Can I get probation on a drug possession charge? 51 Answers as of June 11, 2013

I was pulled over by the cops and they found under a gram of cocaine in my car. Can I get probation when I show up in court?

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Palumbo and Kosofsky
Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
The short answer is yes. The long answer is because the crime occurred in a motor vehicle, you need counsel well versed in traffic law. We can help you and can be reached toll free if you contact us.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/9/2011
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Yes, but you also may be eligible for drug diversion which would result in a dismissal if you attend classes and comply with the other conditions of the program.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/9/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
Probably. It will depend on your criminal history and the circumstances of your arrest.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 5/3/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
The presumptive sentence for the charge you describe is probation, however; I would guess the court will be reluctant to allow you to plea guilty and be placed on probation at your first court appearance without speaking to an attorney first. Pleading guilty to possession of cocaine is a felony, which can have a huge impact on parts of your life that you may not expect. I highly recommend you talk to a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/3/2011
Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
Every case is unique and this will depend upon the specific details of your case. If you are interested in receiving a free case evaluation to determine your options, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 5/3/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    There are several options in a drug case like you describe. many of them can result in your not going to jail. It will depend on your prior record and other facts of the incident. There may even be a way to keep the matter off your record and to avoid driver license sanctions, (which are imposed after conviction in all Michigan drug cases, regardless of whether a car was involved). You should consult with your attorney who represents you in the case. If you need representation, you may contact me to discuss your hiring this office to represent you. I look forward to your call.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    Yes, but only if you hire a good lawyer will you get the best results. Don't leave your freedom to chance.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That depends on what your criminal record has on it. If this is a first offense, you may get diversion or a no jail sentence with probation. You should start treatment right now because you will impress the court but handling your situation and your addiction without the court ordering you. The other benefit would be that you would no longer be funding violent Mexican drug cartels that are killing thousands of people.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    That depends on facts not hear. Try for a PC 1000 or prop. 36 deal and if you finish the pro probation you will be ok.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/2/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    If it is a possession charge, particularly if it is your first, you may be eligible for PC 1000 diversion or Prop 36, which is basically allows someone to do a drug program as opposed to jail time. Being put on probation is also something that can happen. You should speak to an attorney in more detail about your case. Feel free to call me if you would like.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Cotter C. Conway
    Law Office of Cotter C. Conway | Cotter C. Conway
    In Nevada, not only can one get probation for possession of cocaine, it is possible to get a diversion program. If that program is successfully completed, then the charge will be dismissed. There may be other alternatives short of a felony conviction. Contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    A good lawyer can probably avoid a conviction on a possession charge. You would be on a sort of probation and would be required to go to drug counseling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You should hire a lawyer in this case. The small quantity makes many options a possibility - and it might be possible to resolve the case in a way that the charges get dismissed after a time period (a deferred sentence) so you have no 'record', and can then seal the record fo the offense fairly soon, if that is of interest to you. It depends a lot on what county the case is in, but certainly, unless you have a long criminal history, I would not expect you to get any jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However I would need further details and whether you have a prior record and if so whether you had prior drug offenses. You should hire an attorney to negotiate a no jail promise.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    Depending on your prior record. If no record you should get probation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Jeremy Geigle
