This is a disorderly persons offense. The maximum penalty is up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000.00 fine. If you haven't done so alreay, you need to speak to an attorney regarding your situation to see what can be done. If you are convicted of a disorderly persons offense you have to wait a minimum of 5 years before you can expunge it, or have it removed from your record.
Depending on the local ordinances and surrounding circumstances of the arrest, you may be able to plea it down to a less severe charge which would reduce the penalty and how long you have to wait before it is expunged.
If you can't afford an attonrey you may be able to qualify for a public defender. Whatever you do make sure you DO NOT plea guilty without first speaking to an attorney first. Hope things work out for you hand hope this was helpful.
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I agree with the other attorney. Rather than merely plead guilty to a simple possession charge, which many individuals unfortunately do because they do not speak with an attorney, a defendant charged with simple possession is often eligible for a conditional discharge. This is a diversion which allows a defendant, who has never been in trouble before, to avoid this criminal charge on their permanent record. Essentially, the individual is given a one year probationary period where, if the individual stays out of trouble and is not arrested during the one year probationary period, the drug possession charge goes away forever.
It should be understood that even though I am answering your question, no attorney-client relationship exists between us. It should be further understood that while I am doing my best to answer your question based upon the information you provided, I do not have the complete facts and my answer might well be different, if I had more complete information. For these reasons, it is always best to consult either in person or by telephone with a lawyer and discuss your issues in detail.
The chances of it being dropped is nil. You may be able to defend the charge or suppress the evidence. Otherwise a downgrade is possible but unlikely since the prosecutor is not allowed to plea bargain an CDS charge. You are eligible for a conditional discharge. You can expunge the CD in 1 1/2 years, the DP in 5 years and ordinance in 2 years. Call with more information and I will try to give a more detailed answer.
It will not simply be dropped. Depending on the facts of your arrest (how did the police encounter you? How did they find the CDS? Did they do anything unlawful?) a lawyer may be able to file a motion to suppress the evidence (the marijuana) that could result in dismissal. If not, as a first offender you are entitled to the Conditional Discharge program, which is a one year probation that results in dismissal of the charges. Speak with a lawyer before making any decisions. The impact of a conviction is more than just the fine you pay right now. It leaves you with a criminal history, unable to receive federal educational loans and other issues.
The chance of it just being dropped are slim unless you hire a lawyer to file a Motion To Suppress the evidence and get the charge thrown out that way. However, if you are willing to go into a probationary program for a period of 12 to 24 months, and you successfully complete the probation, then the charge against you will be dropped at the time you successfully complete probation. This is called a Conditional Discharge.