Do I need a lawyer for a misdemeanor offense?

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Do I need a lawyer for a misdemeanor offense?

My 18 year old son was pulled over and charged with possession of marijuana how should we handle this?

Asked on March 28, 2017 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In NY, possession of marijuana has been decriminalized. This means that if someone is caught with less than 25 grams, they can be ticketed without being criminally charged; it’s called a “violation”. This is true for a first offense (which I'm assuming this to be). So your son should be ticketed and sent on his way. However, if he was caught with more than 25 grams, more serious penalties, including prison, are involved. Anytime a criminal charge is involved, legal representation is best. They can possibly get the charge dismissed or at least reduced. At this point, he should consult directly with a criminal law attorney. Aside from jail time, such a conviction can have permanent consequences regarding employmers, landlords, obtaining student loans, etc.


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