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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Two Possession Charges in Iowa Court Help

    I was recently charged with possession of marijuana under one ounce (actually just a tiny tiny amount found in my grinder) and possession of paraphernalia. I am 18 years old, live in Iowa, and haven't had any arrests before this. I currently am a freshmen at a state university.

    I have a court date coming up soon. I would really like to get a deferred sentence or an alternative action plan. I have no idea how the court process goes, and any help to achieve this would be great. I do know the court gives me a lawyer. Could I talk to this lawyer before my court date how do I get a hold of he/she. Or should I start looking through the phone book to find a cheap lawyer, I'm in college and don't have much money especially now.

    Please help, Thank You

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Deferred Sentence, Plea Bargain, Alternative Action Plan

    You need to talk to a lawyer.

    Also, you may want to talk to a doctor; if you are a male, marijuana causes weak wienie. You may want to know if you have permanently damaged yourself.

    deferred sentence: You are not being sentenced now or if you are being sentenced, the sentence won't be carried out if you behave yourself for a certain time

    alternative action plan: This could include counseling, community service, etc.

    plea bargain: You say, I will plead guilty if the prosecution gives me [insert here whatever you want].

    Your lawyer will explain all this; if you qualify, get a public defender.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,910

    Default Re: Deferred Sentence, Plea Bargain, Alternative Action Plan

    The availability of alternative dispositions can be different in any given state or county. A local criminal defense lawyer, either your court-appointed lawyer or one you hire, can fill you in on local practices.

    Whether you will speak to your court-appointed lawyer before the hearing will depend upon such factors as when the lawyer is appointed, and whether the lawyer contacts you before the hearing. If you get a court-appointed lawyer you will be able to talk to your lawyer before entering your plea.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Deferred Sentence, Plea Bargain, Alternative Action Plan

    So it looks like deferred judgment would be my first choice and an alternative action plan would be second. You said I should contact a lawyer, can I contact my lawyer that will be appointed to me, by the state for free. Or do I need to get in touch with a private lawyer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,658

    Default Re: Deferred Sentence, Plea Bargain, Alternative Action Plan

    If you wish to consult or retain a private lawyer, that's your choice to make.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Deferred Sentence, Plea Bargain, Alternative Action Plan

    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    If you wish to consult or retain a private lawyer, that's your choice to make.
    And if you want a public defender, you will have to wait until your first court appearance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Deferred Sentence, Plea Bargain, Alternative Action Plan

    If I choose to wait till my first court appearance the state will provide a lawyer for my defense. Will I be able to discuss all of the issues at hand before the trial.

    When I was a minor I had been in another court case in Iowa about a speeding ticket. The lawyer did nothing for me, and we did not talk before hand. When it came time for my trial I answered questions truthfully and then was found guilty, because I was.

    I just don't want something like this to happen again. Is it my responsibility to talk with the appointed lawyer. How does that all work. Any help would be great.

    Thank You

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Deferred Sentence, Plea Bargain, Alternative Action Plan

    At your first court appearance, the judge may ask you how you plead.

    You say, "Your Honor, I wish to be appointed a public defender before I plead."

    Then (if you qualify), a public defender will be appointed. Either right then or at a later date, you will be able to talk to the lawyer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Deferred Sentence, Plea Bargain, Alternative Action Plan

    Alright, that clears things up for me. Thank you. What do the qualifications usually consider.

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