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My son is going to school in Flagstaff Arizona. He is in his…

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My son is going...

My son is going to school in Flagstaff Arizona. He is in his first year of college and has never been in any trouble. He was parked on the side of the road with his girlfriend when the police came to the car to check and make sure everyone knows it was OK the police officer says he could smell marijuana which gave him probable cause to search. In the very back of his Jeep the police found a marijuana grinder that had a little marijuana in it, the way my son explains it it was like residue. They talked with him for a little while and gave him a couple of sobriety test which he passed however they gave him a ticket for possession of an illegal substance. He has never been to court before and his dad and I live in Colorado. His court date is 28 November. I think this first court hearing should be just for a plea of guilty or not guilty. Is that correct? My gut tells me he should plead guilty and take responsibility but my husband feels He should plead not guilty. What are the pros and cons of each?

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?

It happened a week ago and this is in Flagstaff Arizona

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

He spoke to somebody at student legal services that I also told him to plead not guilty.

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

I don't think so, I am a social worker but I've never been through anything like this with my son or any of my children I don't think so, I am a social worker but I've never been through anything like this with my son or any of my children

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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11/20/2017
Criminal Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 123,386
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The first appearance is to plead guilty/not guilty. I would not suggest pleading guilty at all for a first offense when he has no record. The AZ law says he had to knowingly possess the marijuana. If the grinder was found way in the back of the jeep as you said, he has a defense that he had no idea it was back in the back of his jeep and it had marijuana in there.

It is still a misdemeanor criminal charge with a fine up to $750 and possibly up to 6 months in jail so he should not plead guilty without having an attorney and working out a deal.

Your son's attorney would be able to work out either getting the charges dismissed, the best case, or at least getting what is called a deferred adjudication, which is where he is given a fine and probation and then when he successfully completes it without getting into any further trouble, the court will dismiss the case and remove it from his record.

So it is worth spending money to get him an attorney in Flagstaff and have him plead not guilty and then seek dismissal or at the very least a deferred adjudication deal.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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