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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 100053
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My son pled nolo contendere to Class C misdemeanor in Texas

Customer Question

My son pled nolo contendere to Class C misdemeanor in Texas charge was "possession of paraphernalia". He was told by paying 2x the fine ($1098) it would be removed from his "driving record" In TX if the marijuana pipe was in the car would that be a driving violation. Would it show up on his driving record? Would it show up on any other criminal record? Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello friend. My name is Ely, and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your son's situation.

How old is your son, please?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

son is 26, no prior record, employed, was simply driving through TX and was stopped for speeding (?) When he was asked if they could search his car he said "no" They called a drug dog, which they claimed "alerted on drugs" that gave them reason to search. They found the pipe in a wooden box that was taped together, and contained a "dryer sheet" it was in a backpack that my son had forgotten about.


 

Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, Sandra.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and I am afraid that this is one of these times.

A "nolo contendere" means "no contest" and counts the same as a guilty plea for all intents and purposes. If he pleaded nolo contendere to Class C misdemeanor, I am afraid that he would have that Class C misdemeanor conviction on his record.

Would it show up on his driving record?

I believe that what was meant was that his driving license would not be suspended, perhaps. But for the most part, one's driving record is simply a part of the criminal record that has to do with traffic issues.

Would it show up on any other criminal record?

Yes, I am afraid it would. He now has a Class C Misdemeanor conviction.

If he was mislead, he may want to (as quickly as possible) talk to an attorney to possibly withdraw his plea, although that is seldom allowed. He'd have to show that he was mislead and/or did not have effective counsel.

I am sorry.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ely he was arrested over the Labor Day holiday and we could not find an attorney in TX to help him. He went into court w/o representation, and the Justice of the Peace "explained" the charges to him. I think you are saying that it will show up on his record, and she led him to believe it would not.

Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Sandra,

I see. The issue is that only individuals who face jail time have a right to counsel in Texas. A Class C Misdemeanor is a non-jail, fine-only charge.

As such, he did not have counsel and may have been mislead by the JP Judge. If I were him, I would immediately begin searching for an attorney to possibly take the plea back. It is certainty worth the attempt.

May I recommend the TX Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.