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LawyerLady07, Criminal Defense Lawyer
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My 19 year old son has his medical marijauna card here in Colorado.

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My 19 year old son has his medical marijauna card here in Colorado. While camping in Wyoming the state park rangers gave him a ticket for possession. It is his first offense and the rangers told him to plead no contest rather than guilty so it would show up on background checks. He was with a large group and the rangers said they would arrest everyone if no one claimed it so my son took the fall. He called to get the incident report and the ranger said he was not allowed to release it to him and he would have to request it from the prosecutor. What should he plead and do you have any advice?
Good evening!

I'd be happy to help you with your legal inquiry. The information that the rangers gave your son is not correct ( and they should not being giving legal advice anyway). Unfortunately, despite possessing a medical marijuana card, possession of marijuana is illegal in Wyoming.

First, pleading "no contest" has the same legal effect as pleading "guilty." And pleading "no contest" as opposed to "guilty" does not mean that it won't show up on his record.

Secondly, the rangers may or may not have been able to charge the whole group for possession. If no one had spoken up, they knew they would have a very hard time proving who actually possessed it. So they made that statement hoping someone would confess. (It seems to be a common tactic used by law enforcement).

Thirdly, if your son is representing himself, he can request 1st offender status, which means he would be put on probation for a period and upon completion of probation, the charge will be dismissed. However, I would check with either the prosecutor or the probation office to make sure that they will allow him to complete his probation supervision in another state if he doesn't intend on staying in Wyoming.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So does he request 1st offender status before or after he pleads guilty and I assume he should plead guilty instead of no contest?
Yes he would plead guilty. If he has an attorney, then have the attorney speak with the prosecutor about whether he qualifies (meaning he's never been convicted of any other drug offense) and whether he can participate as an out-of-state probationer. Or if he's waived counsel, then he can call and ask the prosecutor these questions.
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