What happens to your criminal record if you get convicted of a possession ofdrug paraphernalia charge?

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What happens to your criminal record if you get convicted of a possession ofdrug paraphernalia charge?

The police got called out to our house because of a report of people smoking weed in our backyard. They came into the yard through a closed gate and searched the property without the homeowners permission or knowledge. They ended up charging 4 people with possession of drug paraphernalia. I am 22 and don’t have anything on my record. I am going to school to be a teacher and don’t want this on my record. Are they allowed to come into the backyard like that and what are the chances of us getting the charges dropped?

Asked on June 29, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a criminal offense.  Accordingly you should have legal representation in this matter.  An experienced ciminal law attorney might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality or at least get it reduced.  Also, since you are a first-time offender, a defense lawyer may also be able to arrange for something called "diversion" which is an alternative sentencing program. The defendant pleads guilty to the charge, receives a special probation, and upon its successful completion the charge will be withdrawn and the case is dismissed.  Additionally, at this is one of your concerns, your record should be automatically cleared (i.e. "expunged"). 

Note:  Diversion is only allowed for a first offense.  This means that if you get into trouble again, it will not be available for you regarding any subsequent charge(s).  That's why if you get an attorney and the get the your case dismissed, you will be eligible for diversion in the future if you should need it.


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