How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask RobertJDFL Your Own Question
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13507
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
RobertJDFL is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have got charged with possession of marijuana when I went

Customer Question

I have got charged with possession of marijuana when I went to court they gave me an option of taking 3 random drug test or paying my fine I have taken to the drug test and passed both of them the third one I could not pass I wanted to know when I go back to court what should I expect
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to helping you today.

I do need a little more information first, please. Do you know if the drug testing was part of a conditional release agreement?

Was this a first offense for possession?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What the judge said was I could either pay the $620 or I could take this program which allows me to take three random drug test at whatever time they send it to me this is not my first offense
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply. The reason I asked if this was a first offense is because first offenders are sometimes offered pre-trial intervention (diversion) where if they complete the program terms --which includes random drug testing --the charge is then dismissed.

It's hard to exactly say what will happen, because I imagine there must be some paperwork that you or your lawyer was given that says what would happen if you didn't successfully complete the drug tests. A subsequent offense for marijuana in South Carolina is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000. My professional opinion is that since you failed the last test, the court will now impose the original sanction(s) --the fine, plus any other terms/conditions that they wanted to impose. Since this is left in the judge's discretion, it's also possible that since they cut you a break with the drug tests instead of paying the fine, that the court can increase the amount of the fine they were initially going to impose.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they told me when i first went that i could do this program to get this off my record or just pay the money i didnt have the money so i went with the program i just want to know will they just say for me to serve the 30 day because i didnt complete the program
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay - I had to step out for a short time.

When you say serve 30 days, was that in court documents? That failure to complete the program terms successfully would result in a 30 day sentence? If so, then yes, that is exactly what the court will impose. Your lawyer can go to bat for you, argue that you should be given another opportunity, sometimes judges will agree, but just make the terms more stringent (e.g., more frequent drug tests, longer probation terms, more community service, etc).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No i just said 30 days or pay but i dont have the full amount
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

They may let you pay in installments though, especially if your lawyer makes that request. I can't speak for South Carolina, because I practice in Florida, but judges here usually have no problem letting a defendant split a fine into a few payments.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just didn't want to go to court and have done great on both of my tests and then not have the last one and they automatically send me to jail for 30 days
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

I'm at a bit of a disadvantage not knowing what the judge said to you in court or what your paperwork says. Normally the paperwork in the sentence would spell out the terms and what the sanctions would be for failure to complete those terms, and/or a judge would say to you "You have to pass these three tests, and if you don't, the court will impose a penalty of __________."

It's not clear to me if the court originally said pay the fine or do 30 days OR submit yourself to random drug tests. If it's an "or" situation, then the court should still give you that option when you go to court -to pay the fine or do the 30 days. If instead you were told the failure to pass the drug tests was an automatic 30 days, that's almost certainly what the judge will do. Like I said, sometimes the judges will hear argument from a defense lawyer and agree not to impose the sentence, especially since you passed 2 of the 3 and instead just impose stricter terms and give you one last chance. But it's entirely within a judge's discretion. Ultimately, no one can tell you with certainty what is going to happen because the judge has final say.