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  1. #1
    Joe2393 is offline Junior Member
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    Possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in PA

    I live in Pennsylvania and I was recently arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana and paraphernalia. So the officer pulled us over, after the driver had committed no traffic violations, and asks for license and registration. Says he pulled us over because we were not wearing seatbelts, but the driver was 21, i am 19, and another passenger was 21. Then he went back to his car with the information. Five minutes later 6 more cop cars show up. They then tell us to put our hands up and tell us to get out of the car and put our hands on the roof of the car. He then says that he smelled pot and the driver handed him a bag of pot. He then told me that "the cat was out of the bag" and that i should hand him anything illegal. I then told him that it was in my pocket. I had smoking pipe that had residue and also a bag that had .1 of a gram. He then handcuffed me and put me in his car then back to the station. They never read me my miranda rights (not sure if this helps my case or not). My concern is that I have a prior DWI and possession charge from when i was 17 as a juvenile. So my question is, would this be considered a first offense or second? And also, i had read about possession of less than a half a gram of marijuana is considered to be paraphernalia. Thank you for reading.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    The driver and the front seat passenger must be buckled regardless of their age.
    Miranda rights only cover questioning after you're arrested. It was not needed in this case.

    You need a lawyer. Your prior DUI WILL count as a prior in the sentencing computation. ARD is at the discretion of the DA and the court. The possession (assuming we're talking misdemeanor pot possession) should not count against you as far as sentencing (though it could dissuade the DA/Court from allowing ARD).
  3. #3
    Joe2393 is offline Junior Member
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    So what you're saying is that the posession won't stick because it was such a small amount that it was considered paraphernalia?

    Either way in getting a lawyer and I want to fight the possession charge because I don't believe that I should be charged with such a small amount. It was literally a tiny piece about the size of a pea. If the lawyer can help me out in any way I will be happy.
  4. #4
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe2393 View Post
    So what you're saying is that the posession won't stick because it was such a small amount that it was considered paraphernalia?
    No I didn't say anything of the sort. You wanted to know about whether your priors would count against you this time. If you're over 14, a DUI will count against you, a misdemeanor possession will not. That is for the the recommended sentencing guidelines.

    Either way in getting a lawyer and I want to fight the possession charge because I don't believe that I should be charged with such a small amount. It was literally a tiny piece about the size of a pea. If the lawyer can help me out in any way I will be happy.
    What you believe is immaterial. You're not allowed to have any amount of pot on you be it a gram or an ounce. The paraphernalia charge is a bigger deal. Ask your lawyer about ARD. It might be off the table, but it would be a good deal for you if you can get it.

    Start getting yourself clean. ARD or just probation after conviction, you can be counted upon to be drug tested. No drugs or alcohol use will be allowed while on probation.
    Last edited by FlyingRon; 03-05-2012 at 07:21 PM.
  5. #5
    Joe2393 is offline Junior Member
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    Yes, I understand. I have also been looking on websites and seeing that for a misdemeanor marijuana posession I could be looking at 30 days in jail. Does this typically happen for someone in my situation, or is that for more extreme cases like if Had an ounce?
  6. #6
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe2393 View Post
    Yes, I understand. I have also been looking on websites and seeing that for a misdemeanor marijuana posession I could be looking at 30 days in jail. Does this typically happen for someone in my situation, or is that for more extreme cases like if Had an ounce?
    You're also looking at a year for the possession charge.

    However, I doubt even with your priors you will see jail on either one. The sentence chart (if you are convicted) shows probation. I suspect you'll get a year of probation. You'll also pay several thousand dollars in court costs, miscellaneous Pennsylvania pile on charges like the Constable and Prothonotary (who the hell are these guys?) as well as the cost of probation. A payment schedule will be set up.

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