What do I do if being charged for assault and drug possession? 33 Answers as of May 16, 2011

My friend and me got into an argument. Police was called but they didn’t get there until after we left. They said door was wide open went into my house and find a little blunt in a big in my bedroom along with a grinder. When I went to court I wasn't sure what to do so I plead guilty on the marijuana and not guilty on the violence cause we both wanted to drop charges. Now they did not have a search warrant and I want to change my plea we go to trial on June 30 for the domestic violence but we both want to drop charges. I’m really worried about the weed charge cause this is my first offense and they had no search warrant.

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Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
In your submitted explanation you stated that you plead guilty to the marijuana charge and not guilty to the assault. You also stated that you felt that you and your friend can "drop the charges" and that you were not worried about the marijuana charge. You apparently did not retain an attorney and I do not know if you had Legal Aid or an assigned attorney when you plead guilty to the drug charge, but I doubt that any attorney would plead you guilty at arraignment to one charge and not guilty to the other one. You were probably eligible for an ACD delayed dismissal if it was your first marijuana offense, so it was a mistake to plead guilty to it and have a criminal conviction for drugs on your record forever. It won't hurt you if you plan on living on welfare and never doing to college, not working for a living, and not trying to rent an apartment. If you plan on going to college, getting a good job or career, or living in an apartment your criminal record may be a problem. Your statement of the issues is riddled with grammatical errors and it is therefore apparent that you have not received a formal education. Any lawyer who cares about his clients and wants to counsel them as well as handle their criminal charges will advise them to get a good education, learn how to read and write, and to understand their rights. They will advise them to make better decisions in the future and to avoid violence, drugs, and future arrests. Uneducated people who lack communication skills and a good education are much more likely to be arrested for assault, domestic violence, theft charges, robbery, disorderly conduct, DWI, and other offenses. Educated, mature, civilized individuals do not resort to violence, they resist emotional behavior, they talk things out, and they respect their reputation and family name. This prevents them from making foolish, impulsive, and selfish decisions. Educated people respect others property and rights. They understand their own rights and they retain experienced criminal attorneys when they do get arrested. They d not plead guilty and they understand that it is the prosecutors decision to choose not to prosecute or reduce charges. I hope you are able to accept and follow constructive criticism and god advice. I hope that this will be a wake up call and that you endeavor to change your life, improve your vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills. Almost every good career requires good communication skills and yet some people will not take the time to study and learn the English language. You indicated that the police were called and you left the door open and the police entered and found the "blunt". That would mean a small amount of pot and a misdemeanor charge. If you took an ACD on the misdemeanor then it was a good disposition, but if you plead to the misdemeanor...which I doubt the judge would even allow at arraignment then you were not wise to do so. In any event, have Legal Aid try to vacate the plea by way of a 440.10 motion in that you did not have an attorney. Then try to get the DA to dismiss the charges on an ADC or at least set it for trial and hope it will be dismissed if the prosecutor is not ready for trial in time. In Manhattan that happens a lot as the DA does not have his witnesses and police in time for the trial or let's it die on a 30.30 motion. In Buffalo and Rochester this motion is not as successful as the DA is almost always ready for trial. Brooklyn and the Bronx are also god courts to waive motions, set it for trial, and then hope the prosecutor is not ready on tie resulting in a dismissal. Legal Aid may not want to make 6 appearances to get it dismissed and a private lawyer will charge you thousands to make all those appearances so try to get an 18b assigned attorney, he is paid by the hour by the county and will be happy to make as many appearances as necessary to get the case dismissed. If you tell your friend not to appear in court or to not show up for the trial you are committing a crime called Tampering with a Witness. That is another good reason to retain an attorney to get the best possible results under the circumstances. I hope you take my advise, less than 10% of my clients do, but I give it anyway hoping they will be n of the smart ones who can benefit from good advice from a trained expert who has worked with thousands of people in your exact position. They are lost and will never be successful or reach their potential. They will live in housing projects for the rest of their lives, going in and out of jail, and eventually becoming career criminals and drug addicts. It is a sad, meaningless life and they are wasting the only life they will ever be given. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/16/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
You should not simply plead guilty to anything without first speaking with an attorney. You sound like you have a good defense to both charges and you may get both cases dismissed with the right lawyer. Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/13/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Assault and drug charges are extremely serious. they range from misdemeanors where punishments may include 90 days in jail to felonies where there is a possibility of lengthy prison sentence. You should consult with experienced legal counsel immediately to explore your defenses. In the interim, you should exercise your fifth amendment right to remain silent and provide no statements to law enforcement.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/12/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Give notice of appeal of the conviction, or ask the court to set aside your plea of guilt. Have a lawyer assist you. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/12/2011
Bristol & Dubiel LLP
Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
