How best to handle a misdemeanor drug possession charge for a first offense?

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How best to handle a misdemeanor drug possession charge for a first offense?

My son is 17 was charged with a class B misdemeanor possession of a controlled drug. He was in his car parked in a parking lot with the car off. He had no drugs on him or in the vehicle. His friend, who was a passenger, had it on him. This is the first time that my son has gotten into trouble. My main concern is that it does not go on his record. I was told that if he pleads guilty he may apply to have it removed from his record but it takes 3 years. I have also heard that if it occurred when he was 17 it gets removed when he turns 18. Is this true. He was arrested when he was 17 but just turned 18 a few days before his hearing. Should I speak with a criminal defense attorney before doing anything? We’re in Grafton County, NH.

Asked on August 25, 2010 under Criminal Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The short answer to your question is YES, you absolutely should consult with a criminal defense attorney before doing anything else.  From the facts that you provided, it may be very possible to get these charges DISMISSED, which would prevent your son from having to plead guilty or otherwise have any conviction go on his record.  First, there may be an illegal search and seizure issue which could lead to the suppression of the evidence.  Second, if your son's friend takes responsibility for the drugs, then the state may drop the charges against your son.  Although these facts may provide successful defenses, you should not attempt to argue them alone.  The law with respect to each is tricky, and it will require the skill of an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Nevertheless, with the help of an attorney I am confident that your son will be able to resolve this matter without a conviction.


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