What to do if I’m 17 and I’ve just been charged with possession of marijuana?

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What to do if I’m 17 and I’ve just been charged with possession of marijuana?

I’ve never been in trouble before, overall I’m a pretty good kid. I go to cyber school but I’m taking all AP classes while maintaining a 3.7 GPA and I work a full time job. Well, about 38 hours a week. I’ve been juggling all this since I was 15 when I got the job. I wasn’t doing anything bad when I got arrested. I was waiting for my friend to come pick me up because it was 11 pm and I didn’t want to drive after curfew since I got a fine for that the prior week. Once my friend arrived I got into her car and we were pulled over. They said it was suspicious, which i guess it kind of was. It was 3.2 grams of weed in a small bag but thats it. Whats going to happen?

Asked on February 7, 2013 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Considering your age and your history, you will more than likely be placed on a juvenile probation for six months to a year.  While on probation, you may be required to attend drug/alcohol counseling and complete a number of hours of community service.  If you structure the deal correctly and you have no violations while on probation, then you can petition for an expungement of your case-- which is the ideal situation so that this case does not have the potential to haunt you later.  As a juvenile-- it shouldn't haunt you-- but if you ever apply for a position in a restricted or licensed field (like law enforcement), it could potentially reappear, and always at the worst time.

Before you enter a plea, consider visiting with a criminal defense attorney.  First, you want to make sure that you get a probation that will set you up for a successful expunction later.  Second, you also want to have the attorney review the basis of your arrest.  Your facts are pretty sketchy-- if they are that sketchy, you may be able to get the stop/arrest suppressed.  This would mean that the evidence against you would have to be thrown out, and thus the charges.  A good criminal defense attorney can give review the offense report to give you a better idea of the success of a motion to suppress in your jurisdiction.


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