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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20401
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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My son in being arrainged tomorrow in Florida for a charge

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My son in being arrainged tomorrow in Florida for a charge of possesion and selling of over 20 grams of cannibis (felonies in florida). It was actually a piece of chocolate with mushrooms in it that weighed 26 grams that a friend of his asked him to help sell. His public defender has not met with him, but my son wants to plea bargain to misdemeanors. My question is... which is better: a plea of no contest to the felony or guilty to a misdemeanor? He is hoping to get credit for time served (about 45 days now) and be released with probation or military service, etc. Thanks so much

It is a common misconception that a no contest plea will result in something other than a finding of guilty and a conviction as far as a criminal record goes. Certainly, if your son has a opportunity to have his charges reduced to a misdemeanor, assuming there is no hope for an acquittal, then he should seriously consider pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. Ultimately though, he should discuss all of his options with his public defender after his PD has an opportunity to review the evidence in his case. Finally, the days of the courts sending defendants off to the military instead of sentencing them for the crimes they are convicted of, are over. The military services have very tight standards and anyone with a criminal record must have a special waiver in order to be eligible for service. Depending on the military service involved, those waivers are not always easy to get.
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