Legal Question in Criminal Law in Missouri

So basically I have never been arrested or dealt with the cops or law in any way and I have no idea what I'm dealing with. It goes like this. Me and a friend were sitting in a park and at that time it was closed, which was unknown to us. But we decided just to wait there while my other friend was finishing dinner or something. While we were there, a cop pulls up to us and immediately starts freaking out and for some reason goes to the passenger side and opens the door to talk to him because the car was turned off. Now I only have my permit so I was just driving around in the empty lot at 9 for practice, like backing out and stuff. But when the cop came to us I was actually standing outside of the car and then got in when my friend was getting questioned. But while this is happening with the door open the cop sees a bag of marijuana in the side compartment on the door. He then detains us both and places my friend under arrest. I had no knowledge of the weed and was not smoking it or handling it in any way. Then he proceeds to search the car (without consent, I may add) and in that search he turns up with a felony amount of pot and has prescription pain killers. None of this is mine and I had no knowledge of it. My friend also has paraphernalia (bowl,scale, grinder etc). After this my friend states he will take responsibility for everything on the spot, but says that the pills are not his. I wouldn't know, I just met up with him. After the search and paperwork he says we're both being charged with felony amount possession of marijuana, possession of controlled sunstance (not sure if he said the pills were a felony, I imagine so.) intent to distribute because he had the scale which I'm pretty sure he only used for himself. Also since I was in the driver seat with out a license I'm getting charged for that, not sure specifically what the charge is. There were several other things I think he said but I cannot remember. Overall, I really just don't know what to do, I have a clean record. This is my first time dealing with the law in any way. But the officer said we have to go to family court. What does that entail? Do I need a lawyer? Am I going to be charged with felony possession of narcotics? What is going to happen?

Asked on 6/30/13, 4:03 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

You may get a terrifice break if you are young enough for the case to be handled in "family court" (what we used to all "juvenile court.") Some cases like yours start out in "family court" but wind up in the regular criminal court system for various reasons. so, it is absolutely crucial that you (or your family) hire the best attorney you can afford to make sure that this matter is handled properly. I have been handling such cases in various counties throughout the last thirty-five years and I might be able to offer my services to you for a reasonable fee.

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Answered on 6/30/13, 9:41 am

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