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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26767
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My son was arrested in his dorm room and charged with drug

Customer Question

my son was arrested in his dorm room and charged with drug paraphernalia. this is a first time offense. what do we need to do.
JA: My brothers got into lots of trouble with the law when they were young. The Criminal Lawyer will know how to get you the best outcome. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no, not sure if we need to
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Criminal Lawyer can help you best. Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: all we know at this point is that two friends we in his dorm room smoking pot and they got arrested. he called us from jail at 2am. my son says he was not smoking pot and we tend to believe him because he is starting a job on Monday where he will be drug tested. but he was charged anyway
JA: Is there anything else the Criminal Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: no
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Criminal Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, In what state did this happen? How was the paraphernalia discovered? How old is your son?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mississippi, police came to his dorm room. he is 19
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the quick reply. In Mississippi, possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of 6 months of jail and/or a fine of up to $500. A conviction on this charge will also subject him to a 6 month suspension of his driver's license. It does not matter that there was no car involved in this incident. It is state policy after a drug or drug related conviction. As your son is 19, this is an adult offense, and given that he is away at school, a conviction can have long lasting personal and professional consequences. On a first offense he will not have to worry about serving any jail time for a case like this. More importantly for him would be keeping a drug-related conviction off of his criminal history. To that effect, you should retain a criminal lawyer for him to help him resolve this in the best way possible. It may be, for example, that there was a problem with this search that can be challenged. It may be that the paraphernalia can be suppressed after a hearing, or that he has a good case to take to trial. Or, it may be possible for a lawyer to negotiate a plea bargain which can keep the conviction off of his record, such as a diversion type disposition. With something like that, typically available to first offender non-violent misdemeanants, he would serve a short stint on probation where he'd have to pay fines, do some community service, stay drug free and refrain from other criminal behavior, and take anti drug classes or counseling. Once he completes everything successfully, the case is dismissed. Such an outcome is possible, but may have to be negotiated. If you can afford private counsel for your son, retain him a lawyer and have him with your son on his first court date. If you cannot afford one, he should plead not guilty when he is arraigned on the charges and then ask the court to appoint him a public defender.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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