Jun 262012
 June 26, 2012

Go to jailDo You Know What To Do If Your Are Charged With Possession Of Marijuana?

By Gary Hall

If you have been arrested for marijuana possession, chances are there are many questions you have. One of the biggest things you may be wondering is what a good criminal defense for this is. The truth is that there are many different things that affect the possession charge and by knowing them you can have a better understanding of what you are in for.

The first thing you should know is what classifies possession. Now you should keep in mind that this is subject to not only the state you live in, but also the county or township and may be even further defined by the city. Generally it refers to knowingly having marijuana on your person, in your backpack or purse, in your vehicle or in your home. You may even be charged with possession if you have paraphernalia in your possession that has marijuana in it.

With this it is also important to note that it can be considered a misdemeanor or felony and there are several different factors that will determine that. Some of these factors include your age, your previous criminal history, whether you were on school grounds, the amount you have on you and any whether you also had paraphernalia.

Another thing you should keep in mind is just because you get charged with possession does not mean that this is the only charge they will give you. You can get multiple charges all relating to the same incidence, including intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia and even DUI. Depending on where you live, if you have drugs on you and have innocent items, such as a bat, you may even be charged with a weapons charge.

If you are convicted of marijuana possession you can expect to see a variety of different punishments. Again, much of this is dependent on whether or not you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony charge and the other charges that they add to the case. For felony cases, you may have to do time in prison. For first time offenders, you may be put on probation and made to go to drug rehab, both of which can mean expensive fees on your behalf. There are many different outcomes which is why it is important to have a lawyer on your side that can help you get the best outcome for the case.

There are many different ways that a defense attorney can go about fighting your case for you. One of the ways they can do this is by trying to prove that you were not aware that this was on you. The problem is that there are only certain ways that this can work in your favor, specifically if you were not under the influence of marijuana and did not admit to knowing or having the drugs. They can also examine your case to see if there is some sort of loophole that you may be able to fit into to have the case dropped.

Due to the intricacies of the laws in each area, it is important to have someone who can look at your case and know the best course of action. A marijuana possession conviction is something that will stay with you throughout your life and can affect your ability to get certain student loans and even jobs. This is why you need a good defense lawyer to fight for you. One of the easiest ways to find a good attorney that services your area is by going online. For instance, if I lived in Massachusetts, I may search for “Controlled Substance Lawyer Massachusetts”. Or, you may even want to refine the search by city. Keep in mind though that some of the best attorneys will service your entire state and it may be worth looking beyond your city.

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://www.facebook.com/Panaleas Dav Leeder

    I can say with a slight bit of certainty and experience but after seven years in Arkansas my marijuana possession charges didn’t disappear from record but it was not available when my name was run through the system… everything else was visible even charges prior to my two marijuana charges…
    This would have been a really nice article to read about twelve years ago or so…

    • johnny15150

      expungement , find a lawyer or a law student , some places have a NOLO service = no lawyer , just fill the papers out shell out a few $ and wipe it off your record

  • johnny15150

    Ca. has a quasi legal attitude . I love the fact that Prop 215 clearly states “for any reason .”
    Dosnt matter to LEO . they will use anything to undermine prop 215 .
    trying to dismantle voter initiave
    Another great part of 215 “safe and affordable” these words dont mean anything to the FEDS or LEO/state level..
    POLICE LIE , so they dont follow the same laws we do.
    Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense or is it?
    some organisations and people fight tooth and nail ,not an easy thing
    ed Forchian
    eddy lepp
    storm crows list
    DR David Allen
    raich

    just a short list of activists who have been through arrests/seizures
    Americans for safe access is a good place to get legal info.

    My 2 cents , get rid of scales , bags anything that could be misconstrued as distribution ,
    example: “maintaining a dwelling to manufacture a dangerous narcotic”
    WTF is that double talk

    Look at Colorado sanfran, ,oakland , denver , etc
    arrests , seizures , asset forfeitures

    ARM yourself with information ! its the best weapon
    Back in 200 In CA LEO went after DR recommending cannabis , I followed the news and heard of gag orders and all kinds of hanky panky
    We are expected to follow the laws while LEo tries to manipulate the laws

    support congress who support the end of cannabis prohibition.
    eventually They will have to change the LAWS, 18 states and counting
    release cannabis prisoners , a better idea than laying off teachers and CITY /county services
    No I do not consent to a search , get a warrant or get off my property

    1 out of 12 JURY nullification

  • motts34

    if i was charged with possession and paraphernalia and i am 18 what will happen since it is my first offense? Do i need a lawyer to fight it and try to get the charges dropped and take the drug classes instead?

