My question involves criminal law for the state of: South Carolina
I was recently arrested for the following charges:
Simple Possession Marijuana 44-53-370 $570
Drug Paraphenalia 44-53-391 $500
ABC Violation 61-6-420 $262
I am twenty eight years old and I graduated from college with a degree in finance in 2008 with the help of school loans. I was on vacation in Hilton Head, SC with family and friends. I had to leave the beach early to go to work the night of the arrest, where I currently live, in Augusta GA. The car belonged to a family friend, which will not comment to anything. I came upon a road block in Hampton County SC. They pulled me over and searched the car, because they saw a broken seal on a bottle of Jack Daniels in an open large brown shopping bag from the Polo outlet in the back seat. They found a glass pipe and less than a half gram of marijuana in the car. I have no idea where it was located, because it wasn't mine. The bottle of liquor was mine. The cops said they could test me for drugs and alcohol for driving under the influence. I begged him to test me for whatever, because I do not use drugs and I was not drunk. I was arrested and placed in jail, where I was released the next day after I paid all the fines, then a $200 tow fee. Wow, this is awful.
I am concerned that if this goes on my record, then I will be fired and will have a hard time finding another job in my profession. How will I pay for loans for an education, that I cannot use, rhetorical question? I have heard mixed things. I should hire a lawyer and try to reduce the violation or try to erase it all together. Then, I heard if i go to court my license will be suspended. I do not know what to do, because I do not have to go to court, but would if it would help me FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I have never been arrested for any drug related charges. Is first offenders an option?