Unique Aspects of Alameda County Marijuana Cases
Even though adult use of marijuana is permitted in the State of California, a person could still get in trouble for possessing or smoking cannabis. For instance, someone could be prosecuted for smoking while driving. Additionally, a person could be charged with a felony for trying to transport large quantities of marijuana.
It is important to understand that marijuana possession is still a federal crime. If you have been charged with a cannabis-related offense, it is imperative that you contact a skilled marijuana possession attorney. Speak to a seasoned attorney to learn about the unique aspects of Alameda County marijuana charges.
Decriminalization of Marijuana in Alameda County
Nearby jurisdictions have begun to decriminalize the possession of specified amounts of marijuana. California has decriminalized the possession of marijuana for adult use, also known as recreational use. Adults can smoke marijuana and possess it for personal use in Alameda County. However, there are limits as to the volume of that possession and the intent of the possession. Overstepping these legal boundaries could lead to possible criminal charges.
Charges for Possessing Marijuana
Since recreational use is legal in California, depending on the type of offense, Alameda County prosecutors treat marijuana cases differently from other substance-related crimes. There are actions that no longer constitute a criminal offense, and for many of the lower-level activities, there have been opportunities to resolve them through collaborative courts.
Alameda County is open to admitting defendants to the Early Intervention Court or Mentorship Program so that there could be a collaborative resolution to the crime versus a felony conviction. Much of it is case-based and fact-based. When it comes to the wide distribution of marijuana and voluminous cultivation, those are crimes where prosecutors seek harsher consequences.
If someone does not have a prior record, the quantity of the marijuana that was found in his or her possession is not something egregious, the person is involved in some drug treatment program, or the person is gainfully employed and pursuing higher education, a prosecutor may be more open to an alternative disposition than custody time.
There are various long-term implications of a marijuana possession conviction, especially if it is of a higher, more serious caliber of crime. If a case involves a large quantity of the drug and it is for purposes of transporting in or out of the state, it is likely charged as a felony. Long-term implications of that is a criminal record that appears in a background check, and exposure to custodial time; however, because these are not typically violent offenses, a marijuana conviction is unlikely to result in prison time. Even in felony cases, marijuana crimes are those that can be served in county jail, with an ankle monitor, or sometimes with no time at all. For most serious marijuana possession charges, there is the risk of a search clause – where the police could search an individual, his or her belongings, vehicle, and home without probable cause at any time of the day or night.
How is Defending Marijuana Possession Different from Other Drug Cases?
Defending marijuana possession is very different than defending other drug cases because other narcotics or controlled substances are criminalized on the federal and state level, whereas cannabis is not. It comes down to volume and the intent behind the possession.
Most cases focus on the volume and the intent behind the possession. If someone possesses a large amount of marijuana for purposes of sales, it would likely be treated differently than someone who possesses a significant amount of cocaine or heroin. Furthermore, since it has been approved for adult use, the stigma regarding marijuana, even among district attorneys, is a little lighter than it is with some drugs that are still heavily regulated.
Reach Out to a Marijuana Possession Attorney for Assistance
A marijuana possession charge can be challenging due to the everchanging legal status. An experienced lawyer could help you understand the unique aspects of Alameda County marijuana possession charges. If you are facing these charges, call now to schedule a consultation.