What's my likely defense and outcome for drug paraphernalia? 2 Answers as of January 23, 2017

I was recently pulled over (Nov. 27th) for not wearing a seat belt (although I actually was wearing it). After being stopped, he could smell marijuana, and threatened to get the K-9 unit. So instead of going through that, I gave him a pipe and less than a gram of marijuana. I didn't get my blood taken or anything like that. I was given a citation and currently waiting for my court date to come in the mail. I was charged only with drug paraphernalia. In 2010, before my 18th birthday (I am 25 now), I was charged with possession of marijuana and went through the program to get it off my record. That was almost 8 years ago. Will that possession be placed on my record and determine my punishment? Also, on November 30, I went and got approved for a Medical Marijuana card. Will this help or hurt my outcome?

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Klisz Law Office, PLLC
Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
Getting a MMA card will not affect your case either way. The risk you have is the old case. You can't get .7411 again and are at a greater risk for jail. Hire a local defense attorney asap.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/23/2017
James Sterling Lawrence, Attorney at Law | James Sterling Lawrence
Even if something relating to an older case is removed from your record, and even if the older case was completely dismissed, it remains available to be found and considered by prosecutors and judges in considering a new case. Presentence reports routinely list dismissed cases. Even if you had no medical marijuana license at the time of the traffic stop, there is still something known as a "Section 8 defense" where you could defend by showing that it was medically necessary for you to use marijuana. This might require paying a physician to testify on your behalf. There might also be a defense relating to illegal traffic stop or illegal search of the car. Because you personally handed the officer the pipe and some marijuana, the defense that you did not know it was in the car, a legally available defense, probably would not work. You might also have the option of plea bargaining, depending on the prosecutor. You should think about getting representation right away.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/23/2017
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