My first offense is a misdemeanor marijuana possession. I know I qualify for the first offenders, however I've read about conditional discharge. which works better, or is it right for me?
You are eligible for conditional discharge if it is your first ever drug charge (which it obviously is). It is much better than first offender because once you finish the requirements it goes away like it never happened. First offender will stay on your record (although it will not show as an actual conviction) until you take the extra step of petitioning to have it expunged. Also, if later on you ever get a felony charge you want to be able to have your first offender option open, which you will still be able to if you use conditional discharge for this misdemeanor. Good luck
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You shouldn't ask for either, as an experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to get your case dismissed. While the Internet is a good place to get general information it is no substitute to hiring an expert to help you.
In MI where I practice this is routinely extended where defendants have an attorney. Even if it is viewed as a 'standard' deal it isn't worth the risk to not get. Hire someone to make sure you don't have to answer for a controlled substance offense down the road.
You shouldn't ask for either one because you have a better option available to you. Since this is your first offense you should qualify for a diversion program which, upon successful completion, will dismiss the charges against you and remove the arrest from your criminal history. You need to make sure you don't get convicted of the marijuana charge because this charge will suspend your driver's license for a minimum period of 6 months, and this is a hard suspension meaning there is no limited permit for work, school, etc. Using a conditional discharge plea, or First Offender plea, would eliminate many options for you. You definitely want to use diversion. To learn more about diversion programs and marijuana charges in Georgia please watch my informative videos at:
James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.
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