Question Details:My friend and I got pulled over and the officers found marijuana on us but they only took it away and said they weren't going to arrest us. Rather, they would just give us a ticket but they never gave it to us and let us go. I wanted to know if the ticket will come through mail and how long does it takes to arrive? What do I have to do in court if I have to go? Should I speak with a criminal defense attorney? In San Diego, CA.
Currently, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor in CA. A criminal matter. And anytime a crime is charged it is in the accused's best interests to have legal counsel represent them. A skilled defense attoreny may be able to get the charge dismissed on a procedural technicality. Otherwise, you may be eligible for something known as "diversion" if you are a first-time offender. This is a special alternative sentence that will leave you with a clean criminal record if successfully completed. However, if your lawyer can fight the charge, they will. This way the next time (and hopefully there isn't one) that you find yourself in legal trouble you will still be considered to be a first-time offender and diversion will still be available to you.
Note: As of 01/2011 new rules go into effect. Simple possession of marijuana will be an" infraction" and treated much like a traffic ticket. But it only applies to offenses after that date.