San Diego Drug Possession Attorney

If you or a family member is facing drug crime in San Diego County, contact drug possession attorney for a free consultation and legal options.

Thomas Rist, Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Is marijuana possession illegal in California?

Marijuana laws in California have evolved significantly over the years, and it is crucial for residents to understand the regulations surrounding possession, cultivation, and transportation of cannabis. In this article, San Diego criminal attorney Tom Rist explores the various aspects of California’s marijuana laws.

Under California law, possession of 1 oz. or less of marijuana qualifies as a minor crime. While it is classified as a misdemeanor, it is essential to note that the punishment for this offense does not include imprisonment. Instead, offenders may face a fee of one hundred dollars (California Health & Safety Code Sec. 11357). A drug possession lawyer provides legal defense for individuals accused of possessing illegal substances.

If an individual possesses more than 1 oz. of the drug, the penalties can be more severe than simple possession. In such cases, the most severe consequence can include up to six months’ imprisonment as well as a penalty of up to $500.

To prevent conviction for possession offenses, individuals may opt for diversion programs like Proposition 36. Additionally, under Penal Code 1000, offenders can avoid being convicted by pleading guilty with the assurance that it is not recorded. If all the program’s conditions and terms are successfully completed, the judge will throw out the charges, ensuring the offense is not reflected on the individual’s criminal record.

California allows for the expungement of possession offenses from an individual’s record after a period of two years. This provides an opportunity for individuals to have a fresh start and move past their past mistakes.

If caught possessing marijuana while driving with less than a single ounce in the vehicle, an individual could face charges under Vehicle Code 23222. Similar to Health & Safety Code 11357, this offense is considered a minor offense. For those with no prior offenses on their records, some courts even offer the option to avoid entering a plea, thereby protecting their employment and educational opportunities. Participation in a diversion program, such as attending AA or NA classes and visiting a morgue, can lead to a case dismissal, regardless of whether the prosecutor initially objects.

Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, allows individuals in California to grow marijuana for their own medical reasons. However, it is essential to remember that personal cultivation should not involve any intention to sell the marijuana. Individuals found growing marijuana for their own use could be eligible for participation in a program for drug diversion under Penal Code 1000, provided they meet certain criteria. When facing drug possession charges, it’s crucial to seek the expertise of a drug possession lawyer.

As attitudes and drug law in California continue to evolve, California’s approach reflects a focus on rehabilitation and diversion rather than punitive measures for minor possession offenses. From minor possession to personal cultivation, understanding the nuances of marijuana laws in California can help individuals make informed decisions and seek appropriate recourse if they find themselves in legal trouble.

What are marijuana charges in California?

From possession and sales to medical use and driving under the influence, understanding California’s marijuana laws is essential to avoid serious legal consequences. The skills of a drug possession lawyer can significantly alter the course of a drug case. The following are the charges that individuals may face in relation to marijuana possession and distribution:

  1. Possession of Paraphernalia Related to Marijuana

One crucial point to note is that it is unlawful to possess marijuana paraphernalia, regardless of whether there is any of the drug present. This offense is classified as a misdemeanor and can lead to penalties and potential legal complications.

  1. Possession of Marijuana for Sale

Having marijuana in one’s possession with the intent to sell counts as a felony, regardless of the amount. The law specifies that all sales are considered felonies. Law enforcement can charge individuals with felony possession for sale if they find a large quantity of marijuana, scales, baggies, or a lot of cash in conjunction with the marijuana. The presence of cell phones can also be used as evidence when weighing felony charges. For those accused of drug possession, consulting a knowledgeable drug possession lawyer is essential.

  1. Marijuana Sales

Selling, transporting, or distributing marijuana qualifies as a felony offense in California, with a potential punishment of as many as 4 years in prison. However, the penalties are significantly less severe if the amount being transported or given away is less than an ounce. In such cases, the offense is considered a misdemeanor, and the punishment may be a penalty of one hundred dollars. Even selling a small quantity of marijuana can still result in felony charges with severe consequences. Drug possession lawyers often possess a deep understanding of drug laws and courtroom tactics.

  1. Marijuana for Medical Reasons

Proposition 215 allows for individuals under a doctor’s care and possessing a valid prescription for medical marijuana to cultivate and possess marijuana for personal use. The law identifies the amount of plants which may be cultivated for medical purposes. However, it is crucial to remember that medical marijuana cannot be provided or sold to someone without their own valid prescription. Marijuana may receive medical approval for various health conditions. Securing a drug possession lawyer is a key step in formulating a strong defense against drug charges.

  1. Commonly Charged Marijuana Crimes

Marijuana-related offenses in California encompass various scenarios, and some of the most commonly charged crimes include:

    • Possessing marijuana 1 oz. or less
    • Possessing more than 1 oz of marijuana.
    • Possessing marijuana on school grounds
    • Growing marijuana
    • Possessing marijuana with the intention of sale
    • Selling or transporting marijuana
    • Providing marijuana
    • Using a minor to transport or sell marijuana
    • Possessing a fake drug prescription
    • Attempt to get a drug prescription under false pretenses
    • Medical marijuana program crime
    • Growing of peyote
    • Paraphernalia possession

Drug possession lawyers are adept at navigating the complexities of drug-related legal issues.

  1. Marijuana DUI

It is illegal to operate vehicle while using or under the effects of marijuana. This also applies to drivers who hold a medical prescription for marijuana. Driving under the influence is known as a DUI. “Under the influence” does not require a specific amount of marijuana in the system; it refers to impairment. Thus, the prosecutor does not need to demonstrate a specific threshold of marijuana, only that the person was driving under its influence. Officers may conduct sobriety tests or chemical analysis tests, such as urine or blood tests, to determine impairment. In court, a drug possession lawyer tirelessly advocates for the rights of the accused.

The counsel of a drug possession lawyer is crucial for understanding legal options in drug cases. Understanding California’s marijuana laws is vital for residents to navigate the legal landscape surrounding possession, sales, and medical use of marijuana. With marijuana remaining in the body longer than other drugs, it is crucial for individuals to be cautious and responsible when using marijuana, even for medical purposes. Drug possession lawyers play a vital role in negotiating plea deals or seeking case dismissals.

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