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Though some may think it is not a serious offense, being caught with marijuana in California is more serious than it sounds. Even the smallest amount of pot can bring with it a criminal charge for drugs. Having a lawyer who knows how to defend marijuana charges can make all the difference in your case. You can avoid a permanent conviction on your record. Though this state is known as a liberal area, the authorities are cracking down on those who do not have a medical need for pot. Those that have more than one ounce can be charged with distribution too. Less than an ounce is considered to be an infraction. While this drug is not treated as harshly as many other drugs, you still need an appropriate legal defense to help.
Fighting Your Charges
Under California laws, the possession of marijuana in amounts that exceed one ounce is considered a misdemeanor. The charge is minor, but the mark it leaves is devastating. A criminal conviction of any kind can affect your ability to get a job or a place to live. Since background checks can be done for free these days, anyone who wants to do business with you can access your records. For this reason, you must fight this charge in court. This will keep you from being branded as a criminal.
Creating A Defense
If you have under an ounce of marijuana on our person, you will receive a $100 fine and no jail time, provided it is your first offense. Things get more complicated when you are accused of having the intent to sell. Even if you are carrying less than one ounce, any other paraphernalia, like scales or baggies, can push the charge up to “intent.” This makes the case much more complicated.
In many cases, we strive to get the prosecutor and judge to make an agreement for informal diversion. This is a deal where no plea is made but other arrangements are to satisfy the courts. A deal like this would include going to a program, like narcotics anonymous, or doing some community service. The case can be dropped and never prosecuted if all agree. It will allow you to keep your record clean and preserve your future. First time offenders usually are more likely to get a deal than those who have numerous charges. The court frowns on repeat criminals.
Legal Representation Is Vital
If the judge is not on board with the diversion, then there are other alternatives to you pleading guilty. The use of the California Drug Court can end in a deferred entry of judgment. After the treatment program is completed, the charges are dismissed by the court. The goal is to work with the court, to ensure that the criminal drug charge does not appear on your background. If you have more than one ounce of marijuana it is a misdemeanor that can bring $500 fine and up to six months in jail. Do you have six months to sit in jail? You need an effective legal defense to help you out. Call us today for an appointment.