Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Paraphernalia Charges After a Traffic Stop

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Ohio

    I was pulled over at 2:30 am on the way back from dropping a friend off. I should say that I was a passenger in the vehicle. The police officer could smell weed from my friend's car so with probable cause he searched us and the car. In total he found a grinder on my friend with a minimal amount in it, and in a backpack that I had to lay claim to was a pipe that I had totally forgotten was in there. So I am facing an M4 charge for paraphernalia. I have heard it is harshly punished in shaker municipal court, I have no criminal record, hold down a job and go to college. The average punishment I am told is a hefty fine, my license suspended for 6 months, and a possibility of 30 days in jail. I have no money for a lawyer, I was generous with Christmas and had an anniversary right after, so I didn't foresee a huge legal issue so I have no money for personal counsel. I keep trying to contact the prosecutor to ask about diversion programs or a court appointed lawyer, but they have not returned my calls and don't seem to be answering. questions I have that are on the more important side are;

    1) I am worried this will kill my financial aid.
    2) I will lose my job and be unable to pay the fines.
    3) I commute to school, so the suspended license will academically cripple me in 2 ways
    4) My career choices are going to be heavily restricted due to this charge, how do I keep this from happening? With so much invested in school it is bothering me.
    5) With parents paying for my schooling and living at home at 23, will I be eligible for a court appointed lawyer, and how do I go about getting one? I don't make that much anyway. maybe 9,000 a year before taxes.
    6) As a first time offender and quitting all intoxication habits(being clean permanently) the day it happened will it be likely I can get into a diversion program? How much can I expect to pay for a program if offered one?
    7) Can I talk to the prosecutor about this without jeopardizing my chances of getting it reduced or dismissed. So, will working with him help me or ruin me?
    8) I know the courtroom is no place for emotion, but will admitting worry of this ruining my future to the judge do me any good or should I just keep my mouth shut?
    9) Will a court appointed lawyer even give me a fighting chance to help get myself back to level ground?

    Any and all help is appreciated.

    I guess I should also elaborate that we were not arrested, just charged and let go home. My friend was not impaired, and we were not high. As well, we were very cooperative with the 2 officers that charged us.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    14,738

    Default Re: Paphernalia Charge in University Heights Ohio on a Traffic Stop

    I suggest you ask mommy n daddy to front you the money for a good lawyer. They will not be happy you wasted all their years of investment in you, if you continue to screw this up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,906

    Default Re: Paraphernalia Charges After a Traffic Stop

    Most criminal defense lawyers will give you a free consultation. Schedule one and, afterward, decide if its worth finding a way to come up with the money to hire a lawyer. In the interim, perhaps you'll be able to reach your court-appointed lawyer. If you have a court-appointed lawyer, once you're represented the prosecutor should not be talking to anybody but your lawyer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Re: Paraphernalia Charges After a Traffic Stop

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    1) I am worried this will kill my financial aid.
    That is a possibility. Some forms of financial aid do require "upstanding behavior" or other such wording. A criminal conviction (even with deferred prosecution, probation, etc.) could make you no longer eligible. Unfortunately, the time for you to have considered that was BEFORE you decided to knowingly break the law by possessing and consuming a controlled substance and possessing the illegal paraphernalia. Now that that ship has sailed, the only thing you can do is check into the details of the eligibility requirements for your specific financial aid and see if you have screwed yourself.

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    2) I will lose my job and be unable to pay the fines.
    Again, this is a possibility. Some employers will retain an employee with a minor drug related charge and some won't. As with the financial aid, the time to consider this was before you chose to partake. As for the fines, losing your job is not going to elicit sympathy from the court. You will be expected to pay the fines regardless. Most courts will allow you to set up a payment plan and might even allow you a few months before making the first payment. Alternatively, some courts will allow you to serve jail time, perform community service, or have other programs in lieu of the fine. You will have to consult with an attorney or the court to determine what your options are in this regard.

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    3) I commute to school, so the suspended license will academically cripple me in 2 ways
    Even if your license is suspended, there are options. You can have a friend or family member take you or you can car pool with a fellow student. If there is no friend, family member, or fellow student who holds you in high enough regard to suffer this inconvenience for a few months, perhaps there are more life choices you should be re-evaluating than just your "intoxication habits." If that is not an option, you can take public transportation, a taxi, ride a bike, or walk. Will losing your license be inconvenient? Yes. Would it be embarrassing to have to ask someone else for transportation (and even have to explain why?) Probably. Would it take longer (meaning you would have to leave earlier and cut into your "free" time) to get to school using public transportation or biking? Absolutely. Would paying for a taxi severely cut into to your weed money? I'm sure it would. But, losing your license is not going to "cripple" you. Only how you handle it will do that.