    Possession of drugs in Arizona is a serious felony offense - even if the amount is relatively small. On a first time drug offense, you would hope to receive some mercy from the court and a probation plea. However, every case is unique and must be handled and resolved based upon its unique facts. Drug possession in Arizona will likely be processed in Superior Court as a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    Yes, but you will need to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor first.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Depending on your prior history, it is very probable, though maybe not at arraignment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    Possession of cocaine is a felony and can be a serious charge. You should hire an attorney to represent you, and request appointed counsel if you cannot afford a lawyer. Do not show up in court without legal representation. If found guilty, your sentence would depend on a variety of circumstances, including the facts of this particular case, your background, criminal history, and current circumstances. This is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    You are probably eligible for the DEJ (deferred entry of judgment program) in which if you complete a drug education program successfully the charge will be dismissed but if not you will be saddled with a conviction. Before deciding on that however you might want to have an attorney look over the case to see whether the search of your vehicle was legal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Probation is something the court may consider granting you, but you may have other better options. A good lawyer may be able to get the charge dismiss even if they can prove it and you don't believe you have any chance. A plea of guilty to simply possession is a felony and will be on your record for the rest of your natural life. I just had a simply possession charge dismiss for a client who had no real defense and a number of prior felony drug conviction. You owe it to yourself to at least speak with an attorney rather then showing up and pleading for a hope at probation.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We are The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC located in Augusta, GA. To answer your question, an attorney would have to have a crystal ball and, unfortunately, we don't have one. In other words, no one can ever predict what a court will do. However, it is important for you to retain and experienced criminal attorney to advise you as to all your rights and options, and to help you put your best foot forward, if and when sentencing occurs. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Not likely with a gun and drugs at the same time in your car. However, if you speak to a good trial lawyer who is experienced in this type of matter, there are programs available to those in your situation which can get you a Probationary sentence, but it's not that easy so hire the best you can find. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    That depends on where you were arrested and if you have any prior convictions. Most courts in the larger cities and suburbs will agree to a straight probation sentence if it is a first offense and there is a small amount of drugs. Some courts in the smaller cities and more rural areas will give jail time in all cases. If it is not your first offense, you are likely to go to jail for some period of time.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    Maybe. It depends on the county, judge and your priors.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should retain an experienced criminal attorney in your area as he will be familiar with the judges, prosecutors, police, and other officials who will be involved in your case. Perhaps the search was illegal and the drugs will be suppressed and therefore the prosecutor will move to dismiss the case or offer a reduced plea to a violation. You could also plea to a misdemeanor and receive drug court, treatment, probation, or just a fine. It depends on the judge, the city, whether they have drug court, and what the evaluation is if one is ordered to determine if you are an addict. You could be made to have in-patient or out-patient treatment for a year or more or just receive a conditional discharge and a fine. If this is your first offense there is almost no chance that you will go to jail, but if you violate the terms of the sentence or fail drug court by missing sessions or dirty urine you will risk a year in jail. If you are arrested again you will also increase your chance of a jail sentence as you will have a probation violation and the judge will not appreciate your continuation of illegal behavior. Feel free to call for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Yes you can but you will have a felony conviction. Instead try to get the PD or lawyer to get them to give you a Drug Diversion Program in which the case goes off your record after you do your classes, etc. A much better way to go.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    You can also get a drug program, or drug diversion. In some counties you can even get a misdemeanor with only informal probation. Talk to your lawyer to find out whats available in your court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Yes. A simple possession charge might even lead to a plea offer for a violation or dismissal in exchange for community service.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of John Schum, LLC
    Law Office of John Schum, LLC | John Schum
    Thank you for contacting my office for answers to your questions. Please understand that my responses are general in nature and the law often focuses on specific facts. Before making any legal decisions, you should go over all the facts and specific circumstances of your situation with a lawyer. Additionally, my responses do not create an attorney-client relationship. Your comments to me are confidential and I cannot repeat them. However, I am not representing you on this matter, unless we later establish a formal attorney-client relationship.

    Now to provide a response to your question. You could get probation if you have a clean record. There are some other things you can do to help make this happen and I can assist you with this. A lot will depend on how you make your pitch to the judge.

