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I got a disorderly conduct citation for marijuana. I want to…

I got a disorderly...

I got a disorderly conduct citation for marijuana. I want to know what is the best course of action to take and what would show up on a background check

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

PA

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No. I just got the citation today

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

First time offense, happened in Feb. of this year, crime code is 18 5503 A(4)

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/8/2017
Nisha Jones
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,490
Experience: Managing Attorney at Nisha Jones Law, LLC
Verified

Good evening, I am a Criminal Defense attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office, and I'll be answering your questions today. Keep in mind this is for informational purposes only and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. Please allow me just a few minutes to review your question, thank you!

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Can you please clarify-- this occurred in February but you just received a citation today?

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Correct. I got the citation in the mail

Okay, thanks for the additional information. Give me just a few minutes to type up some information for you, thanks!

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5503 is the Pennsylvania Disorderly Conduct statute, so you were charged with disorderly conduct, not with the possession of marijuana.

Disorderly conduct can be charged as either a summary offense or a misdemeanor in the state of Pennsylvania. A summary offense is less severe than a misdemeanor but will still show up on a background check.

If this was charged as a summary offense, then it is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

If it was charged as a misdemeanor, then it is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

In any event, since this is your first ever criminal offense, you qualify for the pre trial deferment program.

The terms of this program vary from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but generally involves some rehabilitative or educational programs, community service, and/or a fine. Then upon successful completion of the program, the charges against you are dismissed.

My recommendation would be to hire an attorney to represent you in this matter, you may have other possible valid legal defenses depending on the specific facts of your case, and at the very least you want to make sure your attorney gets you enrolled in your jurisdiction's pre trial diversion program.

If for some reason you can't afford an attorney right now, then the court will appoint one to you at your first court appearance.

I hope that helps!

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Also, please take a moment to rate me using the stars at the top of the page, as it's the only way experts are compensated for our time on the site. I do not receive a salary here at JustAnswer, and am only compensated for my time after receiving a rating of 3 stars or more (5 stars are always appreciated). The question won't close after rating, so you can still ask follow-up questions after. Thanks, ***** ***** it!

Nisha Jones
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,490
Experience: Managing Attorney at Nisha Jones Law, LLC
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Is there any way to tell if it's a summary offense or misdemeanor?
Even though the citation mentions I possessed marijuana, I'm not getting charged for that?

subsection (4) which is the citation code you sent is for disorderly conduct that:

"creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor."

In other words, yes it is a disorderly conduct charge, not a marijuana possession charge.

You can find the codified law listed on your citation here:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/18/00.055.003.000..HTM

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You can call the clerk's office at the courthouse where your case is being heard, provide them your case number, and they should be able to look up your case and tell you whether it's being charged as a summary offense or misdemeanor.

If you have any more questions in the future or during this process, and would like my help, please feel free to reach out to me here at JustAnswer by posting a new question, and adding "For Nisha" to the first part of your question. Best of luck to you, take care!

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