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The best course of action for a person charged with possession of marijuana; student needs to keep financial aid as well as DL

Savannah, GA |
Attorney answers 3


Official Code of Georgia 16-13-2 is the statute regarding "Conditional Discharge" for a first offense of possession of marijuana. It's very similar to the First Offender Statute and is often referred to as "First Offender for Marijuana". Pleading guilty under Conditional Discharge would result in a dismissal of the marijuana charge if you complete the probation without violating any terms or conditions of probation. So you could plead guilty and yet never be convicted of possessing the marijuana. That means your license is not suspended for a year and you should maintain your financial aid as well. However, you mention this arrest being the result of a search of your car and your home related to a Burglary investigation. There may be issues with those searches that an experienced attorney could use to get the marijuana evidence suppressed. I don't practice in the Savannah area, but I'd be happy to speak with you by phone.

Reid Thompson


Hire a lawyer as soon as possible....there are several alternative options available to you to resolve this matter and without an attorney you are not likely to able to take advantage of these options


You need to hire an attorney so that he can advise you whether the State can use the marijuana against you inasmuch as the discovery of the marijuana by law enforcement may have been the product of an illegal search and seizure. In making this determination, several factors need to be reviewed by your attorney: (1) Were the searches authorized by a search warrant or were they based upon the homeowner, you or another person providing consent for the searches and seizures. The basis of the activity: that is, a warrant or consent, will then require your attorney to review many factors to render an opinion as to the legality of the police conduct. Assuming that your attorney reaches the opinion that the discovery of the marijuana was lawful and that you can be prosecuted for possession of marijuana, you and your attorney need to review what defenses are available to you regarding the charge of possession of the marijuana. In this regard, how will the State prove that you were in knowing possession of the contraband? Who else lived in the house? Who had access to the attic and the vehicle? Who is the owner of the house? Who is the owner of the vehicle? Did you make any admissions to the police? If so, were you at the time of the making of the admissions in custody, so that you should have been advised of your constitutional right to remain silent. The concept of custody can come into play even if there has not been a formal arrest. Finally, if your attorney decides that a plea would be approriate, then you and your attorney need to review the various sentencing options that are available to you. In this regard, see O.C.G.A. Section 16-13-2; the Georgia First Offender Act under O.C.G.A. Section 42-8-60; and Pretrial Diversion with the right of expungement of your arrest.