My brother was arrested for selling vicodin but has a clean record, what can we do? 11 Answers as of January 04, 2011

My brother is 22 years old and has been out of work for a while. Our mother is very sick and he wanted to be able to buy everyone christmas gifts. He stole 15 vicodin from our dad and sold it, but it turns out that he sold it to an undercover cop and he was arrested. He has never been in trouble before at all, and he had no other drugs or anything illegal in his car. He was arrested but released until the trial. He knows he is guilty but does not want to plead guilty to a felony because he doesnt want that on his record. is it best he pleads not guilty at the arraignment & then ask the public defender to ask for probation, community service or some sort of program with the misdemeanor? is it also typical for first time offenders like this to go to jail?

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Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
What can you do? Hire him an attorney. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except your attorney about your case.

When arrested and charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Defend the charges. Go to court, enter a not guilty plea, arrange bail reduction or O.R., set up and attend the court hearing[s] and trial date[s]. File evidence suppression or other motions as applicable. Raise all the available defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for motions, plea-bargaining, or at trial. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain for you, or take it to trial. If serious about doing so, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/4/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
It is not typical to go to jail on a first offense. It is not unusual to receive a jail sentence of some limited duration, but usually a first-time offender could serve the sentence in a work release program or "house arrest" (Electronic Detention). There are various sections of either the Health and Safety Code or the Business and Professions Code that could substitute for the sales charge, as misdemeanors, if you can get the District Attorney's Office to agree. They might not agree to Diversion (Penal Code section 1000),which results in a complete dismissal,but a misdemeanor is not completely out of the question.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/4/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
It would be best for your brother to get the services of an attorney before the arraignment. If all the facts are true and have left nothing out that is important then your brother should get a misdemeaner offer to plea to.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/4/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Yes, it is not a good idea to plead guilty on the arraignment date. It would be best for him to hire an attorney or request the services of the public defender. Many times an attorney will be able to assist in a case like this to get the charges reduced.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/4/2011
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
If he is in jail and cannot post bail, then he will be appointed a public defender. Depending on his public defender and the negotiations involved, this should most likely be reduced to a misdemeanor. He will not walk away from this. Selling drugs to undercover cops is not a good case for trial.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/4/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    The court will not let him plead guilty to a felony without an attorney. If he can't afford one the public defender will be appointed. He will likely get probation and some time in custody or some alternative sentencing program.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2011
    Wise Law Group
    Wise Law Group | Michael J. Wise, Esq
    Depending on how the report is written and the charges that are filed by the District Attorney, he may be able to receive a Prop 36 resolution which would allow him to earn a dismissal of the charge after completing a narcotics abuse program.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/4/2011
    Desert Defenders
    Desert Defenders | John Jimenez
    He should plead Not Guilty at arraignment and ask for court appointed counsel. The case can be defended. He should not have to go to jail of the case is handled well, and he is in a reasonable county.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/3/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    If they are charging him with a felony for sales, then jail is a possibility. What court will he be in. If he is using a public defender, the they will be able to advise him. The problem is, public defenders are overworked and don't have much time to discuss cases with the people they are representing. I would recommend consulting with a private attorney to discuss his case in more detail. Most attorneys will give a free initial consultation. It would be better to get charge reduced to misdemeanor if possible, then get the misdemeanor expunged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/3/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Yes, that is what he should do.Have him ask the PD if he can get a "wobbler" (thePD will understand). That will allow him to get the case reduced to a misdemeanor after successful probation. As to whether he can get a program, or drug classes or anything else, it depends on how strict your county is on drugs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/3/2011
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