Personal possession of marijuana – entrapment

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Personal possession of marijuana – entrapment

Personal possession of marijuana, in California, may be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense. While the crime isn’t as serious as a possession of marijuana for sale charge, an individual convicted of this offense still faces jail or prison time, heavy fines, probation and a variety of additional consequences, which is why the accused should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer who is knowledgeable on this subject and who knows what defenses are most likely to result in the acquittal of his or her client.

Entrapment is one such defense. If the defense attorney can prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” (that is, that the defense’s version of events is even slightly more believable than the prosecution’s) that the entrapment of his or her client took place, the accused will be entitled to an acquittal on the possession charge.

Entrapment takes place when a law enforcement officer or agency persuades an otherwise law-abiding person to commit a crime, where that person’s motive is based on something other than ordinary criminal intent. An example of this type of conduct would be an appeal by the police that would induce a normally law-abiding person to commit the act because of friendship or sympathy, instead of a desire for personal gain or another typical criminal purpose. Affirmative acts by the officer or agency that would make commission of the crime unusually attractive to a normally law-abiding person will likewise constitute entrapment. Such conduct would include, for example, a guarantee that the act is not illegal or that the crime will go undetected, an offer of exorbitant consideration or any similar enticement. It should be noted that when a judge or jury evaluates an entrapment defense, they are looking at the conduct of the law enforcement officer or agency and at what a reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances – they are not concerned with the character of the accused, with his or her predisposition to commit the crime or with his or her subjective intent.

For entrapment to apply to a personal possession charge, the defendant’s criminal attorney must prove that, had the entrapment not taken place, his or her client would not have possessed marijuana. For law enforcement to take the time to induce an otherwise innocent individual to possess marijuana just to procure his or her arrest for this charge would be unlikely – the solicitation would more likely be a part of a bigger “sting” operation – perhaps to ultimately arrest the individual for possession of marijuana for sale. In any event, a good criminal attorney will know what arguments to make to convince a judge and jury that the officer’s or agency’s conduct was so outrageous and/or persuasive that it would have provoked anyone to commit the same offense.

The outstanding attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm have mastered everything related to California’s drug laws, including the variety of defenses that are relevant to these crimes. They meticulously review each client’s case, looking for as many applicable defenses as they can. They understand the ways that an entrapment defense can be successfully argued in a California possession of marijuana for personal use case and how to effectively articulate its merits to a judge and jury. With law offices throughout California, including several in Los Angeles, The Kavinoky Law Firm is conveniently located for anyone in need of an exceptional drug crime defense attorney. For the most trusted legal advice and unparalleled representation, contact them today for a free consultation.