Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States.
Though some states have already legalized marijuana, possession of marijuana charges can prove troubling no matter what part of the country you’re in. Legal or not, there are serious consequences.
Keep reading to find out about the potential charges you face if you’re caught with marijuana.
What About Legalization?
As mentioned above, marijuana legalization is increasingly popular in the U.S. As of this writing, marijuana is legal in 15 states as well as Washington D.C., with more states reportedly looking to follow suit.
However, don’t think you can just light up a joint and take a stroll. There are still plenty of restrictions, though these will depend on your state.
In some states, you’re unable to use marijuana in public while some states are a bit freer about these guidelines. With that said, all states have one thing in common: You’re only able to have a certain amount on you at any given time. If you have any more than the legal amount, you’re looking at a charge of intent to distribute.
Your best bet is to avoid traveling with marijuana on you period, whether it’s legal in your state or not.
For the remainder of this article, we’ll assume you live in a state where marijuana isn’t yet legal or you’re carrying more than the legal limit.
The good news is, the financial penalties aren’t as bad as you might think. For first time offenses, you’re looking at civil fines of between $50 and $1,000.
Things get a bit more serious if this isn’t your first possession of marijuana charge. You’re looking at at least a few thousand dollars in fines.
As if matters weren’t already complicated enough, charges also depend on your age. The younger you are, the lighter your financial penalty in most cases.
As you might expect, jail time is yet another punishment you could face.
First offenses carry a potential for up to a year in jail. Repeating offenses, however, often face a minimum of one year in jail with the potential for a decade or more in extreme cases.
Some states are a bit more lenient, however, allowing those who plead guilty to instead complete probation programs or house arrest.
Fighting Your Charges
If you feel as though you were charged unfairly, or a mistake was made, you can fight the charges in court. Should you choose to fight the charges — and you’re well within your right to — make sure you have proper legal representation.
A legal representative in your state can help you decipher the charges. They’ll know state laws best and can therefore build a stronger defense around your case. This Marijuana Lawyer, for example, has in-depth knowledge of Michigan law.
Plus, a local lawyer is more accessible, so they can answer your questions day or night.
What to Expect When Faced With a Possession of Marijuana Charge
Possession of marijuana is a serious charge that can potentially wreck your life. Your best bet is to leave the hash at home and have a good lawyer on hand if things get hairy.
For more tips on navigating the complex world of law, make sure to check out the rest of our blog!