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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25934
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My adult unemployed son got 3 citations in a 2 month period

Customer Question

My adult unemployed son got 3 citations in a 2 month period for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia (11364(a)HS)-1st and 3rd ticket, possess controlled substance without prescription (4060 BP) 1st ticket, and possession of a controlled substance (11377(a)HS) 1st and 2nd ticket. He did not appear when he was supposed to. I checked the online case summaries, and it says the release status is appearance letter, no warrant, no DMV hold. He doesn't have any money. He has a drug problem. I don't have money to help him right now. What is the best way for him to proceed?
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when was the warrant issued?
Customer: CA. It doesn't appear a warrant was issued. The court date he missed was 5/10/17.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No. We don't have $5,000 for one. He's unemployed. Technically, so am I but I just bought a business that I'm hoping will start providing an income soon.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: He has a prior for marijuana possession with intent to distribute about 10 years ago.
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 days ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and I may also have to respond to other customers.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 days ago.

He needs to call the court, give his name and the case number ***** he knows it so that the clerk can look at the computer and find out what happened on May 10th. That's a very recent date and there's been a weekend intervening. So it's likely that the website wasn't up to date and a warrant did issue. If the warrant didn't, then unless the case was thrown out, a new date would have been ordered, and he needs to know what that is.

Most typically, a warrant would have been issued, and if you/your son finds that to be the case but comes back to court immediately, with only a few days since the warrant and a voluntary return to court, most judges would accept any reasonable excuse for his absence on the 10th and keep him at liberty. The longer he waits, however, the greater the chances of being incarcerated and held at least for a couple of days until the prosecutor could order his case file. In that case, for best results when he comes to court to return himself on the warrant, you would want him to have a lawyer with him.

If there is no warrant, then he was fortunate enough to dodge a bullet this time. You need to encourage him to come to court on the new date.

Your son is at liberty, which typically means that he can resolve his present cases in some way where he could remain so. By playing fast and loose with his court dates, however, he can wind up facing jail time that he would typically be able to avoid.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 days ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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