Have You Been Arrested In California for a Marijuana-Related Offense?
At Tully & Weiss We Have an Exceptional Track Record of Positive Outcomes (7 straight jury trial verdicts in tough cases) in Marijuana Cases.
Marijuana, which is now referred to as cannabis under California law, has a long and tenuous history with the law. Since the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, in which sales became subject to prohibitively high taxes, the federal government has shown their disapproval for the plant as both a medical and recreational substance.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is designated as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act, claiming that it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse (21 U.S.C. §811).
California, on the other hand, has long had protections for medical cannabis, and has finally extended these protections to adult personal use. Joseph Tully is a marijuana criminal lawyer with experience in jurisdictions up and down the State.
In 1996, California was the first state to legalize medical use through the Compassionate Use Act, and extended these protections to patient collectives and cooperatives under the Medical Marijuana Program Act of 2003.
Most recently, California has begun the transition into the regulation of the cannabis industry with the Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.
Despite these protections, a number of criminal charges exist relating to non-medical use, possession, sale, or production of cannabis in the state of California, including:
- Possession of cannabis paraphernalia
- Possession of cannabis
- Consuming cannabis in prohibited locations
- Cannabis DUIs
- Cultivation of cannabis
- Possession of cannabis with intent to sell
- Transportation, importation, sale or give of cannabis
- Production of concentrated cannabis
Arrest can be a frightening situation and the legal penalties for marijuana-related charges can be severe. California marijuana defense criminal attorney Joseph Tully understands things happen. No one should be judged entirely by one difficult moment.
If you have been arrested for the possession or distribution of marijuana, contact the Tully & Weiss criminal defense team today to protect your rights and preserve your future
We are available 24/7 and can quickly meet you in jail or at your location. Start your defense on the right track from the very first step.
Call now – 925.229.9700
What are the Penalties for Possession and Cultivation of Cannabis (Marijuana)?
Despite the passage of Prop 64, which legalized the use of cannabis for adults 21 years and up, there are still ways that cannabis possession and cultivation are still charged. The penalties can be severe.
The following are guidelines to the penalties that may apply under the California Codes:
- Possession of paraphernalia (11364 HS): Despite legalization of the use of cannabis, cannabis remains of California designated Schedule I controlled substance. This means that while the eighth of cannabis you are carrying is legal, your pipe can still land you with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail and a maximum $1,000.00 fine.
- Possession for personal use (11357 HS): If you are 21 years of age or older the possession of up to 28.5 grams of flower and 8 grams of concentrate is lawful. If you are underage you can be charged with various infractions, depending on your age. If you are 21 or older and have over the established limits, you can be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail and a maximum $500.00 fine.
- Cultivation (11358 HS): If you are 21 years of age or older the cultivation of six living marijuana plants is not a criminal act, though may be subject to nuisance action depending on where you cultivate. If you are under 18 the act of cultivating is an infraction, but if you are over 18 and under 21 you can be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail and a maximum fine of $500.00. Further, cultivation can still be charged as a felony if certain conditions exist, and is punishable by up to three years in either county jail or state prison.
- Possession for sale (11359 HS): If possession is intended for sale, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail and a maximum $500.00 fine, or a felony, punishable by up to three years in either county jail or state prison if certain conditions exist.
Your options will depend on a number of variables including your criminal history and specific circumstances.
What are the possible penalties for Distributing and Producing Cannabis (Marijuana)
Under the Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) licenses for many commercial cannabis activities will be issued by the state if certain conditions are met.
Because the state is finally providing a (theoretically) protected way to distribute and otherwise participate in the industry, distributing without a license is particularly frowned upon.
Suggested consequences for cannabis distribution under the California Code of Criminal Procedure are as follows:
- Sale of cannabis (11360 HS): Assuming it is done without a local permit and eventually a state license, you can be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail and a $500.00 fine. There are, however, ways for sale to be charged as a felony, punishable by up to 3 years in either county jail or state prison depending on the circumstances.
- Production of concentrated cannabis (11379.6): Despite being created to combat the occurrence of clandestine meth labs, district attorneys all over the state charge various concentrate extraction methods under this section. This is a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison. Charges of this section are not subject to medical cannabis defenses.
