Though marijuana charges may not always immediately seem serious, they are serious drug charges. Even small amounts of marijuana possession can lead to significant consequences and possessing greater than an ounce of marijuana qualifies as a felony charge. Possession of marijuana under one ounce is charged as a misdemeanor. However, any type of marijuana criminal charges can carry serious penalties and consequences.
Penalties and consequences for marijuana charges can include automatic suspension of the accused individual's driver's license, possible jail time, fines, probation, community service, drug treatment or evaluation and potential impacts on education and other personal concerns. Possessing greater than one ounce of marijuana is considered possession with intent to distribute which is charged as a felony and may result in even more harsh penalties, including time in prison. A criminal defense strategy to respond to criminal charges is important because, in some circumstances, it may be able to result in a drug diversion program or other more favorable outcome.
When facing a marijuana or other criminal charge, it is important to evaluate every step of the process to ensure that the accused individual's rights were protected and that procedures required for the protection of the accused individual were properly followed at every point. Concerns can arise related to an arrest, search or seizure of the accused individual or alleged evidence such as alleged drugs. All of these concerns can form the basis for a criminal defense response to drug possession charges or other criminal charges.
The goal of a criminal defense response to criminal charges is to, whenever possible, reduce or eliminate the charges, potential penalties and consequences the accused individual may be facing. While criminal defense strategies, options and outcomes all depend on the particular circumstances the accused individual is facing, it is a right that accused individuals should be familiar with.