimDefense is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I reside in South Elgin , Il . I missed my first court date

This answer was rated:

I reside in South Elgin , Il . I missed my first court date to appear for a charge of possesion of cannabis/ 1st offense. I had less than 3 grams on my person. I received a notice that I had missed my court date and the notice lists that I was in possesion of cannabis in the amount of 10 - 30 gram. Do I have the right to dispute the amount?

Also am concerned how I will be penalized for having a prior DUI charge (2010) that I have since satisfied the fines, mandated classes and probation?
Look forward to hearing from you at your earliest opportunity.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand how stressful this can be and your concern. Was your court date reset by the Judge? The reason I ask is because if your failed to appear, a warrant is normally issued for your arrest, so my first concern would be that this did not happen.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No the judge did not reschedule the court appearance. I was not able to read the court date on the ticket. However I did visit the circuit clerk so that I would be able to schedule another date. I did received the rescheduled date but I also noticed that the grams listed on that notice is higher than the amount that I was actually carrying.

Andrew, thank you for the additional information. Yes, you can always challenge and contest the alleged weight of the marijuana and it could be weighed, to determine the exact amount. The penalties which can be imposed vary based upon the weight, so if you had under 2.5 grams, that is certainly something you want to attack, so the proper charge is filed. The State can always amend the charge, as needed and it is possible that the amount written on the notice by the court, was an error. With that being said, when you appear, you can certainly address this with the prosecutor and the Judge. As far as your previous DUI charge, it is something that will be seen by the prosecutor if a plea offer is made or when being sentenced by the Judge, if you went to trial and lost but should not be something that should result in jail time being sought. If anything, the court would be more inclined to impose another probationary sentence, like in the past. At the same time, you could inquire with the court about any type of diversion program that they may offer, which could result in the charge being dismissed or amended, to have less of an impact on you. Seeing how you have the previous DUI conviction, this could possible disqualify you if they do, but it would be at the discretion of the State.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above, prior to rating me. Also, please remember to rate my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two faces/stars on the left, please STOP and reply to me via the "REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION "button. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
Hi Andrew. I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just sent you another question.

I am sorry but it did not appear to go through. If you could please resent it, I would be happy to respond.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

who has the burdern of proof regarding the amount in my possesion? I am concerned that it will be my word against the arresting officer.


I was a passenger in the vehicle

I was asked to consent to a search prior to my miranda rights being read

I consented to the search and the cannabis was on my person but it was not the 10 - 30 grams being listed on the notice to appear in court.


Should I retain a lawyer for representation to receive a more favorable outcome?

The burden is on the State and they will only be able to prove and show this, by having it weighted. The marijuana should be in evidence, so it would need to be weighed. It is always in your best interest to retain an attorney. They will make a demand for discovery, which will reveal all the evidence that the State is going to use against you at trial. It would be after this is done, that the attorney can request for it to be weighed, if there is a dispute to the amount. Miranda rights need to be read when you are in custody, not free to leave and being questioned about a specific crime. There is nothing wrong with the officer asking for consent and not reading you, your rights. Had the officer taken you to the police station and started asking you questions, then your rights would have had to have been read.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok thank you for your assistance. I will take what you stated under consideration.

You are very welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else. If not and you have not done so already, please remember to rate my help with 3, 4 or 5 faces, so I can get credit for my answer. Thank you and good luck.
CrimDefense and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you