Jurisdiction is a major issue here. The different counties take terribly varied apporaches. As is the charge itself in HIS situation for a few reasons as I have seen and helped to prevent with my own clients and students.
1) Financial Aid - under the Higher Education Act, he may have his financial aid suspended depending on the case disposition.
I will quote the higher education act:
"SUSPENSION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR DRUG-RELATED OFFENSES-
`(1) IN GENERAL- A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under this title during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table:
`If convicted of an offense involving:
The possession of a controlled substance:
Ineligibility period is:
The sale of a controlled substance:
Ineligibility period is:
so while the disposition is absolutely draconian, this is unfortunately the current law in the country.
2) Jurisdiction- while Cook County may be more liberal on this issue in certain courthouses, leading to more fair dispositions, McHenry is not as kind on average. DuPage and Lake can be split depending on the courthouse and prosecutor
Immediate Action to take as a Parent - despite whatever disappointment you must feel at the moments, hire an attorney immediately. I've been able to find a measure of success with small amounts of marijuana by demanding the lab technician appearance in court. In many jurisdictions, they are much too busy with larger (and more serious) drug cases. Therefore, they avoid court. I was blatantly told the same when I was a prosecutor.
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It's great that he told you. I would definitely hire an attorney and try to get something like drug school and the case dismissed, you do not want this on his record.
With all the scary information you have been presented, you need to know that a Class C misdemeanor is a relatively minor offense. Your son should have an experienced attorney to assure the best possible outcome. There are many good lawyers near you. who must likely will be able to handle this case with something less than an outcome of conviction.
You should hire an attorney that can review the reports to see if there are any motions that can be filed and get the case dismissed. Also, an attorney will help negotiate the best outcome to try and keep the arrest off your son's records.
Louis J. Meyer
Meyer & Kiss, LLC
Offices in Chicago, Peoria & Rockford
312-765-0100 or 309-713-3751
I agree with all my respected colleagues that this matter requires a professional attorney for the future career and educational plans may be greatly compromised as a result of a less than adequate handling of this matter.
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