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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26806
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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This morning I got woken up by the police that some kids

Customer Question

This morning I got woken up by the police that some kids from my neighborhood were burglarizing multiple vehicles in my neighborhood. They informed me that my vehicle was one that got hit. They asked me to search my car to see if anything was missing,
i did and proceeded to tell them that nothing was missing. The kids said that they stole a small bag of weed & some cigars from by vehicle & told the police exactly where they found it in my vehicle. When asked, I denied that the weed was mine... However,
they searched the vehicle because supposedly it smelled like weed. During the search, they found a small Marijuana stem with some cigar fillings in a portable ashtray, and proceeded to charge me with a misdemeanor Marijuana possession charge for the stem.
My car was accessed by the thieves and was unlocked. I gave no admission of guilt on either the stem or the bag that they stole. What would be my best route in this situation???
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello, My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer. In Florida, any amount of marijuana under 20 g is a misdemeanor with a maximum possible penalty of a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. But if this was a first arrest and you wanted to resolve this case without going to trial, you would likely be eligible for a diversion type of disposition that would allow you to come out of this case without a criminal record by essentially working off your plea: paying some fines, doing some community service and staying out of difficulty with the law while being supervised by probation. At the end of the supervisory period, if you have completed all your requirements, the case gets dismissed and you can then honestly say you have no convictions on your record. Of course, you don't have to take any kind of plea offer. You have the right to fight the case, all the way to trial if necessary, and the facts of your case are favorable to the defense. No criminal trial is ever a slam dunk for either side, but the fact that others had been in your car could provide reasonable doubt in the minds of a jury as to who made the car smell like marijuana (if it did) and who put the stem in the ashtray. If there's reasonable doubt, a jury cannot convict. One way or the other, to get the most favorable deal or the best chance of success at trial, you should have a lawyer with you when you appear in court. If you cannot afford a lawyer, plead not guilty at your arraignment and ask the judge to appoint you a public defender.

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