Dan Koukol is an extremely experienced criminal defense lawyer handling marijuana cases in Placer County, including Roseville, Granite Bay, Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin, Loomis, and surrounding areas.
If you are charged with being in possession of a controlled substance such as marijuana, you need an attorney who:
- Understands the intricacies of the drug possession charges you are facing.
- Is extremely up-to-date on laws of search and seizure.
- Is familiar with the alternatives to a drug conviction, such as diversion, Prop 36, and drug court.
- Is often able to obtain outcomes involving treatment instead of jail.
- Understands how to structure outcomes so you can clean up your record.
If you are facing these or other charges or otherwise need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Placer County, call me at (530) 823-5400 to set up a free consultation.MARIJUANA CHARGES
Possession of marijuana – under one ounce
Possession of marijuana – over one ounce
0 – 180 days
0 – 365 days
16m, 2y or 3y
Possession of marijuana for sale
0 – 365 days
16m, 2y or 3y
Transport or distribute marijuana
0 – 365 days
2y, 3y or 4y
Furnish less than one ounce marijuana
California marijuana law changes frequently and is enforced differently in each county and federal district. I have the experience and expertise to make sure your marijuana case is handled as effectively as possible.
Possession of less than once ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana is charged as a violation of California Health and Safety Code (CA H&S) section 11357(b) and is an infraction. It is punishable by a fine of up to $100, but no jail time is required. Such violations are treated like a traffic ticket if you have no criminal record.
Possession of more than once ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana is charged as a violation of CA H&S section 11357(c) and is usually a misdemeanor. It is punishable by a fine of $500 maximum and six months in county jail. Most marijuana possession and use cases do not result in jail time.
Cultivating, harvesting, and processing marijuana is charged as a violation of CA H&S section 11358 and is a felony. It is punishable with a state prison sentence of up to three years.
Possession of marijuana with the intent to sell is charged as a violation of CA H&S section 11359 and is a felony. It is punishable with a state prison sentence of up to three years.
Transportation or importation of marijuana is charged as a violation of CA H&S section 11360(a) and is a felony. It is punishable with a state prison sentence of up to four years.
Furnishing less than once ounce of marijuana is charged as a violation of CA H&S section H&S 11360(b) and is a misdemeanor. It is punishable by a fine of up to $100, and jail time is not required.
Note: The Compassionate Use Act and SB 420 remove state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a "written or oral recommendation" from their physician that he or she "would benefit from medical marijuana."Burden of Proof
In order to convict you of a marijuana possession offense, the prosecutor must prove that:
- You possessed marijuana—meaning you either had the marijuana on your person (actual possession) or that you knew where the marijuana was and you had the ability to exercise control over it (constructive possession),1
- You knew you possessed marijuana,2
- You knew marijuana is a controlled substance,
- You did not have a valid prescription for the marijuana,3
- There was a sufficient quantity of the marijuana to be used as a drug (not merely useless traces).4
Although every case is different, several defenses are common in marijuana charges. Some of these include (but are not limited to):
- The drug was discovered during an unlawful search.5
- You were not in possession of the drug.6
If you decide you cannot successfully defend against the charge, and you need to enter an admission to settle your case, you will want to:
- Carefully negotiate the offense you admit to.
- Negotiate to avoid jail if necessary, replacing it with treatment.
- Make arrangements, in advance, to clean up your criminal record as soon as possible.
- Take advantage of the situation and get healthy.
I have been handling successfully defending marijuana cases in Placer County for more than 25 years. Call me at (530) 823-5400 to set up a free consultation.
1 Two or more people may possess something at the same time. A person does not have to actually hold or touch something, to possess it. It is enough if the person has control over it or the right to control it, either personally or through another person. [CalCrime 2304]
2The defendant knew of its presence. [CalCrime 2304]
3 The defendant is not guilty of possessing marijuana if he had a valid, written prescription for the marijuana from a physician. The Prosecutor has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not have a valid prescription. If the Prosecutor has not met this burden, you must ﬁnd the defendant not guilty of possessing a controlled substance.
4 A usable amount is a quantity that is enough to be used by someone as a controlled substance. Useless traces or debris are not usable amounts. On the other hand, a usable amount does not have to be enough, in either amount or strength, to affect the user. [CalCrime 2304]
5 The Constitution of the United States and the laws of California prohibit unlawful searches and seizures carried out without a warrant. [U.S. Constitution, Amendment IV]
6 You were not in either “actual” or “constructive” possession.