Thank you for the quick reply. In Mississippi, possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor
carrying a maximum penalty of 6 months of jail and/or a fine of up to $500. A conviction on this charge will also subject him to a 6 month suspension of his driver's license. It does not matter that there was no car involved in this incident. It is state policy after a drug or drug related conviction. As your son is 19, this is an adult offense, and given that he is away at school, a conviction can have long lasting personal and professional consequences. On a first offense he will not have to worry about serving any jail time for a case like this. More importantly for him would be keeping a drug-related conviction off of his criminal history. To that effect, you should retain a criminal lawyer for him to help him resolve this in the best way possible. It may be, for example, that there was a problem with this search that can be challenged. It may be that the paraphernalia can be suppressed after a hearing, or that he has a good case to take to trial
. Or, it may be possible for a lawyer to negotiate a plea bargain which can keep the conviction off of his record, such as a diversion type disposition. With something like that, typically available to first offender non-violent
misdemeanants, he would serve a short stint on probation where he'd have to pay fines, do some community service, stay drug free and refrain from other criminal behavior, and take anti drug classes or counseling. Once he completes everything successfully, the case is dismissed. Such an outcome is possible, but may have to be negotiated. If you can afford private counsel for your son, retain him a lawyer and have him with your son on his first court
date. If you cannot afford one, he should plead not guilty when he is arraigned on the charges and then ask the court to appoint him a public defender.