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What is the best way to handle an SIUE student's Cannabis or Drug Paraphernalia Misdemeanor Charge?

A cannabis pipe or marijuana grinder are discovered in a car.  Everyone in the car denies ownership.  All are students at SIUE and all are issued citations for Drug Paraphernalia Possession.  The student is now faced with a serious misdemeanor offense that may remain on their background check for the rest of their lives.  Will this impact their ability to find employment after graduation?  

I am asked this type of question frequently.  The best defense for these charges is to push hard for a dismissal.  If the facts don't reach the level of beyond a reasonable doubt don't take a plea deal to the charge.  If, however, the facts are strongly in the State's favor, you should attempt to resolve the case either through negotiations that result in a dismissal or by amending the charge to a non-drug offense.  Both options require counsel who can effectively negotiate those outcomes.  

I have used all methods above and been very successful doing so.  As an example, I had a recent SIUE student who received not one but two separate cannabis possession charges.  He was facing very high fines and a conviction for one of the offenses.  I was able to negotiate a full dismissal after he completed drug classes.  He did not pay any fines for the citations either.  

If you have questions about the best legal manner in which to resolve this type of misdemeanor offense please call my office so we can discuss.

Brian L. Polinske
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Edwardsville Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

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