WILL I GO TO JAIL FOR SIMPLE POSSESSION?
The laws for simple possession can vary from one state to the next, as can the punishments for the crime. Those who are charged with simple possession will find hat the punishments tend to be far less severe than those who are charged with possession with the intent to sell. In addition, in the state of California, the California Health and Safety Code has separated offenses regarding controlled substances from marijuana-related offenses. Marijuana is legal in California, and the laws have changed in recent years. Still, a person can be charged with simple possession of marijuana in some cases.
What Are the Penalties And How Does Marijuana Factor?
In CA, the penalties for possession of drugs will range based on a number of factors including the type of drug, the amount of the drug, and the reason that the person had possession of the drug. The adoption of these laws in 2014 made a number of drug possession offenses misdemeanors rather than felonies.
In 2016, after marijuana was decriminalized in California, the laws changed regarding possession. Those who are 21 and over are allowed to buy and possess marijuana, as well as consume it. They can have up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and eight grams of concentrated marijuana in their private residence. They are also allowed to have it at an establishment that has been licensed to consume marijuana.
However, smoking still remains illegal in certain locations. It is illegal to smoke marijuana anywhere that smoking tobacco is not allowed, in public places, and while driving a vehicle. In addition, it is illegal to possess any marijuana at a school, youth center, or day care center when children are present. Additionally, people in California are allowed to grow up to six plants in their private homes. However, they need to ensure that it is not visible from a public place and that the area is locked.
Those who possess greater than 28.5 grams of marijuana can be fined up to $500 and sent to jail for up to six months. Those who possess marijuana and who are under 18 will need to provide community service and undergo a drug education course. Those who have more than eight grams of concentrated cannabis can receive a fine of up to $500 and/or jail time of up to one year.
Possession of other types of drugs is still illegal. Those who are found in possession of Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V drugs will still be penalized by the law with up to one year in the county jail in California. This is less than the punishments a few years ago when this type of possession could cause a defendant to go to state prison.
What Types of Defenses Are Available?
Those who are charged with simple possession may find a number of potential defenses for simple possession that could be used in their face. For example, one of the defenses might be that the drug is a medical necessity for them, and they may have a prescription by a doctor. Someone who has been prescribed a medication that has opiates would be allowed to have those drugs under the law.
Another potential defense would be if the drugs were found during an unlawful search and seizure. There might also be a defense available if there are issues with the lab analysis of the drugs. Additionally, the police did not conduct themselves properly or they tried to entrap the defendant, it could be used as a defense in court.
The nature of the defense being used will depend on the circumstances of the case, which can be difficult to handle alone. Those who are facing court because of a simple possession charge are likely frightened about what is going to happen. Even though the laws in California may be more lenient in many cases than they were in years past, people still do not want to face the prospect of doing any time in jail. Those who are in other states where the penalties for possession, even for marijuana, are much more severe, are going to be worried, as well.
Get Help With the Case
Regardless of how large or small someone might deem the case the defendants should never try to argue the case on their own. The prosecutors have plenty of experience and they will make short work of the defendant who defends themselves in most cases. Instead, it makes more sense to find a qualified Drug Crimes attorney who has knowledge and experience in Drug Crimes law. They can help the defendants to have a better understanding of the types of penalties they are facing, as well as the types of defenses that could work for the case. Getting help with these cases is always important.