Marijuana laws in California have changed considerably in the past years due in part to less zealous prosecution of simple possession offenses and the lack of space in the local jails. Possession of Marijuana is generally charged under HSS 11357 for possession of marijuana under 28.5 ounces. If you have a small but useable quantity of marijuana the prosecutor is most likely to charge this offense as an infraction. However marijuana related offenses can rise to the level of a misdemeanor depending on the specific facts of your case.
Individuals who are not authorized patients under the compassionate use act and who do not have a proper doctors recommendation are not lawfully permitted to possess marijuana. Possession of more than one ounce (over 28.5 grams) of marijuana can be charged as a misdemeanor. This more serious charge has possible consequences including up to six months in jail and hundreds of dollars in fines.
No matter what type of offense you have been charged with consulting with an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer should be your first step. Suffering an arrest for possession of any controlled substance requires the prosecution to prove multiple elements of the offense. All evidence gathered in your case is relevant and must be reviewed carefully to begin building a strong defense.
Unlawful search and seizure procedures are common in many controlled substance arrests and give the defendant a strong argument to have the case dismissed entirely. If you do not take a plea deal offered by the prosecution there are four main factors that must be proven to convict you of marijuana possession. (1) You had actual possession of a controlled substance (like concentrated cannabis); (2) You were aware that it was in your possession; (3) The defendant knew that the item was a controlled substance or unlawful to possess; (4) the drugs in your possession were in a useable quantity.
Minor in Possession
Drug cases involving minors (those under age 18) have there own challenges that are unique to juvenile cases. Most marijuana possession cases involving minors will be heard in juvenile court. These are specially created courts that operate separately from the adult criminal court. Hearings are conducted more informally and with a focus on the health and well being of the child. Decisions to detain a minor until the resolution of the case are based on the nature of the charges and the availability of suitable guardians for the child. Your child deserves the most experienced San Diego criminal attorney handling the case. Experience in dealing with probation and the juvenile court judges can ensure that the minor gets through this difficult time and minimizes its impact on the rest of their life.
Lawful Possession of Marijuana
If you are a qualified patient or caregiver and are lawfully permitted to possess and distribute marijuana this can be a complete defense to the charges you are facing. We have helped many clients who were improperly arrested despite showing proof and identification that they are permitted to have marijuana. Fighting against the prosecutor in these kinds of cases can take a long time and requires patience and knowledge unique to the medical marijuana issues in San Diego.
Qualified caregivers are permitted to not only grow and maintain medical marijuana for their own use but also for the benefit of their patients. In San Diego a caregiver can have up to four patients to which they supply medical marijuana. As long as the patients and caregiver have a current and valid doctors prescription for its use they can have possession of specified quantities of marijuana.
Call today for a free consultation with an aggressive criminal attorney in San Diego.