  • AdrianH

    I have an “attempted possession of cannabis” charge in Illinois. Its effecting my job search. What’s the best way to correct that?

    • AdrianH

      The charge was from Nov 2009, I was 21.

    • B.A.M.

      If you plead no contest or not guilty may qualify to seal or expunge it

  • BB111287

    Ok my boyfriend is on a 4 yr probation for distributing and possession in MD and he was just arrested for possession…is he likely to serve a long jail sentence because he violated his probation???

    • PersonalOpinion

      No

  • Haley

    First charge ever – Can I get out of possession of marijuana?
    I went through a DUI checkpoint and got a ticket for possession of marijuana. After being searched, the officer found 3 roaches and a bowl. He said he would let me off with only one charge for the roaches and said that would be possession of paraphernalia. When I looked at the ticket later it said marijuana. I understand roaches are a marijuana possession, however because the officer said otherwise do I have a good argument? The time on the ticket was also incorrect and I have phone records to prove it, however because it was a checkpoint could it have been anytime throughout the given checkpoint? I paid the ticket at first, but now my license is being suspended, so I am pleading not guilty. Do I have a good chance of being found not guilty, any advice on what to say to the judge?

  • Leticia

    My homeboy got charged with DWI And posession of controlled substance in the facility. With the DWI They didn’t even test him. His concern is what can he d, whats his best bet. Charged in TEXAS

  • ashley

    i just got arrested for possession of pot. its my first offense and they gave me a misdemeanor. i live in michigan, does anyone know what will happen to me next? I’m freaking out!

    • Dalton

      I had court today in Wisconsin, basically talked to a pre trial guy and he said if I plead no contest he would ask to have my paraphernalia dismissed. paid my 555$ ticket and walked out. first one wasn’t bad. I don’t want to get any more though

  • Confusedinga

    Can the law legally seize your belongings of there choice of course tv,xbox etc. if u only got charged with a misdemeanor posession of marijuana which is less than an ounce?

    • painkills2

      Asset forfeiture of any of your belongings would be made if you earned money from an illegal enterprise like distribution, not for possession only. (This is not advice from a real lawyer, so keep that in mind.)

  • richard

    i have tried to find my record through criminal backgrounds checks but i cant would i have to disclose this information on a application if even i cant find myself

    • painkills2

      Potential employers may have more access to criminal background information than you do, so it seems like it would be a risk.

  • John

    So my question is, I was pulled over as soon as I pulled out from my dispensary. I have a Medical card (Michigan) and had 2 grams on me. It was in my middle consel, in a brown bag (Stapled closed) and sealed. The officer told me he could arrest me…blah, blah, blah. They wrote me a ticket for possession. Does anyone know what happens when I go to court?
    Any help would be appreciated..

  • Dutchy

    I went to court for my second possession charge and could’ve either paid 500 dollars and got my license suspended for a year or go to classes for 18 months and get tested. Im scheduled to reappear in court to see if im eligible for the classes but i did my research and found out it would run me about 2000 to pay for the state sponsored brainwashing. Could I contest the sentencing? I looked it up and the penalty should only be a fine, why are they trying to take my license?

  • JLida

    Mind you, they can also charge you for possession if you do infact openly admit to only SMOKING marijuana. You do not have to have it in your possession. This means, keep quiet! You do not have to admit anything.

  • j-whoop

    I’m on probation for a weed pipe they gave me a year probation for it I think my attorney wasn’t at his best to defend me so I got stuck with one year probation I think that this charge can be beat I’m not a violent offender I’m a good person I hate this probation it cost me my place and my job and almost my girlfriend. They expect u to pay $$$ but I can’t afford it they just need to drop my charge how can I go about beating my charge without jail time or longer probation.