Cannabis distribution charges are taken very seriously by California law enforcement. Joseph Tully’s extraordinary trial record of Not Guilty verdicts is based on an unwavering dedication to fight back! To fight against law enforcement’s presumption of guilt, and prosecutors’ deal making machinery that bullies a guilty plea without proving a case.
What are the Secondary Consequences of a Cannabis Conviction?
For many defendants, arrest and conviction for a cannabis charge can lead to a number of secondary issues that can cause problems that linger for years. These secondary consequences often affect:
- Driver’s license validity
- Child custody
- Adoption eligibility
- College acceptance
- Student loan eligibility
- Employment outlook
- Firearm purchase eligibility
- Military eligibility
- Government assistance eligibility
California cannabis criminal attorney Joseph Tully’s legal team will examine the details of your case and the prosecution’s case against you. This is in order to build a customized, comprehensive defense strategy. Ensure your rights and future opportunities are protected from the harsh penalties that come with a cannabis conviction.
What are the Strategies for Defending a Cannabis Charge?
If you have been arrested for cannabis charge in the state of California, a number of defenses may be available to you. The defense your lawyer applies will depend upon your criminal history and the specific circumstances involved. Some of the available defenses your attorney may consider include:
Disproving the charge: Each offense has a group of elements that define it. In criminal law, the state is required to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt (meaning more than 50:50). Your defense attorney will attempt to show that one of the elements was not present.
Possession of paraphernalia: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you exercised control over or had the right to control the paraphernalia, 2) you knew of the paraphernalia’s presence and 3) you knew it was drug paraphernalia.
Possession of cannabis: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you had possession, 2) knowledge of possession, 3) knowledge that cannabis is a drug, and 4) a useable quantity.
Cultivation of cannabis: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you knowingly participated in or owned/had dominion over the property for planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying or processing cannabis.
Intent to sell cannabis: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you possessed a usable quantity, 2) you knew of its presence, 3) you knew it was a controlled substance, and 4) you intended to sell it. Intent can be determined from your statements, offers, amount (more than 2 ounces), packaging, equipment (scales), location, cash, past history or observation of sale.
Sale of cannabis: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you were selling, giving away, importing into the state or transporting any amount.
Driving while under the influence of cannabis: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you drove a motor vehicle, 2) under the influence of cannabis, and 3) because of the cannabis your abilities were impaired so you were unable to drive with caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances.
The Medical Marijuana Program Act and Compassionate Use Act
In addition to disproving that one of the elements of the crime existed, many California cannabis laws have the additional defenses of the Medical Marijuana Program Act and the Compassionate Use Act that may be applicable.
If you have a recommendation from a doctor that cannabis is beneficial for a symptom or condition that you have, if you are a member of a medical cannabis cooperative or collective, and all alleged behavior occurred between patients, then you may be eligible for this defense.
Illegal search and seizure
If the police gathered evidence during the search of your person, vehicle, or other property in an unconstitutional manner, or if police used an improperly drafted search warrant or searched areas outside the scope of the search warrant, the evidence may be suppressed and will not be eligible for use against you in court.
Police misconduct or entrapment
If the police engage in inappropriate or illegal actions or use false arrest, intimidation, brutality, racial profiling or other abuses of power, or if a police officer induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit, charges may be dismissed, convictions reversed, or sentences reduced.
If the prosecutor attempts to sway the jury to wrongly convict a defendant or to impose a harsher than appropriate punishment, charges may be dismissed, convictions reversed, or sentences reduced.
Attorney Joseph Tully’s meticulous preparation consistently uncovers reasonable doubt by identifying every imperfection in the prosecutor’s case, discrediting unreliable witnesses, excluding tainted evidence, spotlighting police misconduct and identifying legitimate alternative fact narratives. Superficial cases fail and justice is restored under Joseph’s scrutiny and diligence.
Where in the Process Should I Contact an Attorney?
If you are arrested for a cannabis-related offense, the first thing you need to do is to connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney. You have a limited amount of time to prepare your case, and police, prosecutors and investigators are already deep in their own case preparation.
The Tully and Weiss criminal defense team has represented many clients charged with possession or distribution of marijuana and has the knowledge and experience necessary to develop a powerful defense to prevent your arrest from affecting your future goals.
If you have not been arrested or charged with a cannabis-related offense but have questions about how cannabis-related activity can be done lawfully, call Tully & Weiss to arrange for a compliance consultation.
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