I recommend that you contact an attorney immediately so that you may be advised properly if you have any defenses.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/12/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    If the police were called to your house, they had most likely had probable cause for entering and did not need a search warrant. Now that the police have been involved in the domestic violence dispute, the ability to drop charges is largely out of your hands since one of you will likely have been named as a defendant in a case against the city (domestic violence is not a crime against each other, but against the city). You may be able to change your plea to the possession charges and attempt to argue that they did not in fact have probably cause for entering your property but this is something that would most likely require the assistance of an attorney to handle.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Your case is very fact dependent. What will happen will depend on a number of things, including your criminal record and other facts in the case. There are specific rules for seeking to withdraw a plea. The Judge has rules by which he/she can grant or deny your request to withdraw a plea. A first offense possession of marijuana charge may, upon agreement of the Prosecutor and Court, be taken under MCL 333.7411, effectively placing you on probation and keeping the matter off your public record and avoiding a license suspension. You should hire an attorney to represent you in this matter. Advice, such as what is provided here, should not be relied upon to make important decisions like deciding to plea or not to plea. You are making decisions which may stay with you for a long time. Therefore, what you spend on an attorney is well worth it. Acting without advice of counsel is not recommended. Should your case be in Macomb Oakland or Wayne counties, you may contact my office for an appointment. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    You should both hire your own attorney . The prosecutor can still prosecute you both even if you both want to drop the charges.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Without reviewing all of the facts, I cannot determine whether the police would need a search warrant to enter your home. If the door was really open and they were responding to a domestic violence call, they may be able to enter to investigate. If lawfully inside, items in plain view could be seized and form the basis for charges. As for your guilty plea, your would have to file a motion with the court to withdraw your plea. It would be at the discretion of the Court as to whether they would allow you to withdraw your plea. If you want further information, contact us.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    I agree that you should not have pled guilty to anything. The police's position is that they were called to the house to investigate an argument and, in the course of that investigation, found the drugs. In a case like this they do not need a search warrant. Although this position could prevail, it is obviously something that should examined closely to make sure the police did not exceed the reasonable scope of the search for the people who were arguing. You really need to have a good Fourth Amendment attorney examine the discovery and evaluate the case. Changing a plea can be difficult - you need a good attorney's help for that too. Feel free to call for a free consultation. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You have a very limited period of time to set aside a guilty plea. You and your friend may not be allowed to drop the charges against one another. Only the prosecutor for the State or municipality can drop the charges.The police may not have been required to have a search warrant to enter into the premises.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If the police responded to a call for emergency help, they have e right to search your premises without a search warrant, and any contraband recovered can be used against you in a criminal court. I would suggest that you do not have to worry so much about the pot, as it is a small amount, you will probably get supervision or 710 probation, neither will affect your permanent criminal record. However, the domestic battery is very serious, and the decision to drop charges is not with you or the other party involved in the fight, it is up to the prosecutor to proceed or drop charges. I would strongly advise you hire an attorney before the trial date to guide you through this mess.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    You should have consulted with a lawyer before entering your initial plea. This is also why you need to consult with a lawyer now. You should tell the judge you wish to withdraw your plea. You need to hire a lawyer for these matters. You need an experienced attorney with great client reviews. Visit my website for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    You already plead guilty on the weed. The court will not let you withdraw that plea.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You need to hire an attorney and have them file a suppression motion. Time is very important.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    You need to speak to an attorney in your state as soon as possible. There may be deadline or time limits in which to file an appeal on the marijuana issue. In Oregon, possession of that much marijuana is a violation, which would only be punishable with a fine.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Hire an attorney. You will need to file a motion to withdraw your guilty plea. If the court allows this, your attorney will have to file a Motion to Suppress the weed. The other thing is the only entity that can bring or drop criminal charges is the prosecutor. In the State of Washington, one cannot consent to a crime being committed against him or her. Furthermore, if your friend receives a subpoena from the prosecutor and fails to appear, your friend is likely to be arrested and brought to court on a Material Witness Warrant. If you are able to withdraw your plea, you must commit yourself to going to trial if the judge rules against you on the marijuana seizure. I strongly recommend that you retain a competent attorney who has handled drug cases and get his or her opinion on whether the motion to suppress has any merit. Lastly, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    If you already plead guilty to the marijuana charge, it is probably too late to do anything about that. On the domestic violence charge, if the victim does not show up on the day of trial, the charge will most likely be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You need to consult with an attorney because it may be too late to withdraw your plea. An attorney can review all previous proceedings to determine if you have the ability to reverse your previous plea.