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How to handle a first offense court appearance for Possession of Marijuana by myself?

Lynchburg, VA |

I'm 20 and have never been charged with anything or any juvenile record. The other weekend I was searched by two police officers because they thought I was shooter in the area. They asked me if I had anything illegal and me and I told them yes because I had a blunt in my pocket. I wasn't arrested but they gave me a summons to appear in court the 6th of September. I leave to go back to college the 16th and as of now only have enough money for a hotel and train ticket to come back for the court date. I have called lawyers and all of them in the area are out of my price range. Is there anyway I can get this handled on my own to get a deferred sentence and if so how would I go about it because I am guilty and I know it and don't have the time or money for trial.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. It is theoretically possible to get a deferred entry of judgment, but you really want an attorney to negotiate your that for you. Also, there may be 4th Amendment issues regarding the search, or a number of other procedural issues that could be raised in your defense. Don't just give up. Many criminal defense attorneys will accept payment plans. Perhaps you could find one that is willing to work with you on this case. I don't think you should go at this alone--hire a lawyer, it'll be worth it in the long run, especially since you're hoping to get a decent job by attending college.

  2. If September 6th is your first court date, then that is likely only the arraignment, which means the Court is going to ask you if you want to hire your own attorney or see if you qualify for a Court appointed counsel... If money is the issue then maybe you do qualify for Court appointed counsel or the public defender in your area.

  3. Ask the Judge to allow you to participate in the first offender/deferred judgement program. Do not use marijuana or any other illegal drugs between now and the court date. Many General District Court judges require a clean drug test to participate in the program.

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