The first thing you need to do is to hire an attorney who can interview witnesses and gather facts to preserve your defense. There are often security cameras and other things that hold data for a limited period of time. You also need to preserve your phone's images. If you wait too long, much of this information may disappear. It is not unusual for the police to put witnesses on the defensive if they think there may be a problem. However, without solid evidence to the contrary, judges...
Believe it or not, this can be very serious. If you ever want to become a citizen or obtain legal status, Immigration authorities look to see if you have been convicted of any crime of moral turpitude. Theft (even for $40.00) is a crime of moral turpitude. You need to have a lawyer represent you. There are lots of ways that this case can be resolved without a conviction, but you need a lawyer to guide you through the process.
The short answer is "yes, you are in trouble." You are facing Felony charges and the fact that you don't live here will be of no consequence if you get convicted. You all need a lawyer as soon as possible. In order to be convicted (assuming that you are charged the way you describe) the State will have to prove your knowledge of the pills. You need to have a lawyer working for you immediately. There are lots of things that need to be done and there are lots of things that can be done.
YOU NEED TO GET A LWYAER IMMEDIATELY. It is impossible to say what is going on with your case, but I am guessing that this is much more significant than you think. This may just be an arraignment, or there could be some really substantive things set to happen. "Hearings" can deal with lot of things, from scheduling to plea offers. You need a lawyers ASAP. A lawyer can explain the procedural and legal issues. Frederick County is not known for its Kindness to criminal defendants, so you...
If the Nolle Prosequi was entered (without any special conditions) and you meet the other qualifications under the statute, you can file for expungement. The court has paperwork to fill out. It costs $30 and is relatively painless. If the expungement is granted, it is gone.
There is no independent remedy for "double jeopardy." However, if your friend was lock up for an improper reason there may be a civil suit. It is not clear what the damages might be. Your friend should consult a civil attorney in Tennessee who might be able to better evaluate any potential claims.
I wouldn't get too excited. The bill is not yet law and your case will probably be resolved before it is law. However, the prosecutors may relax a little bit, given the recent vote. The rest of your posting presents some interesting Constitutional issues regarding the nature and length of the seizure by the police. You should consult an attorney. You may have a good defense.
I agree with the other answers, but I cannot emphasize enough, how important it is to have an attorney. You don't know what the police think happened. They do not have to tell you everything and your (otherwise innocent) statement could be used to implicate you. You don't want to even be admitting circumstantial facts that could confirm the complainant's story. Get a Lawyer!!!!!
Yes, your stepson needs an attorney. thought the charges may not be the most serious in the world, a conviction will follow him around for the rest of his lie. This can prevent him from getting a job etc. Additionally, from my perspective, the police should not be allowed to run "rough shod" over the rights of citizens. If you stepson is really in the right, it may be worth fighting.