The legalization of marijuana is a constantly debated issue in California. Possessing marijuana for medicinal purposes can now be legal if you are licensed by a physician, but this has created uncertainty when it comes to other marijuana laws in California.
One such law involves the transportation of marijuana, and a recently passed bill clarifies what is required to convict you of the crime of marijuana transportation.
Does Transportation of Marijuana Require Intent to Sell?
In 2013, Assembly Bill 721 passed, amending Health and Safety Code 11352 and 11379 to provide that “transports” means to transport for the purpose of selling a drug, not just carrying it around. However, this law excluded the transportation of marijuana, PCP and psilocybin mushrooms.
Assembly Bill 730 was recently passed into law and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2016. The bill will revise Health and Safety Code Sections 11360, 11379.5 and 11391 to require the intent to sell in order for you to be convicted of a felony for transporting drugs. This means that beginning Jan. 1, 2016, you cannot be convicted of felony transportation of a controlled substance, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, PCP or shrooms unless you had the intent to sell the drug.
Prior to this recent change in law, you could be charged with a felony for transportation of marijuana regardless if you had the intent to sell the drug. You could be charged with this crime simply for carrying a usable amount of marijuana and having the knowledge that you were carrying it. It did not matter if you were planning to use the drug for your personal use or how much of the drug you had on you.
What Could This Mean for My Case?
This new change in law requires prosecutors to prove you had the intent to sell marijuana in order to convict you of felony transportation of marijuana. Possession of the drug is a crime, but transportation of marijuana carries more serious penalties.
Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11357, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to six months in county jail and a $500 fine. Under Health and Safety Code Section 11360, felony transportation of marijuana carries a sentence of 2, 3 or 4 years in prison.
If you are accused of transporting marijuana in California, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you prove you did not have the intent to sell the drug so that you avoid a felony conviction.
Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you have been charged with transporting marijuana in California, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our skilled attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing charges of transportation of marijuana. We’ve helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5425 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.