I’m 19 and go to college and I recently got possession of marijuana under 35g. I have a court date in a little less than a month and I don’t know what to do. I’m broke so I can’t hire a lawyer and I know they wont give me a public defender because my parents have money but my parents won’t help. I just want it off my record. I’ve heard there may be a class offered and probation/community service to get it dropped but I don’t know how to ask for that. I’ve never been to court. The officers told me sometimes I’ll meet before the trial with a clerk And they could offer me a deal but again, I don’t know how to set up that pre trial meeting. All I need is it to be hidden from my record and I’ll accept any fines or classes I may need.
Depending on state law, your parents may not have a choice in whether or not to help. If at 19 you're still the responsibility of your parents, its possible your parents will face consequences if they refuse to hire an attorney for you when they have the financial means. This would be the case in NY. If at 19 you are considered an adult and no longer the responsibility of your parents, then your parents financial capabilities should not be considered in your request for a PD.
Ask for the PD. Don't do this without a lawyer.
You need an attorney and for this sort of case many attorneys are affordable. Do not just plead guilty for a fine as a fine is a conviction in Missouri and will be on your record. An attorney can often get these charges amended to something else. Please do not take legal advice from a cop they are not lawyers and frankly don't have the best interest of criminal defendants in mind...
This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Neither the Supreme Court of Missouri nor The Missouri Bar reviews or approves certifying organizations or specialist designations. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.
You must go to court on your court date and when your name is called, you will go up to the front and the judge will ask if you are pleading guilty or not guilty. You can explain to the judge that you would like to request probation or a diversion program (if they offer that) so that you can eventually avoid having a drug conviction on your record. The judge may allow you to speak with the Prosecuting Attorney at that point -- however, not all prosecutors will meet with unrepresented defendants. Or the judge might just continue your court date, which will give you another 30 days to either apply for a public defender or hire an attorney. You can also ask the judge to allow you to do community service instead of paying a fine.
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