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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23592
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My friends and I were smoking at a park when all the sudden

Customer Question

My friends and I were smoking at a park when all the sudden cops cornered us and asked us to give up any kind of weed that we had on us. I guess someone at the park caked the cops (When the cops came over we had already stopped smoking) we handed the cops the marijuana which was very little. While my friend got checked they found pills on him like 3 or 4 in a baggy the he forgot he even had. He was holding on to them for a friend. The cop ended up giving the 3 of us a ticket for loitering for marijuana and told us to plead guilty or else it would get ugly because he would have to bring up the pills. This is our first time offense. I am super scared because my dad got deported and once I turn 21 my mom was planning to start paper work for a lawyer so that I could sponsor my dad to get his papers and back to this country but with this on my record I don't think it would help at all I'm also trying to get into a program in school where a criminal background check is required. Please help. We need advice desperately.
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Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.
Hello, In what US state did this take place? Was this a local park, a state park or a national park? Were you only charged with loitering to use marijuana? How old are you? What is the question you wish to ask with regard to this matter? Please reply here on this question thread.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
This took place in New York. We were in our local park. Yes we were only charged with loitering to use marijuana and I'm 20years of age. My other 2 friends one is 21 the other 18.My question is what can I do to not be charged with that or if since this our first offense if there's a way to drop it to a lower charge. I just can't have this on my record.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.
Thank you. One last question. What is the section of the law under which you were charged? It's going to be a violation rather than a crime, however, I want to access the statute, which is likely a local ordinance rather than a 221.05.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Where would I be able to find that information? The tickets says violation of city ordinance at the top. the tickets also says pursuant to the section 30.30 (1) (d)
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Btw I don't know if it matters or not but we were in a car parked.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.
Was this a NYC park? If so, it's a violation of section 1-04 of the NYC Park regulations which says this: Loitering for Illegal PurposesIt shall be a violation of these rules to engage in loitering for illegal purposes in a park. Any person in any park shall be guilty of loitering for illegal purposes who:loiters or remains in a park for the purpose of engaging, or soliciting another person to engage, in sexual activity for money; orloiters or remains in any park with one or more persons for the purpose of unlawfully using, possessing, purchasing, distributing, selling or soliciting marijuana, alcohol or any controlled substance, as defined in §220.00 of the New York State Penal Law.____This offense is a violation and not a crime. That means you could show up in court, plead guilty to it, pay a fine and be done with it and you could still say that you have never been convicted of a crime. You could ask for this to be sealed upon payment of the fine, so it would not show up as a conviction on your record. You could also try to get this matter adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. An ACD is a conditional dismissal whereby you don't have to plead guilty to anything, but the case will stay open for a year, during which time you cannot get any new arrests. If you stay out of trouble, the case will be dismissed at the end of the year and seal by operation of law. So what you'd do -- and although you can probably do this without a lawyer, it's always best to have one when you are charged with a criminal offense -- is to show up in court, plead Not Guilty when you are arraigned on the charge and then ask the judge if you can have an ACD. If the DA and the judge agree, that's great. The case is over and you won't have to come back to court again. It will seal in a year without you needing to return. If they don't agree, you can ask the ADA what the offer is and decide whether you want it. It's likely going to be a fine or community service with a plea to the violation. Alternatively you could fight the case and go to trial on it, but this doesn't sound like a very good trial case as drugs were recovered.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
This was in a public park in upstate New York Hudson valley area. And so does this mean It basically wouldn't affect any of the things I was worried about as long as it's sealed?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Could the sealed violation be viewed by schools or anything like that? What do you recommend doing? This all will stay on my record of I plead guilty for the violation right?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.
If immigration ever asked whether you had ever been charged with a criminal offense, you would have to tell the truth and disclose the sealed matter. Nothing is ever really hidden from the government. You would not have to disclose this to your school, as they would not see it. But the government is another story. The immigration concern is a good reason for you to have a lawyer when you come to court. If there is a way this case can be dismissed outright as to you, that would be the best possible outcome for all purposes. You'd have a better chance of that happening with a lawyer.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
My friends and I don't have money like that to hire a lawyer but if possible I will bring up the options you gave me to the public defendant how likely is it that they will accept an ACD from us. And who do we ask apon payment to seal our record
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.
A public defender is a lawyer. Tell him you need to try to get this dismissed or, if that can't happen, to get you the ACD. You have a very high chance of an ACD if this is your only charge. An ACD can't be dismissed upon payment. A violation can. If you have to plead to the violation with a fine, then tell your lawyer to ask the judge to order it sealed upon payment of the fine.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
would the cops be able to bring up the pills if the ACD is given to us?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 months ago.
Sorry for the delay. I took a lunch break. The police won't be there on your court date. However, if they told the DA about the other drugs, it's possible that you could find that you will be charged with them as well when you are arraigned in court. If so, you won't get an ACD. T