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Are you representing yourself? If so, you need to hire counsel ASAP. If you plead guilty without counsel you have a chance of getting the conviction overturned and set down for further proceedings. I cannot believe though that a court would take a guilty plea without counsel. If you do have an attorney you need to consult with him. If you would like to discuss having our firm represent you we can be reached toll free at the number below.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    The problem is you pled guilty. By pleading guilty you waive your right to challenge how law enforcement gathered evidence. It is very difficult to withdraw a guilty plea and may only do it under limited circumstances. You need to consult with an attorney to see what your options are.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/11/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    It is imperative that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney ASAP to address all your rights and options with you! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    As you already pled guilty to the MJ case that issue is no longer in play. If both you and your friend are charged with an assault, then you both may claim a right to remain silent. The court may hold a Richard's hearing to determine if your assertion of the right is appropriate. If you are both facing a criminal charge it should be valid. If so then the state should drop the charges unless there was another witness in the area. You and your friend should contact a lawyer to discuss the details of your case. The facts will really determine the outcome. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need a skilled attorney to handle the procedures preceding trial with care. These types of cases are hard to prove in front of 12 jurors, and prosecutors hate trying them. The trial inevitably involves a lot of he said she said, recanting witness(es)...etc. A skilled attorney has the best chance of talking the prosecutor into dismissing or reducing the charges on the day of trial or just before. The warrant is a separate issue and a motion to dismiss should be filed prior to the trial. It is called a 1538.5 motion.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    You should contact an attorney. There are time limits on withdrawing a plea so you really need to contact a local attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    What can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to not talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. You already pled guilty. Getting a change of plea will not be easy. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    So you want to withdraw your plea on the dope charge...This could be a difficult proposition. in Oregon, where I practice, a person can motion to withdraw his or her plea but it needs to be done prior to sentencing and is basically entirely up to the court. In other words, you have no "right" to withdraw your guilty plea and the court gets to make the call and the court really needs a damn good reason (like you were tricked or frightened by the state or a really bad lawyer into pleading guilty, for example). Jurisdictions of course differ as to whether withdrawal of guilty pleas are allowed, but if you pled guilty and then later decided it was a bad idea you may be SOL especially if the judge talked to you at length about the decision to plead guilty and were represented by a lawyer (I don't know if you were but I am guessing from your question that you were unrepresented for some reason). Now about the warrant... yes the 4th Amendment to the Constitution does state a strong preference for search warrants especially if the police are going to enter your home, but there are a bunch of exceptions to that requirement. One is called (at least in Oregon) the "community caretaking exception." For the community caretaking exception to apply, the police have to have a reasonable belief that there is someone in need of help or assistance in the residence and they need to enter to give that aid to whomever it was. I could envision a situation where the cops get called to a domestic dispute and the door is wide open so they enter to see "if someone needs help." Of course once they look around and determine the place is empty, they can't just start looking for stuff to bust you with, so you may have had a decent argument on the pot and may still if the judge lets you take back your guilty plea.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    In cases where you have multiple charges it is especially important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. An attorney can examine the police reports and perhaps keep out evidence that could be used to convict you. If you have a trial date set you should hire an attorney as soon as possible so that the attorney can help you before time runs out.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    You should hire an attorney who will send an investigator out to determine if anyone saw your door closed or saw the police roll up and open the door.People look out their windows when police come. You should really have an attorney anyway. He/she can help you negotiate the case with the district attorney. No promises on that, but at least you will know your interests are being represented.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    The lesson here is to never plead guilty to anything without consulting with an experienced criminal attorney first. Have you been sentenced yet? It's much easier to withdraw your plea before sentencing than it is afterward. I would suggest retaining a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to assist you with this. He can then help you with the suppression motion to try and keep the drugs out. Best of everything.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You desperately need to hire private counsel for these cases. Both are very intertwined and you should not try to represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Sounds like there is a "lack of search warrant" potential issue. There are exceptions to that rule, but it is worth to discussing in more detail with an attorney. A few questions...was the door open? if so, was the alleged drug in plain site from the doorway. Call me if you would like to discuss your case in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
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