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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33904
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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A police man was in my home on a totally unrelated matter for

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A police man was in my home on a totally unrelated matter for someone else, and spotted a bong and some cannabis (under an ounce) in a few jars. He issued me a misdemeanor and the word criminal was checked. With a court appearance on May 8th. I was using this as medicine for my pain (which i have documented). I had an appointment to see a doctor the next day for a card that would make this all legal, but i jumped the gun and got the medicine before the card. My question is: do i have to plead guilty? If not, what do i plead and what do i stand on. I have no previous record for anything. Thanks for your help.

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and and I look forward to assisting you today.


You don't have to plead guilty but it certainly sounds like the evidence against you is pretty strong.

JD 1992 :

You may be able to ask for a court appointed attorney and see if he can challenge the "search" but if the officer is there legally and saw the things out in "plain view" then it isn't likely that the court would be willing to suppress the evidence.

Customer:

It was not out in plain view. The IRS was at my home looking for records of evidence they r trying to make a case for. My feeling is they found it as they were going through my cabinets and called the local cop over to see it.

JD 1992 :

Were the IRS agents there as the result of a warrant, did you give permission for them to search, etc.?

Customer:

They had a warrent. i did not give them permission. they had the cop there as a presense. Thats it. And since they are so nasty and vindictive, they had to hassle me with the local cop. I told them this was my medicine for pain.

JD 1992 :

Your attorney could challenge it. I've never seen that exact situation so I'm no sure what a court would do but likely the best thing for you to do is enter a not guilty plea and hire a lawyer or, if you can't afford one, ask for one to be appointed.

Customer:

Do i do that once i enter the court room or before? And who do i contact to have a court appointed attorney?

JD 1992 :

The procedures for requesting a court appointed attorney vary by the specific court but if you contact the clerk of court and ask for the procedure they can tell you. Most judges require you to talk to a few lawyers first and get prices and you will have to explain why you can't afford a lawyer (which is one of the reasons you will have had to talk to them first).

Customer:

And if i am to hire a lawyer, how do i know which would be the best for me?

JD 1992 :

There is really no way to tell. You can ask around but generally it is just a matter of choosing one in the right area, in this case it would be Criminal Defense, and then talking to them and seeing if you are comfortable with them.

JD 1992 :

You can find one at www.lawyers.com.

Customer:

And do you feel this case warrants me actually hiring a lawyer? And how much should it cost ball park? What other choice do i have? Am i walking into the lions den? About to get eaten? If i walk in with out councel?

Customer:

Can i plead not guilty with an explanation?

JD 1992 :

You absolutely will not get the best result without a lawyer. The fees can vary dramatically. Low end would probably be $1000-1500. On the high end it depends on what all ends up happening and how good the lawyer is.

JD 1992 :

You don't want to explain anything.

JD 1992 :

Absolutely don't do that.

JD 1992 :

And also don't talk about the case with anyone except your attorney.

Customer:

Wow! So does that mean i don't get a letter from my doctor telling how i came to get some help for my pain? And what she recommends?

JD 1992 :

You can talk to your doctor but that letter 1) isn't admissible and 2) won't make any difference at this point.

JD 1992 :

But hire a lawyer or get one appointed and discuss getting medical info before you actually do it.

Customer:

Ok. So is it reasonable to call an attorney tomorrow for Wed?

JD 1992 :

Yes. Many lawyers will be there anyway since it is a docket call and if they can't they can enter an appearance for you by mail and get the date moved to a time they can be there.

Customer:

are you talking about a court appointed attorney or a private one?

JD 1992 :

Either way.

Customer:

Ok. I appreciate your help.

JD 1992 :

I'm glad to be of assistance.

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