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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23523
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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780-113 (a)(31) Allentown pa possession of 8 grams marijuana

Customer Question

780-113 (a)(31) Allentown pa possession of 8 grams marijuana .should we retain a lawyer and what is the penalty to the fullest extent 19yrs
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

In Pennsylvania, possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana has a maximum possible penalty of 30 days in jail.

It is always a good idea for a criminal defendant to have a lawyer. That's why there is a Constitutional right to counsel for anyone charged with a crime. Criminal cases can have lifetime repercussions, and a 19 year old has most of his personal and professional life yet to come. Someone with experience needs to be able to look over the evidence and evaluate the worth and weight of the case and discuss options and rights with the defendant so that he can make a good decision for himself as to the course of the case. There may be search issues, for example, or a strong trial defense. Or it could be dismissable, or, on the other hand, a case that best could be resolved by a plea. The defendant himself would not know all of this without guidance from his attorney.

If he does want to resolve this with a plea, it is possible that the defendant can come out of this case without a criminal record. He may be eligible for ARD for example. That stands for Accelerated Rehabilitiative Disposition. It's a special program where a defendant essentially works the case off of his record by staying drug free and out of further trouble during a period of supervision, by performing community service, paying finds and attending anti-drug classes or counseling. Afterwards the case would be dismissed upon successful completion of his requirements.

Such programs are available for low-level offenses in Pennsylvania but they may have to be negotiated, which is yet another reason to have a lawyer.

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