Criminal charges associated with marijuana possession are not insignificant and should not be taken lightly. Penalties for possession of even a small amount of marijuana are serious. Possessing greater than one ounce of marijuana can carry felony charges, which are considered particularly serious. Possession of amounts less than one ounce can be charged as a misdemeanor.
Potential penalties associated with drug charges can include an automatic driver's license suspension; possible jail time; fines; probation; community service requirements; drug evaluation and treatment; and forfeiture of certain types of college tuition. Individuals who are accused of possessing greater than an ounce of marijuana can face serious consequences and possession with intent to distribute accusations, allegations and charges, which can carry even harsher penalties. Drug possession with the intent to distribute is a felony charge, which may result in punishment of a year or more in prison. Depending on the circumstances, additional charges may also be possible.
In situations where one is facing drug charges, it is important to understand how to challenge an arrest or invalid police search whenever the rights of an accused individual have been violated. It is important to carefully examine the facts surrounding the criminal charges and understand how criminal defense options may provide a response. In some circumstances, it may be possible to reduce or eliminate charges altogether or mitigate potential consequences and penalties, including the possibility of a drug diversion program.
Individuals facing criminal accusations and drug charges should not be afraid to understand the options available to them and should always be familiar with their rights. The criminal justice system provides options to protect individuals accused of crimes, so it is important to be aware of those options regardless of the criminal charges faced.