    I hope this helps you sort your legal situation out. If you want to set up a free consultation to go over your situation in more detail or to retain me to assist you with this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Thank you for the inquiry. There are many different degrees of drug offenses. Most are extremely serious. Based on the information in your post, it seems likely that you may be charged with a fifth degree felony possession charge. A fifth degree possession charge is a serious felony and carries with it imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. If you have a prior conviction the sentence can be even more serious. Obviously, there are many defenses to the charge. Certainly, a significant issues is whether or not the officer had an articulable, reasonable suspicion of a particularized criminal offense in order to stop your vehicle. If there is no reasonable suspicion any evidence seized after the stop would be the product of an unlawful search and maybe suppressed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    It is strongly advised that you get a lawyer before going to court. You may have many options to keep you out of jail for drug violations. Much of it will depend on your criminal history and the exact charge that is filed against you. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    That depends on your prior criminal history. Certainly, if you are a first-time offender, you can get off with probation or possibly drug school, but in any case, you are charged with a felony, and the maximum sentence is prison time from 1 to 3 years, so be sure to hire an attorney to protect you in court.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC | Lisa Mulligan
    If you haven't been to court yet, your case probably won't get resolved on your first court date. You should talk to an attorney who can take a close look at the State's evidence, listen to your side of the story, and negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get the best possible offer - which may be just a period of probation, or a combination of other conditions. If you don't have any prior criminal convictions, the standard range for a simple possession of cocaine is 0-6 months in jail.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    NOLA Criminal Law
    NOLA Criminal Law | Townsend Myers
    Yes. In Louisiana, probation is available for first (and possibly second) offense drug possession charges under Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 893. You should contact a qualified lawyer in your area to see if you qualify for a plea under this article.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    Yes, it depends on the facts of the case and your record. In some situations you may even be eligible for a diversion or drug court program.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    4-27-11 It is possible to receive probation for possession of a controlled substance in Alabama. It could also depend on your prior record and the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Anything is possible. If you simply plead guilty at your arraignment without an agreed plea bargain, the judge can sentence you to whatever the Penal Code Section[s] specify in the Mandatory Sentencing scheme in California. No attorney can predict the outcome, nor even give an intelligent opinion, without reviewing and knowing all the charges, evidence, reports, testimony, priors history, etc. However, effective plea-bargaining between your attorney, the DA and judge, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly get you straight probation and keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a diversion program, reduction, probation, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of David Swanson
    Law Office of David Swanson | David Swanson
    If you have no priors, you are probably eligible for drug diversion.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    It depends on many factors including your criminal record.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    Whether or not probation is available for a person is dependent not only on what is being charged but who you have representing you. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will enable you to have the best opportunity to get the best outcome, whether that is a dismissal, a not guilty finding, or a better plea bargain, possibly including probation instead of jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    It is a felony charge, but it really depends on your record, the judge, what county you are in and most importantly, your attorney. Feel free to contact me to discuss by clicking the link to the left.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Maybe, depends on your record, the judge, the prosecutor, your attitude and your defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Of course you can get probation on a drug possession case. You may even be eligible for drug diversion, if successful, would keep your record clean. Ultimately, whatever may be possible for your case depends greatly on 1) the facts of your case and 2) your prior criminal history, if any. My best advise is to hire a criminal defense lawyer to help you as this will most certainly increase your chances to obtain the best possible result. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Get a lawyer. You are looking at a C felony with a year and a day up to ten years incarceration. You may get probation, but you would do better to attempt to avoid the conviction which would involve exploring all potential defenses. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    In Massachusetts, whether you can get probation depends on several factors, including the severity of the offense and your previous record. Also, if you are charged under a statute with a mandatory minimum sentence, that can factor in. Your attorney can request probation, and whether or not the district attorney agrees, it would be up to the judge to approve as punishment.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Contact an experienced criminal attorney before you plea to anything. Only an experienced criminal attorney can review police and lab reports for errors that may get your charges reduced or dismissed. Yes, probation is very possible but not a given. There may be other options available as well. Retain a criminal attorney or get a court-appointed lawyer as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You could get probation. This will likely happen on your case. However, the punishment may be much worse than just probation. You should speak with your attorney as soon as you can and get a good defense started.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    The Boerst Law Office
    The Boerst Law Office | Bruce Boerst
    Yes. The judge has great discretion. You can even serve jail time. Contact my firm for representation.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/28/2011
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