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  1. #1
    ack128 is offline Junior Member
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    SC Simple possession

    State: SC

    On Aug 29 I was arrested along with a group of my friends for simple possession. The driver (not myself) was pulled over for a busted tail light and the cops said that they smelled pot so they searched the vehicle and found about 1/2 oz. Half of the pot belonged to one of the people who was in the car who admitted to it... the other half belonged to another friend who was not with us. We tried to tell the police that the other pot belonged to the person who was not with us but they did not believe us.

    When booked they asked me if I had ever been suicidal to which I answered yes (since I have) they also asked me if I had experienced suicidal ideations in the past 24 hours to which I answered yes (since I had contemplated suicide earlier that day). The officer then became infuriated at the fact that he would have to take me to the hospital and threatened to write me numerous tickets including: distribution, unfastened seatbelt, lack of ID (even though I was not the driver), along with some other things that I can't remember. We ended up at the hospital until 2AM... that must have been okay with him because he only wrote me a ticket for simple possession even though it was not my pot. I cannot afford for this to be on my record... what can I do?
  2. #2
    Peligroso27 is offline Member
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    Get an attorney. If there was two bags of Pot and two people in the car then both people are going to get tickets. Your "friend" could have taken responsibility for the entire amount but that didn't happen.
  3. #3
    ack128 is offline Junior Member
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    I can't afford an attorney and I've heard that asking for a public defender is as good as pleading guilty
  4. #4
    outonbail is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ack128 View Post
    I can't afford an attorney and I've heard that asking for a public defender is as good as pleading guilty
    Don't believe everything you hear or read and only believe half of what you see.

    However, my experience has consistently shown that a private attorney is more productive for their clients than a public defender.

    A public defender is legal representation, which the state must provide to every defendant who, due to their financial embarrassment, can not afford to obtain council on their own.

    The key word is "representation". The public defender will explain the charges and what rights you have and inform you of any deal or plea bargain the DA may be offering in exchange for your guilty plea. They will explain the ramifications of pleading guilty and advise you as to what they believe would be in your best interest. Sometimes their advice is accurate and sometimes it leaves something to be desired.
    However, most of the time a public defender is not in a position to spend hours investigating your case, locating, interviewing and filing subpoenas for witnesses, researching case law or spend many hours preparing for your trial. They simply have far too many cases dropped in their lap to be able to build as effective a defense as possible for each case. They may also be more difficult to get in touch with outside of court, in order to ask questions about your case, for this same time squeezed reason.

    A private attorney however, will spend more time on your case since he/she is being paid for every minute they work for you. They usually have more experience and know more officers of the court and have more connections than a public defender who are usually (but not always) a younger less experienced group of attorneys. Private attorneys also know that the greater number of cases they can win and/or arrange the best possible deal for their clients, the more they build a good name for themselves and their law firm. This brings them more clients and they can begin increasing their rates accordingly. They have more incentive to fight for you than does an attorney working in the public defenders office.

    While this is what my experience has shown to be the "general" way things are, it is by no means carved in stone and I have seen a couple public defenders battle well and win cases for their clients.
    The problem is that you don't get to pick which public defender will be assigned to your case. You basically take who they give you.

    With a private attorney, you can meet with as many as you please until you find one you feel comfortable with.

    My personal opinion is that when you're being charged with a felony, you need to pick your own attorney and not rely on who the court chooses to represent you.
  5. #5
    Indiana Filer is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ack128 View Post
    State: SC

    On Aug 29 I was arrested along with a group of my friends for simple possession. The driver (not myself) was pulled over for a busted tail light and the cops said that they smelled pot so they searched the vehicle and found about 1/2 oz. Half of the pot belonged to one of the people who was in the car who admitted to it... the other half belonged to another friend who was not with us. We tried to tell the police that the other pot belonged to the person who was not with us but they did not believe us.
    You are not being charged with ownership. You are being charged with possession. And even if the police believe that the invisible man (your non-present friend) was the owner, you were still in possession.

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