What is my best course of action if I got possession paraphernalia and an underage possession charges?

There was a noise complaint. Police came to the door and I opened it, knowing I was doing nothing wrong. They then saw my stoner roommate’s pipes. I consented for them to search the apartment and they then charged me with possession (there was no marijuana just pipes) paraphernalia, and an underage. I wasn’t drinking although there was beer in my fridge. My roommate won’t admit it was his, so I’m not sure what to do.

Asked on November 5, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, you get a criminal defense attorney--now.

Second, you do not speak to anyone, especially the authorities (police, prosecutor, etc.) about the case until you talk to your laywer--remember: you have a consitutional right against self-incrimination, often called the right to silence.

You are starting in a bad place, since you opened the door to the police then consented to a search; it is unlikely you can through out th evidence. Your best bets may be to offer to testify against your roommate (or just generally, in your defense, blame it on him) and/or to seek to negotiate a plea to a lesser offense or with less punishment (e.g. no jail time). You attorney can evaluate your case and advise you as to your best course of action. Good luck.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were charged with a crime as the result of the incident that you are writing about, you need to be aware that in all criminal matters, there is always the possibility that the penalty will be a fine, jail time, court supervised classes and a permanent criminal record which could impact your ability to attend school or get a job.

As such, it is advised that you consult with a criminal defense attorney about the charges against you for possession of drug paraphenalia and the best course to try and resolve the situation.

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