Are you facing criminal charges for the possession or sale of marijuana? We are here to help. At MacGregor & Collins, we have a combined forty years of Orange County Marijuana Criminal Defense experience that we will bring to your case. We will help you understand the Marijuana charges brought against you and will fight to get you the best possible case outcome.
Those convicted of marijuana crimes can be ordered to pay fines as well as spend time in jail. Also, a conviction will result in a criminal record that can affect job opportunities and other important matters. Depending upon your case circumstance, you may be eligible to receive alternative sentencing to help avoid serious penalties.
Alternative Sentencing for Marijuana Charges
Individuals that are found in simple possession of marijuana, may be eligible for a deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) under California Penal Code 1000. This allows the defense team to argue that the offender may fare better and benefit more if he or she were to participate in a drug treatment plan, in order to avoid jail time. The court may also require the participant to perform community service duties while enrolling into this program.
DEJ is usually available for non-violent drug offenders, not just marijuana possession alone. A criminal defense lawyer can help to prove that someone under suspicion had drugs for personal use, rather than resale. The benefit of this program is that the offender will have no criminal record to deal with, after completing the program.
Cultivation of Marijuana
An individual who cultivates or grows any part of the marijuana can be charged with a crime. Cultivating marijuana is a felony in the state of California. However, if your criminal defense team can prove that there was no intent to sell or redistribute marijuana, and that this was done for personal use only, the offender may in fact qualify for a drug diversion program (discussed under California Penal Code 1000), instead of being incarcerated.
Marijuana Possession for Sale
California Health and Safety Code 11359 (HS 11359) is a felony, even if there is just a small amount sold (over one ounce). The prosecution can base their evidence on factors such as the quantity, equipment, weapons, or substantial amount of cash found with the offender at the time of arrest.
What Prosecution Needs to Convict
In order to convict you of Marijuana-related crimes, prosecutors will need sufficient evidence that you:
- had Marijuana in your posession
- knew that you had Marijuana in your possession
- knew that the substance you had was in fact Marijuana
Penalties for Marijuana Possession for Sale
Marijuana Possession for Sale is a felony, and those found guilty can face:
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Up to 3 Years in the California State Prison
California Health & Safety Code 11360 (HS 11360) is one of the most serious offenses, when it comes to Marijuana laws in California. In fact it is a felony, which carries serious penalties:
- Up to 2, 3 or 4 Years in the California State Prison
However, there is some leeway, which MacGregor and Collins can acquaint offenders with:
As an example, if an offender is found selling, transporting, or distributing marijuana (all fall under the same legal code) of 1 oz or less, the offense can be lowered to an infraction, which carries up to $100 in fines.
How Marijuana Transactions Are Uncovered
There are several tactics that law enforcement uses to uncover marijuana rings. Most commonly, there will be a sting operations, whereby the cops hide out or position surveillance teams to catch transactions in progress. In addition, with the increasing popularity of the internet, many marijuana sales and possession crimes are detected through online transactions and sales. Popular sites that are monitored include Craigslist or other community websites.
California law enforcement furthermore collaborates with the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI), or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in order to uncover drug rings, including those that involve marijuana.
Medical Marijuana & The Compassionate Use Act of 1996
This act is also known as the infamous Proposition 215, which allows those who are ill a way to legally use marijuana – by obtaining a prescription from a doctor. The patient can also play it safe by asking a lawyer how to obtain a marijuana health card, in order to eliminate any hassles with law enforcement. Medical marijuana is oftentimes authorized for the treatment or alleviation of AIDS, cancer, arthritis, anorexia, chronic joint pain, glaucoma, seizure and others.
Legal Defenses for Marijuana Crimes
The most common legal defenses for crimes relating to Marijuana in California include:
- Illegal search and seizures by police
- An undependable witness
- Methods that disregard the privacy and rights of defendants
Marijuana DUI in California
California Vehicle Code 23152 (VC 23152) implicates marijuana as a crime – when someone drives under the influence of this drug. In addition to being charged with marijuana possession, if found, the prosecution can also charge offenders with driving under the influence.
California’s Legal Definition of Marijuana
According to California Health and Safety Code 11018, marijuana includes any piece of the Cannabis plant itself, as well as the seeds. An individual can be prosecuted for possessing, cultivating, selling any resins, mixtures, salts, cakes and other compositions of marijuana. It does not have to be the natural Cannabis itself.
The law does not consider a mature stalk that’s incapable of producing resins and oils to be a part of this code.
Do you also need help to legally:
- Get a health card for marijuana?
- Know your rights for medical marijuana use? Are you concerned about being arrested for possession when traveling?
- Finding caregivers who utilize marijuana in treatments – legally?
- Retrieving a seized prescription of marijuana that was taken by authorities?
- Starting a club or organization that focuses on Marijuana education and use?
- Cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Drug Enforcement Administration or other authorities?
Marijuana Defense Attorneys in California
For defendants who are under suspicion for cultivating, selling, distributing or having in their possession marijuana, get in touch with our legal team as soon as possible. Marijuana crimes can result in fines and penalties that can affect you for the rest of your life. If you were arrested for drug crimes, it may be in your best interest to speak with an experienced marijuana defense lawyer. Call us today at (949) 250-6097 to take advantage of a free consultation.