Marijuana penalties

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California Marijuana Laws – penalties

The penalties facing an individual accused of an illegal marijuana-related activity in California vary, depending on a variety of circumstances that only a skilled California drug crime defense attorney will be prepared to successfully defend against.

The unauthorized possession of marijuana for personal use will typically be filed as a misdemeanor. Possessing “concentrated cannabis” could result in a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum $500 fine or in a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison. Possessing more than one ounce of marijuana (other than concentrated cannabis) is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and the same maximum fine. An individual possessing not more than one ounce of marijuana faces a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum $100 fine. However, if an individual possessed not more than one ounce upon school grounds, he or she faces a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 10 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine. A savvy criminal attorney knows to request a drug treatment program as an alternative sentencing option to jail or prison.

Cultivating and possessing marijuana for sale are both felony offenses, punishable by 16 months or two or three years in the state prison. In addition to this prison sentence, a possession for sale charge also carries a maximum $20,000 fine. An individual accused of either of these offenses will generally be ineligible for drug diversion unless his or her criminal defense lawyer can convince the court to reduce the charge to one of simple possession.

Transporting, importing, selling, furnishing, administering or giving away marijuana (or simply offering to do any of these activities) is a felony, punishable by two, three or four years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

Participating in any marijuana-related activities with a minor subjects the accused to a felony, punishable by three to nine years in the state prison (for a first offense) and could result in a lifetime sentence for an individual who has been convicted three or more times of such an offense. A maximum $20,000 fine also faces the accused, even if the offense is only his or her first.

California considers manufacturing marijuana one of the most serious felonies and punishes an individual convicted of this offense with three, five or seven years in prison. It even punishes an individual who only offered to manufacture the drug with three, four or five years in prison. In addition, an individual who is convicted of this offense (who has prior felony violations for a variety of drug-related offenses) faces a full, separate and consecutive three-year prison term for each prior violation, even if the prior conviction didn’t result in a prison sentence.

Anyone convicted of selling or furnishing a substance falsely represented to be marijuana, possessing marijuana, transporting marijuana, involving a minor in a marijuana-related offense or of operating or maintaining a place where unlawful activities relating to marijuana take place will be ineligible to receive a probationary or suspended sentence if he or she has been previously convicted of most other drug offenses.

Anyone convicted of a marijuana-related offense will additionally be charged fees that range from $50 to $150 for laboratory analysis and drug programs. It should be noted that these fees will be assessed per offense. In addition, anyone who receives probation for one of these offenses will also be required to complete a drug education or treatment program, and failure to do so will result in an aggravated sentence upon a subsequent drug conviction. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, a judge also has the discretion to order the accused to participate in additional counseling or education programs, such as parenting or anger management.

California Marijuana and Drug Defense Lawyer

The key to avoiding these harsh penalties lies in hiring an experienced attorney. The outstanding lawyers at The Kavinoky Law Firm specialize in California drug crime defense and excel in obtaining favorable deals for their clients. To learn more, contact them today for a free consultation and for unsurpassed representation.