If you have been arrested for possession of marijuana, there may be available defenses or the presence of certain facts that may help reduce the charges.
If you are in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, then your charge should be an infraction and not a misdemeanor or felony. This type of offense is charged under California Health and Safety Code 11357(b). Oftentimes prosecutors will charge marijuana possession cases as misdemeanors, when they really should be charged as infractions. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney knows the law, and will gather evidence that demonstrates that the charge should have been an infraction and not a misdemeanor.
If the charge is successfully reduced to an infraction, there is a significant benefit to the person who has been charged. With an infraction you do not need to report it on any application that requests your criminal history, nor does it need to be disclosed in interviews. An infraction’s sentencing is also lower, and only involves a fine. There is no jail sentence or probation with an infraction.
If you are in possession of more than one ounce of marijuana then it may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances and the facts surrounding the arrest. This is charged under California Health and Safety Code 11357(c). A misdemeanor could carry with a sentence for jail and/or probation as well as a fine. This is why it is very important to retain the services and expertise of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney so that they may argue your case very strongly.
If you have a medical marijuana prescription, this could help dismiss the charges against you, or in the very least mitigate the charges and sentencing. The medical marijuana prescription must be legitimately obtained from a licensed and practicing medical professional.
Many other pieces of evidence can be beneficial to help in your case, such as letters of recommendation from the community and other members that can attest to your character. Additionally, sometimes proactively taking a Narcotics Anonymous class can help demonstrate to the prosecutors that you are taking the charges against you seriously.
When you consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, they will help develop a plan that will strategically help reduce the charges against you and will set you up with a strong argument in court. Having a drug possession on your record will be permanent and can cause hassles when you are applying for jobs or school. The best decision you can make for your future is to hire a professional, so that they can gather the evidence they need, and can prepare what they need before you ever even set foot in the courthouse. So take action immediately and meet with an attorney who has the experience and background to ensure you the best possible results for a dismissal or in the very least a reduction in the charges against you.