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What does a summons or arraignment mean?

Auburn, WA |

I have no criminal record. I got a summons for an arraignment for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia... am i going to jail? I am really worried. I am 19 and this is in the state of Washington.
Also, i had gotten pulled over, my car got impounded, they issued a search warrant in which they had to break open my glove box to find a pipe. They found in don't even know how much of medical marijuana that was my "friends " and a little dime bag in the trunk... what do i do? Is an arraignment mean I'm getting sentenced and going to jail?

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Attorney answers 2


A "summons" is simply an official order requiring a person to attend court. An "arraignment" is the first appearance in a criminal proceeding. Several things happen at this hearing. First, the judge is required to make sure you understand the relevant Constitutional rights, such as the right to trial and the right to have an attorney. Second, you must inform be informed of the charges against you and the consequences if convicted. In the case of Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia, each charge carries up to 90 days and a $1000 fine and mandatory minimums of 1 day and $250. Third, the court will take your plea. This is always "not guilty" at arraignment unless you have contrary advice from an attorney who has reviewed all of the evidence in the case. Finally, if the judge finds there is probable cause, he or she may place conditions of pretrial release on you. This can be anything from staying out of trouble while the case is pending to high bail, or anything in between. For first time misdemeanor possession charges bail is almost never ordered.

For a medical marijuana defense you need to be either a patient or a designated provider. Consult an attorney that understands this defense to see if you qualify.

The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.



Is there a chance they'll find me not guilty? Seeing as I have a clean record and there were others in my car, so it's impossible to prove it was mine?

Scott Weymouth Lawrence

Scott Weymouth Lawrence


There is always a chance that you could be found not guilty at trial or have the charges dismissed prior to trial. It is also possible that you are convicted of both counts. It sounds like you were in constructive possession of the MJ by virtue of it being in your car. You may be entitled to an unwitting possession defense or a medical marijuana defense. Too many possibilities to answer those questions in this forum and I cannot give you any idea of the strength of your case without a full investigation of the case. You really need to take this to the next step and get an attorney to help you.


I agree with the above answer. Additionally, I've added a link with a little more information.

Good luck,
Jim Oliver

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