If I was recently arrested for possession, what will happen to me?

And what I should do to prepare for my court date?

Asked on December 15, 2015 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Much of what will or can happen depends on the nature of the offense and your criminal history. 
If this is a basic possession charge and you have no or minimal criminal history, then you may be able to qualify for a diversion program or similar probation.  Probation is where you remain free, but you are required to complete drug counseling and perform community service.
If the charge is somewhat aggravated...(like a gun involved, someone hurt, kids exposed to drugs....) then the penalties tend to be a bit stiffer.  You could still get a probation, but there is a greater chance of jail time. 
If your criminal history is extensive, then your punishment range could be enhanced to a higher sentence under your state's enhancement statutes.
If you have never really been involved in trouble, then you need to start working on your case now.  You will want to demonstrate that you are a good candidate for probation or other diversion program.  Your history will help... but you can also show that you are working at a regular job or going to school and trying to make your life better.
To help you, visit with a couple of defense attorneys in your area to learn what your judges like and don't like.  More and more defense attorneys are offering free consultations.  If you can afford to hire one to assist you, that will make the process easier.  If you cannot afford an attorney, request the court to appoint an attorney for you.
At your first court date, the judge will inquire whether or not you have an attorney and how you would like to plea.  At this first date, update the court on where you are at in hiring an attorney (you have one, you're working on one, or you need a court appointed attorney).  The judge will also ask what plea you want to enter... for the purposes of this first announcement, tell the judge you desire to enter a plea of non-guilty.  If you decide to plea guilty later... you can always change it.  But, for now, don't lock yourself into a confession before you've really had a chance to have an attorney review you case. 


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