Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

My husband has been charged with a felony possession charge. We have been to court twice. We are scheduled for pre trial December 10. My question's are, if a person is in court for a non jail able offense, I believe the lawyer called it a prop case, then why bother going to court at all? If they can't put you in jail to begin with then why are so many people in jail for drug possession charges? Also in the report they gave my husband in court, under Case Status, it say's closed exceptional what does that mean?

Asked on 10/31/13, 9:50 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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Who says felony possession is a non-jailable offense? By definition, all felonies can result in prison or jail sentences. That's why so many people are behind bars for the same type of crime. Your husband's lawyer may believe he can avoid that outcome, and he may well be right. But that doesn't mean the offense itself is non-jailable.

There are some minor crimes that can only be punished by fines. But the defendant has to go to court even in those cases. "Why bother going to court at all?" Because it's what the law requires -- and because failure to appear can get you locked up even if the underlying charges can't.

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10/31/13, 2:27 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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Excuse me??

Who told you this was "a non jail able offense", or that "they can't put you in jail to begin with"?? Neither statement is even remotely true.

Every felony charge carries at least one year in prison upon conviction, many carry from 3 to 7 years in prison. The goal of plea bargaining is always to get reduced charges and reduced penalties to avoid the risk of trial and sentencing to the full term of the law upon conviction. Success at that depends upon a lot of factors like, attorney skill, the facts, defenses, strength of the DA's case, etc.

If serious about hiring counsel who knows how to help fight this, and tell you the reality of your situation, feel free to contact me. Iíll be happy to help fight and get the best outcome possible, using whatever defenses and sympathies there may be.

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10/31/13, 3:13 pm
Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro
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When your husband's lawyer called this a prop case. He/she meant that your husband is eligible for treatment under Proposition 36. What that means is that your husband will not be sentenced to jail or prison as long as he complies with a treatment program set by the Court and the Probation Department. But let me assure you that if he does not go to court a bench warrant will be issued and he will be arrested. If he does not comply with the program or if he violates the conditions of probation by committing a non-drug related offense he will be sent to jail or prison.Also if he has more than two drug related violations he can be sent to jail or prison.

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10/31/13, 8:23 pm

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