Possession of marijuana with intent to sell is a serious crime in California that is punishable by up to a maximum term of 3 years in “county prison” and a $10,000 fine. With the passing of the compassionate us act in 1996 California became one of the first states in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. The implementation of state legislation in January of 2011 decriminalized the simple possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in California and made it punishable as an infraction as opposed to a misdemeanor. Although California laws have loosened over the years with regard to possession of marijuana and more and more people can legally possess marijuana under California state law, the laws with regard to possessing marijuana with intent to sell are just as strict and punitive as in years past.
Unfortunately it is very common to be falsely accused of possessing marijuana for sale in California. While state law has allowed more people to legally possess marijuana with a medical recommendation (up to 8 ounces) and has softened the penalties for those in possession of less then one ounce, law enforcement often mistakes simple possession for possession with intent to sell. Police will often form the opinion that someone possessed the marijuana for sale due solely to the fact that they had a relatively large amount of marijuana. While there may be many viable defenses in a case like this such as the person buys their marijuana in bulk, it is nevertheless troublesome to be charged with a felony and have to go through the legal process. Police will also arrest and charge somebody with possession for sale of marijuana in cases where the actual amount of marijuana is relatively small but it is broken up into individual baggies which they believe indicates and intent to sell. Again, this situation is entirely defensible. Perhaps the person bought several different types of unique marijuana and didn’t want to mix them up. Perhaps when they bought the marijuana it was already separated in these baggies and they never bothered to consolidate it. Maybe they like to measure out a certain amount of marijuana that they intend to smoke per day.
With the severe potential consequences of being convicted of possession of marijuana for sale combined with the ease that one can be falsely accused it is extremely important for anyone facing these charges in Southern California to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. A skilled and creative defense attorney will protect your rights and do everything possible to raise a viable and effective defense to these charges. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Southern California you should immediately contact the law offices of Wallin & Klarich for a legal consultation. Call us now at 888-280-6839. We have offices in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange County. We’ll be there when you call.