Defenses to possession of marijuana for personal use

Opinions in blog posts are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of 1.800.NoCuffs and The Kavinoky Law Firm.

Defenses to possession of marijuana for personal use

Possession of marijuana for personal use may be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony in California, depending on the type and quantity of the marijuana. Possession of marijuana for personal use is considered a much less serious charge than possession of marijuana for sale, although it still carries stiff penalties itself. In order to avoid any of the consequences that are associated with this offense, it is imperative that an individual accused of possessing marijuana drugs for personal use hires an attorney who excels in this area of the law and who knows what defenses will most likely convince a judge and jury that his or her client should not be convicted.

Some of the most common defenses that may apply to possession of marijuana for personal use include medical marijuana, insufficient quantity, lack of knowledge, temporary possession for disposal, illegal search and seizure and entrapment.

Medical marijuana may be used as a defense when an individual either possesses the marijuana as a qualified patient, a person holding an identification card or a primary caregiver. These individuals have received permission by the state’s Compassionate Use Act to legally possess, cultivate or distribute marijuana, so long as the patient has received a doctor’s recommendation for its use.

Insufficient quantity or use may be used as a defense when only useless traces of marijuana residue are found or when the marijuana found can’t be used for narcotic purposes or for growing the plant.

Lack of knowledge would most likely be used as a defense in a case where the accused was charged with constructive or joint possession of marijuana. This type of defense would certainly apply where only circumstantial evidence (that is, evidence that isn’t directly observed but is inferred from events or circumstances that surround it), linked the accused to the offense.

Temporary possession for disposal may be used as a defense if it can be argued that the accused only momentarily “possessed” the marijuana because he or she was in the process of disposing of it.

Illegal search and seizure may be used as a defense under a variety of circumstances. This defense may apply if a warrantless search is conducted of one’s residence, under circumstances involving a vehicle or where an inappropriate “pat-down” has been conducted. This list is by no means exclusive, which is why it is critical that a skilled criminal defense lawyer who specializes in California drug crimes is consulted, as he or she will be able to review the case file and determine whether or not there was an illegal search and seizure and how to best convince the court that one took place.

Entrapment may be used as a defense if the only reason that the accused possessed the marijuana was because he or she was pressured into doing so by the police for any number of reasons. If entrapment is an appropriate defense, a seasoned attorney will make a motion to dismiss at the outset of the case.

As previously stated, these are simply the most common defenses that arise in connection with possession cases. An experienced defense attorney who regularly practices California marijuana defense will have an in-depth knowledge about these as well as a variety of other defenses that will help resolve their client’s personal possession case in a favorable way. The outstanding criminal attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm have mastered this area of the law and are prepared to vigorously defend any client charged with marijuana possession. They have law offices located throughout Los Angeles and California, enabling them to provide their excellent services to anyone in need of a California drug crime defense lawyer. Contact them today for a free consultation and for unsurpassed representation.