Legal Question in Criminal Law in Alabama

My daughter, who will be 19 in 3 weeks, was arrested last week for possession of marijuana. Arrest report said marijuana 2nd. Police saw 2 people smoking a joint in the back seat of her car. My daughter "processed" herself out of jail she said, and called me after it was all over. Her arraignment is next week. From what I have heard, she will need to plead not guilty, and then ask the judge is she can have a court-appointed attorney. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Asked on 1/11/10, 5:38 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Kreitlein Robert Kreitlein, Attorney at Law

Ahhh, good old "constructive possession". This is standard-fare in Alabama: charge everybody in sight and let the courts shake it out.

You're right about the basic process. I wouldn't worry too much. UPOM 2 is a misdemeanor and if your daughter has no other felonies on her record, she should be fine.

One option might be to actually try her case. Many juries don't agree with "constructive possession" (the legal theory that you can "possess" something without actually having it on your person). Of course, that's a risk. And for something this minor, most folks typically don't want to risk it. She can plead guilty and get probation or possibly even plea into a drug court program and get a "deferral", which means she completes a program and then the case is dismissed.

Either way, a court appointed attorney can handle this without even breaking a sweat, unless there is something else going on that wasn't mentioned in your question.

Best of luck....

This answer is based on the limited information given and is for general information purposes only. “Legal advice” is informed advice based on specific facts and knowledge of the complete situation. Therefore, this does not constitute “legal advice”, no attorney-client relationship is created and it should not be regarded as a substitute for direct consultation with an attorney based on the specific details of your situation.

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Answered on 1/19/10, 10:37 am

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