What to do if I was recently arrested for the first time for possession of paraphernalia?

I am 18 and it is my first offense, civil or criminal. The officers on the scene said they can guarantee the fine but nothing else. I have court in a few days and I’m not sure what to do. I’m curious as to what could happen to me and what I can do?  

Asked on October 8, 2011 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) The officers can *NOT* guarantee you a fine but nothing else--they don't have the power to do this. Even the prosecutor cannot absolutely guarantee it, though he/she has much more influence, since he or she chooses what to charge you with, and could select charges with lesser punishment. The fact is, it's the judge who decides, within the parameters for the charges you are faced with, what punishment you will get, and no one else can guaranty anything, though they can make recommendations and possibly influence what happens.

2) You could face jail time. The exact amount will depend on precisely what you end up charged with.

3) You should get a criminal defense attorney to represent you; that will maximize your chance of getting the case dismissed or a minimal punishment. Don't speak to the authorities until and unless you talk to your lawyer.


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