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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 24052
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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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: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years 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 3 years ago.
It's Saturday cannot get a hold of any lawyer now what?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

When are you required to be in court?
Customer: replied 3 years 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 3 years 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 3 years ago.
He's afraid of losing his job...any advice concerning his work?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years 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.