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Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  30 years legal experience
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my husband and i were driving with our two small children in

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my husband and i were driving with our two small children in a rental van through indiana to ga for the holiday weekend when we were pulled over for speeding. when the sheriff deputy smelled cannibus in the vehicle. When asked we stated that there was nothing in the vehicle. There actually was a half smoked joint in my husbands cig. pack and three joints that a neighbor offered my husband to take to a bachelor party he was on he way to after dropping me and the kids off. I did not know this was in the van and made a comment when i entered the van that i thought it smelled the night before. we left without any further questions on my part.
my husband did not consume the drug in the vehicle with the children. they were both strapped in the back of their car seats in the back of the vehicle. he did eventually tell where the drugs were and when asked why he originally lied they discovered it was because he had a gun hidden in the cooler in the front of the vehicle with the clip in the gun. when confronted he told them the truth that this was for his family's safety (did you see the two year old get taken out of the shopping cart with her mother 1 foot away in walmart and a knife held to her throat?). he does not have a concealed weapons permit since we are from chicago, but he feels our families safety is far more important. he was arrested for felony child endangerment, felony possession of a loaded firearm, and a misd. possession of marijuana. I paid the bond...his bail was $5000. When he was released the paperwork only shows that his bail was "as needed for $5000" and the misde. for possession for $0. Does this mean that he is only being charged for the misd. for possession or does he still have the possibility of being charged with all the other felonies? does he need a lawyer for his July 9th initial court date? Will he potentially be charged with the felony charges at the initial court hearing? Neither of us have EVER been in trouble with the law and have no idea what to do or what to expect. What are we do? How are we to proceed? What are we to expect? Please help me understand Indiana law!!!! A stupid mistake to be the cool man at the bachelor party and relive the high school days for my husband and carry a weapon (that has been strictly purchased for family protection and never fired at anyone - only practice at a firing range) could potentially ruin my husbands life. The second police officer terrified my 4 year old when announcing that her daddy was going to jail. she thought they were going to hurt and kill him and she would never see him again. we just want to pay any necessary fines and my husband just wants to may the consequences of his actions, but in a fair way. He is good man that has NEVER been in trouble, pays his taxes, is an amazing father and husband, and supports our country with all his heart!! Please help lead us in the right direction. His initial court date is July 9th. Thank you!!

Good afternoon Melissa,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your husband's situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I don't intend to scare you, but I get the sense that you don't fully appreciate the seriousness of these alleged criminal violations.

Yes, he absolutely needs an attorney, even for the arraignment on the 9th. If you cannot get an attorney in time for the hearing, then he will need to plead not guilty and the judge will set the matter for Preliminary Hearing.

I can almost assure you that the weapons charges and endangerment charges were not dropped. It is possible that he has only been charged with the pot for the time being. If that is what has happened, the I suspect the prosecutor, instead of charging him with the weapons charges outright, maybe planning to present the felony charges to a Grand Jury instead, and thereby eliminate the need for a Preliminary Hearing if the Grand Jury comes back with a charging Bill. Your husband would go directly to trial on those felony charges if a plea deal is not reached.

These are pretty serious felonies that your husband is facing, and it is not realistic to believe that he is just going to pay some fines and be released. I have no doubt that he is a good man and normally a law abiding man---but this is more than just a mistake, in the eyes of the law. He potentially could be sentenced to jail time. Each of the individual felony charges carries with it a possible penalty of 6 months to 3 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. And while it is likely that the prosecutor will drop one or more of the felony charges and negotiate a plea deal on just one or two---there still remains the real possibility of jail or prison.

So it really is critical that he retain a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

I wish you the best in 2013.

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