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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience practicing attorney
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I was charger with the misdemeanor of use and possession of

Customer Question

I was charger with the misdemeanor of use and possession of paraphernalia. What they found on me and in my car was a small pipe (empty of marijuana, residue still in it) and 4 empty baggies that at one point contained marijuana. My question is, how serious will these charges be? Will I have to do probation or will it just be a small fine? Also, does the word "use" in the charge make it worse? I wasn't smoking at the time of being pulled over and didn't have any marijuana on me. I have already used my AR once when I was 16. Will this charge stay on my record forever? I hope someone can help me, I am very worried about the consequences here. Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

Dear JACUSTOMER - Since this is a misdemeanor the charges are not "serious" in the sense of a major amount of prison time etc however they are serious enough that you need to get an attorney and if you cannot afford an attorney the court will appoint counsel for free. In any event you definitely need to be represented. You should also not discuss the case with anyone but an attorney.


It is virtually impossible to predict an outcome of any court case so I cannot tell you what you will receive as a penalty. It could be anywhere from a fine to probation or even a small amount of jail time. At this point you need to be more concerned about getting the best possible deal as far as a possible plea agreement since that will determine what you will eventually face as far as a penalty.


You certainly need to plead not guilty and allow your attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor to make certain all of your rights are protected and that you get the best plea bargain possible. Then you can start talking about the possible penalty and get that worked out before you enter a plea. Of course you have the right to a trial if thee is some defense to the case.


All of the words such as "use" or possession" probably will not be important in the end since all of this is likely to come down to a plea bargain and it won't matter what the original charges say. Only if you went to trial and they had to prove each and every detail would these words matter. So get an attorney and keep quiet.


As far as your record is concerned that will be up to the judge at a later time and you always have the opportunity to ask for a pardon from the governor. There's nothing you can do about that at this point so once again you need to concentrate on getting the best possible result and then deal with the other issues.


Dave Kennett