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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23164
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am 18 years old in Walterboro, South Carolina. I was pulled

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I am 18 years old in Walterboro, South Carolina. I was pulled over on I-95 going 92/70. The police officer that pulled me over saw a pill bottle (was not mine) in my car. He opened the bottle and marijuana was inside. I told the officer that the marijuana found was not mine but that I understood that if it's in my car, that technically. it is. He gave me a $185 ticket for speeding and a $650 ticket for simple possession. He told me that I could simply pay the fines or go to court and take a test to see if I smoked the marijuana. I know that the test would come back negative because I don't smoke it. I was wondering if both of those tickets (if i go to court) would be on my permanent record or dropped since I showed up but still pay the fine. I have never been in trouble with the law before or anything. The only thing I've ever done to be spoken to by an officer was ask for directions. Please, help.
Hello Jacustomer,

Do not pay the fines. Speeding in SC is a misdemeanor offense, and though employers don't care much about traffic violations of this kind, by paying the fine you are giving yourself two criminal convictions which, yes, would appear on your permanent record.

Get yourself a lawyer and let him see what he can do for you. There is a pre-trial release program for first offenders that can allow you to walk away without a criminal record if you successfully complete the program. The prosecutor selects who gets such a program, but it's likely you'd be an eligible applicant and a lawyer may be successful negotiating a disposition of that type.

And of course, if you are interested in fighting the case, you don't want to do this yourself but will also need a lawyer. Jail is not a likelihood for you at all,which is good news, but you should leave your defense to a professional if you are at all worried about carrying a criminal record.
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