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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25917
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Our son received a citation in Rancho Cucamonga, California

Customer Question

Our son received a citation in Rancho Cucamonga, California in May a few days before his 18th birthday. The citation is for a non-traffic non-correctable marijuana possession, Health and Safety Code 11357(B). This is the 1st time he received such a citation.
We were mailed information saying that $485 fine is due by July 15. No court date was set. I called the court to ask if community service hours could be served instead of paying the fine. They said we'd have to ask the judge and set a court date of Wednesday
July 8 in Fontana which we will attend with him. They also said we should be prepared to make suggestions to the judge as to suitable community service opportunities. After doing some research it seems that the maximum fine for code 11357(B) is only $100.
Can you advise how it's possible they are charging $485? Can you advise if it's likely the judge will allow community service hours as an alternative and if we should bring our own suggestions as to community service opportunities? Please advise any and all
communication we should make with the judge. Lastly, the officer that explained his citation to us said that his driver's license will be suspended for 1 year because he got the citation at an age less than 18 years old - is this true?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
The statutory fine does not include court costs and surcharges. You can get an actual accounting of what all the money is for in court, as these fees can vary from county to county.
If the amount of marijuana your son was alleged to possess was in an amount of 28.5 grams or less, then as you indicated, this charge would be an infraction with a civil fine only, in the amount of $100.
Yes, it's true that a conviction on a marijuana offense will cost him his license for a year. He may be able to negotiate community service in lieu of a fine. But if you can involve a lawyer, he may be able to negotiate something which would keep this criminal conviction off of your son's criminal record, and that, in the case of a 17 year old with his future still before him, would be a far more valuable disposition than saving $100 on the fine as a conviction, even for a low level criminal offense, can have lifetime repercussions.