Chuck Hagel’s son, Ziller Hagel, has marijuana charges dismissed

May 29, 2013

Ziller Hagel, the 20-year-old son of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, was in Fairfax County District Court Wednesday morning, where charges stemming from a marijuana arrest last year were dismissed, records show.


Chuck Hagel (Charles Dharapak / AP)

Hagel, who attends college in the Chicago area, was arrested on the misdemeanor charge last June, but his case was continued several times last year and earlier this year. The Washington Free Beacon first noted the young man’s arrest and court appearance.

Nina J. Ginsberg, an attorney for Hagel, said the arrest happened after police officers spotted him in a parked car near a park area at night, listening to music by himself. “They searched his car and found a tiny amount of marijuana, but no evidence whatsoever that he had used it or where it came from,” she said. “We had a real issue of whether they could prove it was there and whether there was a legitimate right to search the car.”


Chuck and Ziller Hagel, center, with Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, left, visiting Yad Vashem’s Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem last month.

Hagel was ready to fight the charges; instead, he worked out a deal with prosecutors to complete 100 hours of community service, after which charges could be dropped. Ginsberg said his first hearing last summer was deferred pending results of a lab test, others to give him more time to finish a community service project slowed by an illness. His father was not in court Wednesday but attended an earlier hearing, she said.

Updated 3 p.m.

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