As laws continually change concerning marijuana, it can be confusing to know exactly what is happening or how things currently stand.
Over the past decade, many locations have decriminalized marijuana, which does not mean it is no longer a crime to have the substance. It simply means they lowered punishments for crimes associated with the drug. If law enforcement caught you with marijuana, you may wonder what to expect.
A possession charge stems from an officer finding marijuana on your body or in your home or vehicle. The sentence you could face depends largely on how much of the substance you had on you at the time.
Most possession charges will be misdemeanors. If you have .05 ounces or less, you will not face any jail time, but you could have to pay a fine of up to $200. If you had between 0.5 and 1.5 ounces, you could spend up to 45 days in jail and pay a fine of up to $1,000. Keep in mind the law allows for a range of punishments because the court has leeway to determine how to punish you based on the situation and your history.
A felony charge occurs when you have over 1.5 ounces on your person or in your possession. This could land you in jail for up to eight months. You may also pay a fine of up to $1,000.
If you have a large amount of marijuana, the prosecutor could go after you for intent to distribute. The law assumes that when you have a large quantity, it means you are selling the drug. This type of possession charge also depends on how much you have. All are felony charges, though. The maximum punishment is 222 months behind bars and a fine of up to $200,000.
For more information contact Daughtry, Woodard, Lawrence, & Starling.