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    4) My career choices are going to be heavily restricted due to this charge, how do I keep this from happening? With so much invested in school it is bothering me.
    I hate to sound like a broken record, but the time for you to have considered that was before you chose to indulge. How do you keep this from happening? You don't. Your choices and actions have caused it to already happen. Will it continue to be an issue for you for a long time to come? Yeah, it just might. Choices that lead to arrests, convictions, and criminal records have a way of having long term consequences in the eyes of people like potential employers. However, how you man-up and deal with the consequences impacts how you are viewed as well. Will a conviction for this offense be a hindrance for many career paths? Absolutely. You have dug yourself a hole...it is up to you to show if you can dig yourself back out and earn reconsideration.

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    5) With parents paying for my schooling and living at home at 23, will I be eligible for a court appointed lawyer, and how do I go about getting one? I don't make that much anyway. maybe 9,000 a year before taxes.
    You may be eligible. When you go to your first hearing, plead "not guilty" and ask for court appointed council. The court will then determine if you are eligible.

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    6) As a first time offender and quitting all intoxication habits(being clean permanently) the day it happened will it be likely I can get into a diversion program? How much can I expect to pay for a program if offered one?
    The court and/or prosecutor will not just take your word that you have quit. Being a first time offender is, however, something the they will definitely take into consideration regarding diversion. However, a diversion requires that you plead guilty to the charge. You do not want to do that until you have an agreement in place with the prosecutor. Either you or your attorney needs to work out that agreement BEFORE you plead guilty. As to how much it will cost, it varies greatly from place to place. But, be prepared that all the associated costs for completing such a program is likely to be more (possibly much more) than the original fine. But, it does take jail time off the table...remember this is a criminal charge. Jail (not just a fine) is possible.

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    7) Can I talk to the prosecutor about this without jeopardizing my chances of getting it reduced or dismissed. So, will working with him help me or ruin me?
    Yes, you can talk to the prosecutor. As to whether it helps or hurts your cause will depend greatly on how you comport yourself. If you come across to him as unrepentant, cocky, self-justifying, or lacking an appreciation of the seriousness of the offense, it will likely hurt you. Personalities can and do conflict. It would be safer to have an attorney be the go-between with the prosecutor. However, if you want to avoid that, prepare yourself to be polite, repentant, and have a thick skin if he/she strikes you as rude or uncaring.

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    8) I know the courtroom is no place for emotion, but will admitting worry of this ruining my future to the judge do me any good or should I just keep my mouth shut?
    Acknowledging that you are aware that your actions will have long term consequences for you is not going to hurt and might help. But, don't expect sympathy. They are your actions and your to-be-expected consequences. Acknowledging them and showing that you are manning up to deal with them will only help. Coming across with a perceived attitude that those consequences are "punishment enough" and expecting the court to give you a break because of them will definitely hurt.

    Quote Quoting srivers1
    View Post
    9) Will a court appointed lawyer even give me a fighting chance to help get myself back to level ground?
    There are skillful lawyers and not so skillful lawyers. Some of both are in private practice AND in the public defender's office. Contrary to popular myth, having a public defender does NOT mean you will be less competently represented. A PD will not hold your hand or pat you on the head like some private practice attorneys would. But, that does not mean they will have worse representation.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Lights, Signs and Traffic Controls: Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign, Traffic Violation Code VC 22450(A), Fresno California
    By JasonDDI in forum Moving Violations and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-25-2011, 12:41 PM
  2. Drug Possession: Traffic Stop Led to Drug Possession Charges
    By CableguyBHN in forum Criminal Charges
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-12-2011, 03:55 PM
  3. Drug Possession: Challenging a Traffic Stop that Led to Drug Charges
    By turtle17 in forum Criminal Charges
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-21-2010, 05:28 PM
  4. Paraphernalia: Drug Paraphernalia Found During a Traffic Stop
    By johannesfumpf in forum Criminal Charges
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-02-2010, 08:44 PM
  5. Three Traffic Tickets From One Traffic Stop
    By luboh in forum Moving Violations and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-25-2007, 08:41 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Criminal Defense Attorney
Protect your freedom. Consult a criminal defense lawyer for free.




Untitled Document