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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20393
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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While I was out of the country with my sons, the alarm in our

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While I was out of the country with my sons, the alarm in our house went off. The security company called the police, who arrived to find the front door ajar. Two policemen entered and searched the house. No intruder was found, but they did find two marijuana plants in the closet of my 19-year old son. They confiscated the plants, and on the way out spoke to a neighbor. The neighbor, who knows us and knows the layout of the house, told the police (when asked) whose closet the plants were found in. I knew about the existence of the plants.

Eventually the police determined that the plants yielded 8 oz. of pot, a state jail felony. I would prefer that they charge me, not my son. It is my house after all, and I should be held accountable. But the police are determined to charge my son, since they know the plants were in his room. When I pressed them, they said they might charge us both, but not just him. My instinct is to push back on this issue. It seems like, if I claim the plants were mine, it would be hard for them to prove definitively otherwise. But I understand that's taking a very big risk. Where do I stand, legally?

Thank you for the information and your question. I have to tell you that, based on the information that you provided, I agree with the advice you received from the local attorney. You really, at this point, should make no further statement and instead, if and when your son is charged, you can work with his attorney who may be able to muddy the waters enough at trial (should your son plead not guilty) to create a reasonable doubt about this being your son's. That said, a court and jury would have a hard time believing that this was not your son's, since it was in his closet. But, that is up to his attorney to try to work with.

If you continue to persist with this issue, you too can be charged and both of you could possibly be convicted. That, I am sure, is not what you want to have happen. Even if your son is charged, there is much better chance that his charge will be at least reduced to a misdemeanor and that he would be offered a plea deal that may include pretrial diversion. That I can't say with certainty, but young people are much more likely to get a break on these charges than a parent/adult.

Ultimately you have to do what you think is right, but remember if you perjure yourself at trial, you could face additional charges.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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