Penalties For Possession of Marijuana

By on 3-16-2013 in Possession

Marijuana, the common name for plants of the cannabis genus, is one of the most common recreational drugs in America. Possession of marijuana is considered a criminal offense, and an individual doesn’t have to own the marijuana themselves to be convicted. The amount of marijuana you have been caught with will determine your penalties, although there are other factors such as earlier convictions and other offenses which can also affect sentencing. In general, however, the more marijuana in an individual’s possession, the harsher the penalties will be.

Possession of large amounts of marijuana can put you in danger of being charged with drug trafficking, and this can lead to serious penalties. However, there are several factors that courts look into when deciding on your penalties which may mitigate the seriousness of the charges, such as;

  • Misdemeanor penalties – people who are caught for the first time with marijuana are sometimes only charged with a misdemeanor and have penalties that include a fines, suspension of drivers license, and relatively short jail sentences. If it is your first offense, you can ask the court to discharge the case against you, or could opt to meet certain conditions pertaining to your penalties and ask the court not to put it on your criminal record.
  • Felony penalties – those who have already have a history of marijuana possession charges may be charged with a felony. The penalties for this charge are often much higher.

Being charged with marijuana possession can have serious ramifications, with consequences that may affect the individual for the rest of their life. It can restrict your employment options, your ability to obtain a loan, and many other issues. Complex legal issues and serious convictions can take a toll on your life, so if you have been charged with marijuana possession, it is always best to contact a lawyer.

Contacting a lawyer is essential in making sure that you are best protected. If you have been wrongly or too harshly charged, an experienced lawyer will be able to effectively defend you, making sure that you get the best results.

Constructive Cocaine Possession

By on 3-16-2013 in Possession

Possession of a controlled substance is a serious charge in every state in the U.S., although the penalties will depend on the type of drug in possession, the amount, and the number of prior convictions. Cocaine possession, for instance, carries lighter penalties than heroin possession of equal amounts, but cocaine possession is still a felony even for first time offenders. A conviction on charges of cocaine possession could have grave personal and professional consequences. If you are ever charged with actual possession, you could be in trouble, but if you are charged with constructive cocaine possession, you may have a good chance of having the charge dismissed.

What is the difference between actual and constructive possession?

Actual possession means the cocaine was on your physical person at the time of arrest, and that is usually bad news. Constructive possession, however, means that the cocaine was not on your person but was on or about your property and that you had knowledge, dominion, and control over it.

While these two definitions may sound similar, they are actually very different. For example, say that cocaine was found in the trunk of your car but you didn’t know it was there. Immediately, the “knowledge” part of the constructive possession charge is absent, so that’s a possible defense. If the car is not even yours, or you share the use of it with another person, it means that you don’t have exclusive use of the vehicle, and this can bring the issue of control over the cocaine into question, which is another possible defense.

As long as the conditions for constructive possession are not met in their entirety, it is possible that you can have the charges against you dismissed. Even if it is not possible to have the charges against you dismissed in their entirety, it is possible that you may be have the charges and potential penalties against you reduced in severity.