I was charged with possession of marijuana paraphernalia, and as it was used, also possession of less than 0.5 ounces. The officer said that often the charge results in a fine, a mandatory drug education course, and possibly community service. I really can't afford a criminal defense lawyer, but the court gave me no information on what I'm facing, and the public defender's office wouldn't speak with me until my court date. Even then, the case might be too small for a public defender anyway. I'd like to know what I should do from here, as I do not want to be blind-sighted on my court date.
A Raleigh lawyer will answer this, but in most counties, the DAs have policies to give first offenders a chance to work off a misdemeanor pot charge and earn a dismissal. If that describes you, you're probably safe to go to your first court appearance and see if the DA will offer you something like that. You'll always have time to hire a lawyer if it does not work out on the first appearance. It's always better to have a lawyer and often a lawyer can find an angle for an even easier disposition than you can, but if you cannot afford one, this case is one where you'll probably be okay. Good luck. - Tony Scheer.
HI. Both of your charges are categorized as class 3 misdemeanors. As such, you are not entitled to a public defender unless you have prior criminal convictions. If you have a clean record, then you will be forced to represent yourself or hire an attorney. If this is your first encounter with the law, there is a very good chance that you can have these charges dismissed. I would encourage you to contact a criminal defense attorney who offers free consultations. You can probably retain someone for a relatively small fee. Doing so may actually save you money in the long run. Hope this helps.
Most attorneys will help you and provide a payment plan. Use Avvo to find an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area and see if they will work with you on payments. Best of luck!
The information provided by Attorney Matthew V. Silva is based upon the generic and ambiguous facts presented in short questions. Without a full consultation with an attorney, you should not rely upon any information presented in this forum. The intricate facts of every case are different. The information provided is not legal advice and should not be the basis of any decision without the actual guidance of an attorney. Further, any information provided by Attorney Matthew V. Silva should not be perceived as a willingness to represent you or actual representation.
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