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I understand that. Unfortunately, however, it is not your choice to make. It is your son's. All anyone can attempt to do is to educate him about what he is risking if he drops out of of the program, and that's a drug and paraphernalia conviction on his record.
Criminal convictions have lifetime consequences, and a conviction can get in the way of your son's personal and professional success. One day, he'll probably end up kicking himself for being so cavalier about his record. But nobody can force him to complete a program if he'd rather do the time. All they can do, unfortunately, is to tell him how unwise he's being and hope he gets the message.
On a first offense, a marijuana possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in SC has a maximum possible penalty of 30 days in jail. The paraphernalia charge wouldn't add any more time as it's a civil offense.
The judge cannot sentence him to more time than what the law would allow for the crime. The statute says a first marijuana offense of less than an ounce maxes out at 30 days. So that's the most she can give him.
On a second marijuana offense, even with a small amount, he risks a year in jail. That's another reason his decision not to complete the program and work for the dismissal is not a good one. But again, all anyone can do is tell him about this. From there, the final decision is his.
Yes, it is most unfortunate.
If he gets a conviction for a drug offense, South Carolina will no expunge that conviction from his record down the road, unless the law changes. I'm sure your son's lawyer will be telling him that and also mentioning the same things you are.
Hopefully it will sink in that a criminal conviction is not a badge of honor. Sometimes, however, we just have to let the people we love make their own mistakes.
I wish you the best during a very tough time for you.
He's a juvenile, so, yes, the state can step in and remove him from his home and detain him until his family court date.
You are correct. In South Carolina, a crime that is committed by a defendant 17 or older would be an adult court matter and the juvenile justice system would not have jurisdiction over the matter.
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.