Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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. I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so. You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions. Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation. Thank you, Doug