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Is it a good idea to plea as a Youthful Offender?

Huntsville, AL |

On Christmas eve I got arrested for the possesion of a controlled substance-felony in the first degree. The police arrived at my home under a domestic violence disturbance call, and while searching the house found 30$ worth of marijuana. My boyfriend and I both got put under arrest for the same charges. Now my court date is coming up, and although friends and family have told me to plea as a youthful offender something inside still worries me about it. I cannot afford a lawyer and our rights have not been read to us at anytime throughout the booking process. This is definitely my first time getting in trouble with the law aside from a minor speedinig ticket. I was 20 at the time this happened but turned 21 only 6 days later.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. There is no reason to not apply to be a youthful offender. If you have any questions, call at 256-534-3435. You can still try your case if you get granted YO. It is a felony, and you must have an attorney.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.


  2. I am unsure why they did not give you a misd. charge on the marijuana if it was only $30.00. It sounds like it could have been a POM 2nd Class A Misd.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.


  3. I posted a guide about the effect of not reading you your rights. You may find it useful.
    Best of luck to you.

    All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website www.reasonabledoubtny.com


  4. 'Youthful Offender' is a status and not a "plea." See, Code of Alabama, 1975, section 15-19-1 et. seq. Any person aged 18 years but not yet 21 years old at the time of the incident or offense may petition the court for treatment as a 'Youthful Offender.' Such petition is discretionary with the trial court. A "plea" is a plea of guilty or not guilty to the court. The defendant must enter a plea to the court. If the defendant fails to respond to the demand that a plea be entered, the court will enter a plea of not guilty and set the case for trial. See, generally, Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure.

    My main concern with your question is by what legal authority the responding police officer(s) conducted a search of your residence. From what appears in your post, there were no exigent circumstances, no probable cause that the residence contained controlled substances, there is no indication that controlled substances were in plain view, no indicia of drug use, and no other reason to conduct a warrantless search of a residence. A warrantless search is presumed invalid as a matter of law and it is the duty of the prosecutor to legally justify the police search.

    Your best course of action is to seek the professional services of a qualified criminal defense attorney. For a listing of criminal defense lawyers in your area, consult the listings of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association at: www.acdla.org.

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