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 Zoey_ JD Your Own Question

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16503
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
18321761
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My friend just got picked up for a dui with possession of a

Customer Question

My friend just got picked up for a dui with possession of a tiny amount of marijuana, what to do next?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.
Hello,

A DUI in Pennsylvania is a misdemeanor with a possible jail sentence of up to 6 months, fines and a one year suspension of your license upon conviction. A first possession of a small amount of marijuana carries a maximum possible penalty of 30 days in jail.

So while I hate to answer a legal question with "get a lawyer," that's precisely what yur friend should do first. These are misdmeanors and not traffic infractions, and a plea will give him a criminal record that can stand in the way of his employment and housing opportunities for the rest of his life, because once convicted of a criminal offense, he will not be able to expunge that in Pennsylvania until he gets to be 70 years old.

So if there's any way that the DUI can be successfully challenged, reduced, or deferred, it will be through the efforts of a lawyer.

If he can afford one, he should have one with him at this first court date. If he is indigent, he can show up on his court date, plead not guilty to keep all of his rights open until he gets advised, and then ask the judge to appoint him a public defender.

If he doesn't know of a criminal lawyer to retain, he can get a reliable referral from teh Pennsylvania State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. For around $50 they will find him a lawyer and the referral fee includes a free half hour consultation with him or her.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It's Saturday cannot get a hold of any lawyer now what?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

When are you required to be in court?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Don't know this happened at 1 am they took blood work he failed field sobriety...they let him go home via taxi...diss he call police station today?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

NO! He's the suspect of a crime and he should never reach out and call the police.

He should have ample time to get a lawyer, as they have let him go. Also the state will need the results of the bloodwork before they can go forward with the case, and since police labs are always backlogged, and he's out and there's no rush, it could take weeks, maybe even longer, before he receives a court date.

He can look for a lawyer on Monday and he or she can stay on top of that so that he doesn't miss his court date.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He's afraid of losing his job...any advice concerning his work?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

He's right to be concerned. That's why he will need a lawyer. There may be a way to resolve this and keep the case off of his record but it will take a lot of work by an attorney to do it, and it's not the typical solution. States have been steadily toughening their DUI laws, and prosecutors and judges don't want to look soft when it comes to driving and drinking.

If he is convicted of this offense and it's his first, he should be eligible for a restricted occupational license so that he can get to and from work and to doctor's appointments and other vitally necessary things. He's have to wait 60 days to apply for it. He needs to talk to his lawyer about it, but PA publishes the basics about it here.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.