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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23541
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I have been prescribed Medical Marijuana back pain and

Customer Question

I have been prescribed Medical Marijuana for chronic back pain and chronic insomnia. I have no history of any type of crime. Have never been arrested. Have never been in trouble. Have never been associated with drugs.
On 10/26, my mother was in town to visit and she was staying with me. A friend of mine was also at my house. Around 10 pm, my severe back pain kicked in. I had to pick up my mother from the airport right after work that day, so I was not able to medicate as I do every day. My mother has had 3 major Sinus procedures and any sort of smoke or strong odor is like poison for her. I decided to leave the house, medicate and come back. Along with my friend we left the house, drove for a bit trying to find a spot that would be away from residential areas & people. Found a Park which closes at 9 PM so it was technically closed. Found the nearest bench, prepared my medication and finally medicated. Put my pipe and medication aside on the table. As I was talking to my friend, a cop drove by slowly and made a u-turn right away. I had the choice to throw away my pipe and hide the medication but I simply chose not to.
He got to us and asked what we were doing. So with honesty and respect, I explained to him what was going on. Told him I have a prescription and also showed him my medication. He called back up, three more cops showed up. He had one of the officers escort me to my car to grab my Medical Card. Went back to him, he checked my papers and asked how he can find out if my Prescription is not fake! So I calmly and respectfully ***** ***** him that there's a website for that purpose which is for verification.
I then even apologized to all of the officers for dragging them there.
At the end he wrote me a citation for Smoking in public which is an infraction and its totally fair. But then, he also added a second violation for "Loitering for Drug Activities" which is a misdemeanor! This is the part that I cant accept.
Misdemeanor for what? Medicating? Being honest? Being respectful?
I medicated in public, even though I made sure it was away from people. But loitering?
My arraignment date is tomorrow December 16, at 8 AM. I feel like I need to postpone it and then carefuly go through my options. I have been in this country for 14 years, since I was 12 years old and I have never been in trouble. I don't even drink or do hard drugs. Im self employed, struggling to make ends meet and survive.
I have a small budget for hiring an attorney but I can pay month to month without an issue.
I just don't want anything with the word "Drug" in it to go on my record Just because I was trying to medicate and get rid of my severe pain that I have been dealing with my entire life.
Im not ready to go in front of a judge tomorrow, being totally unaware of the judicial system and process and without an attorney who understands me and my situation.
Can anybody help me?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Hello,

Go to court, plead not guilty he at your arraignment, and then ask for a continuance to come back with a lawyer. The judge should granr that for you. I think it is entirely possible that if you bring your marijuana card into court, the DA could dismiss the misdemeanor charge against you. But a lawyer will have A better chance of making that happen for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

You should be able to come out of this case without a misdemeanor conviction under the facts and circumstances that you provided

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

You should be able to come out of this case without a misdemeanor conviction under the facts and circumstances that you provided, and it should not take more than one or two court dates for a lawyer to make that happen. So it shouldn't strain your budget. It's even possible that when you go to court today the DA will dismiss that charge anyway, in which case the matter can be easily enough resolved. But with criminal charges, especially if you are not a US citizen, it is best to have representation. A lawyer can usually do a better job for you than you can for yourself, and criminal convictions can have lifetime repercussions.

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