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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30167
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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Two weeks ago, my son was arrested for intent to sell drugs.

Resolved Question:

Two weeks ago, my son was arrested for intent to sell drugs. He had about 60 pills (estasy), and a bag of weed. He was released on his own recognisance.

Then last week he was stopped in a gas station. The car belonged to someone else and the license has been suspended. He was also carrying a knife that was for work, and it is of an illegal nature because of the way it is made. Again he was arraigned, and released.

He has a court date on 1/12/11. By the way, the knife charge was added to the first.

My questions to you is: What happens next, and will he have to go to jail?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 years ago.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Is the court date in January for the initial charges or for the suspended license and the knife?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Is this the trial?

If so, did the judge appoint a lawyer at the original court date on the drug charges?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

All I know is that he was arrested the first time on 10/20 (drug charge)and the second on 10/26 (weapons charge). He was released both times. He says they added the second charge to the first, and has to appear in court on 1/12. Nothing has been done as far as I know; no attorney, no rights were read to him (so he says).


By the way my son is a grown man (36 yrs old). He is a truck driver with obviously a drug problem. But he works everyday (mostly 6 days a week).

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Ok, thank you.

At the appearance where he was released, that should have been an arraignment, which means that he was notified of the charges against him, advised of his right to an attorney, and then released. That's what should have happened, which means that he would have a lawyer at the next appearance.

If the next court date is in January, that could be a pretrial conference, a change of plea, or the trial itself. If it's just a conference, not much will happen. They'll tell the judge whether they're ready to go to trial and they'll pick a trial date.

If it's a change of plea, he would be pleading guilty based on a negotiated agreement. That's probably not what it is, because it was set at the initial appearance. Changes of plea are usually not set until later, because the defendant pleads not guilty at the initial appearance.

Otherwise, it's a trial. The DA will present their witnesses, and your son will have the ability to cross-examine them. When the DA rests, he can ask the judge to enter a verdict in his favor, based on the fact that the DA did not prove that he is guilty. If the motion is denied, he would then be allowed to present his own witnesses and, if he wants, testify on his own behalf.

If he needs treatment, then his lawyer can try to negotiate some sort of plea that means that he gets treatment instead of jail time, in exchange for a guilty plea. That would avoid the trial. Otherwise, if he is found guilty on the charges, considering how much ecstasy he is charged with carrying, plus the other charges, he would probably be required to do some jail time.

Court records are public documents. If you call the clerk with your son's name and the case number, they should be able to tell you what type of hearing is scheduled for that date. At that point, I would be able to give you more detailed information.

No matter what happens, good luck.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I appreciate your help. I just wanted to say that this is the first time he has been to jail. The botXXXXX XXXXXne for me is; do you think he will have to do jail time?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
If he is found guilty on the drug charge, he will probably do jail time, but it depends on how much he is found guilty of possessing. If the total weight of the drugs is 8 ounces or more (including the marijuana), there is a minimum sentence of 15 years. If the weight is four ounces, then it would be 3-15 years. If it's less than that, there is no minimum mandatory sentence.

If it were just the knife charge, then he might be able to get off with probation. But he's charged with carrying a lot of illegal drugs and, unfortunately, if he is convicted, he will probably spend at least some time in jail.
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