Working with a San Jose Drug Crime Defense Attorney

Having you been accused of illegally possessing, growing or selling marijuana, or carrying out some other illegal action related to the drug? If so, it is in your best interest to contact a San Jose criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in handling cases related to drug crimes. Marijuana use has become a very controversial issue in today’s society, causing many cities, towns and counties to crack down on illegal activities related to marijuana.

In California, penalties for marijuana-related criminal offenses can include jail time, probation, fines, completion of drug rehabilitation programs and more. The level of punishment for these crimes will depend on various factors, such as the defendant’s criminal history, the specific activity carried out during the offense and the amount of the drug that was involved. Attorney Edward N. Ajlouny provides some of the basic information California residents need to know about marijuana-related charges in the state.

About Marijuana

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, marijuana comes from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It is considered to be the most commonly abused illegal drug within the nation. While many use the drug illegally, the state of California allows for the use of medical marijuana by those who have received prescriptions from qualified physicians. Medical marijuana can be used to treat medical problems such as chronic pain, cancer and arthritis, among other conditions and diseases, according to the Medical Board of California.

Marijuana Possession in California

According to California law, if an individual is accused of possessing concentrated cannabis (the separated resin that comes from marijuana), he or she can receive a jail term of lasting for up to a year, a fine of up to $500, or both the jail time and the fine combined. If the offense is charged as a felony, it is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months, or for two or three years.

For marijuana other than concentrated cannabis, possession of the following amounts of the drug can lead to the following penalties (as outlined in California’s Health and Safety Code §11357):

· Less than one 28.5 grams (just over an ounce): infraction and fine of up to $100

· More than28.5 grams: up to six months in jail, fine of up to $500

Furthermore, anyone possessing less than 28.5 grams of marijuana on school grounds during operational hours can be charged with a misdemeanor. They can receive the following penalties:

· For offenders age 18 and older: up to 10 days in jail and/or fine of up to $500

· For offenders under age 18: fine of up to $250 for first offense; up to 10 days in juvenile hall or related facility and/or fine of up to $500 for second or subsequent offense

Other Offenses Related to Marijuana

Besides simply possessing marijuana, individuals can also receive charges for many other activities related to the drug. Below is an overview of the penalties for some of these activities.

Selling/distributing synthetic cannabinoid compound or derivative—Anyone selling, dispensing, distributing, furnishing, administering, giving or possessing with the intent to sell this type of substance can receive the following penalties:

· Up to six months in jail

· Fine of up to $1,000

Planting/cultivating marijuana—Anyone who engages in the acts of planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying or processing marijuana (or any of its components) can receive the following penalty:

· Imprisonment for 16 months, or for two or three years

Possessing marijuana for sale—Anyone possessing marijuana with the intention of selling it can receive the following penalty:

· Imprisonment for 16 months, or for two or three years

Transporting/importing/selling marijuana—Anyone who transports or imports marijuana into the state of California (or sells, furnishes, gives away or administers marijuana) can receive the following penalty:

· Imprisonment for two, three or four years

While individuals will generally serve their incarceration periods in county jail, those who have previous felony convictions on their records are more likely to serve their terms in state prison. It will be up to the court’s discretion to determine whether the defendant is eligible for probation, diversion programs or other similar dispositions. In some cases, defendants might be eligible for drug rehabilitation programs in lieu of jail time, which usually give these individuals the opportunity to have their charges dismissed upon program completion.

A San Jose Marijuana Defense Attorney can Protect your Rights

There are many ways in which a skilled drug crime attorney could potentially benefit your case. There might be a way to show that you never possessed the marijuana in question, or to show that there is not enough evidence to prove your guilt. If law enforcement officers did not follow the appropriate procedures in obtaining evidence against you, you might be able to have your charges dropped. In other cases, you attorney might be able to help show that you actually had a legal right to possess marijuana due to a prescription from a physician. Contact Attorney Ajlouny as soon as possible to discuss your case and to get the defense process started.