Chattanooga, TN asked in Cannabis & Marijuana Law and Criminal Law for Tennessee

Q: My 20 yo son got a citation (first) for simple possession of marijuana. Do we need an atty to get the charges dropped?

He was sitting in a car in the street in front of his friend's parents' house. The officer said he smelled marijuana and took a small amount of marijuana from my son. His friend's parents confirmed that he was staying with them. His citation is for simple possession (39-17-318). Now my son has to appear in court to "turn himself in" and get a court date. My son is a full-time college student who is home for the summer and has never had charges before.

Do we need an attorney when he turns himself in during general sessions? Will the case automatically go to a second court date or could it end/be dropped after the appearance in general sessions court?

2 Lawyer Answers
Shanone Emmack
Shanone Emmack
  • Franklin, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: If Marijuana was found on your son then he could be charged with Simple Possession of a schedule VI drug. These type of cases are not usually dropped. It sounds like his first court date is an appearance date which is a formality to give defendant's their trial dates and possibly apply for an appointment of an attorney. A lot of courts are not holding appearance dockets so make sure its still the correct date. On the trial date the officer should be present as well as the district attorney. This is the date where negotiations will begin and possibly a preliminary hearing . Your son may qualify for diversion if this is his first offense. A diversion plea would allow your son to get the charge expunged if probation is completely successfully. I recommend hiring an attorney to explain these things in more detail as well as talk to the officer and negotiate the best possible plea deal with the district attorney. Good Luck

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Hire a competent attorney now. He needs to get the Charge Diverted, Dismissed and Expunged. There will be only one chance to clear this off his NCIC which will destroy his life.

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