the process depends on what the charges are, but generally the first step is your initial appearance, which is when the judge or magistrate informs you of the charges against you. from there you may have the matter set for a pretrial or trial date. because the process can be confusing, particularly if this is your first time, it's a good idea to talk to a lawyer who has experience with these kinds of cases. he or she can explain how everything works and help you navigate the process.
I suggest you hire an attorney who can assist you with the case. What will happen depends on exactly what you are charged with. It can range anywhere from a felony carrying years in prison to a minor misdemeanor with no jail possible. The problem is all drug charges carry a loss of your drivers license, fine, loss of the ability to obtain student loans and grants for a period of time, immigration consequences, and can preclude you from eligibility for certain jobs and professional licensure. You should hire an attorney who can try and win your case or at least try and assist you in avoiding a drug conviction. Good luck.
The responses of Attorney Chris Beck to any questions posed on Avvo do NOT establish an Attorney-client... more
The responses of Attorney Chris Beck to any questions posed on Avvo do NOT establish an Attorney-client relationship. Attorney Beck is available for private hire and consultation for a fee. Only after Attorney Beck is retained as counsel, or agrees to discuss this matter with you privately, shall he be legally deemed to be your Attorney. His responses herein are an attempt to assist persons temporarily based upon the very extremely limited amount of information provided by the questioner
Find an attorney prior to going to court. Because this is your first offense you could qualify for a diversion program that could keep this off your record. If you do not have time to search for an attorney before your court date, then ask the judge to give you additional time find an attorney.
This is general information and not legal advise. This communication does not create a lawyer-client relationship.
You should strongly consider hiring your own experienced, local lawyer immediately to help you through this process. Drug-related charges can be very serious. If you have never been in trouble before, there are many different options a lawyer may be able to help you with. Do not delay. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you have the right to fill out a Poverty Affidavit at court and ask the Judge to appoint you a lawyer (or the Public Defender). This is the best alternative option if you cannot afford your own lawyer. Do not go to court yourself. Do not represent yourself or think the prosecutor or Judge will help protect your best interests. Good luck!