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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20357
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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My son just turned 19, he is charged with possession of 27.1

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My son just turned 19, he is charged with possession of 27.1 grams of marijuana and drug pariphanalia. We have posponed his court date for now, he is clueless and so are we. What do we need to to? Personally I would like to see him in a program for drug and alcohol abuse, and some kind of scare tactic to change his path, would like to of course to avoid a criminal record. He has a great job with a great future, a heart of gold, but a nack for bad choices. He has no prior legal issues but a couple of unpaid tickets. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sandy
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 8 years ago.

The first thing he should do, if he hasn't already done so, is obtain representation by a criminal law attorney. From the facts you provided, he may not qualify for a public defender based on his earnings so he should find a local criminal law attorney and talk to him about his options. Usually with a first offense a court is willing to defer prosecution if the defendant agrees to go into a drug counseling program or other intervention program, along with maybe community service. Under these arrangements, as long as your son follows the diversion program requirements, then the state will end up not prosecuting him and the charges will be dropped. Having said that, I see that you say he has a couple of unpaid tickets. If those are for parking no big deal, if for moving violations, they might present a small hurdle to convince the state and the judge that he is going to comply with a diversion program. My best advice is to spend the money to have a local attorney handle his case, since they know the prosecutors and the judges and can deal with both.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Is is improper for me to request a private council with the judge? I have been concerned about his substince abuse for some time (his father is a recovering alcoholic) I know that with some help he can turn this around. He has been with the same company since he was 16 years old as a registered apprentice and is now starting his second year as a full apprentice. His future is bright, he's smart, and can be very focused when not under the influence. Don't get me wrong I want him to have a hard lesson, but not a criminal record at this young age.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,

Yes, it would be improper, since your son is an adult. This is between him and the court. If he wants you to, you may be allowed to speak on his behalf if the prosecution continues without diversion, otherwise you cannot make a statement to the judge, especially an ex parte statement.