If arrested for marijuana possession and under the age of 21, you will face a particular set of consequences. People over the age of 21 might not necessarily face these penalties. These penalties will be dependent on the type of possession you are charged with. In order to fully understand the different types of possession, you should do your own research. Meeting with a lawyer who specializes in drug defense could also help you understand your case. Also, you can understand how you need to defend yourself. Such a drug defense lawyer can help you to prepare your case and represent you successfully in court.
Misdemeanors vs. Felonies
Before you can think about penalties associated with your arrest, you first have to understand what kind of possession you have been charged with. One type of possession is called simple possession, and is considered a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes than felonies. As a result, the penalties for misdemeanors are generally less severe than those for a felony. If you are in possession of less than four ounces of marijuana, it will be considered simple possession. If you are faced with your first possession offense, it will generally be considered simple possession. Felony possession is a more serious crime and will lead to a more difficult case. If you are dealing with a second or third possession charge, or if you are in possession of four or more ounces of marijuana, you will be charged with felony possession.
Penalties for simple possession usually include fines or incarceration for less than one year. Misdemeanor crimes are not incredibly serious, so having such a crime on your record should not interfere with most aspects of your life. At the very most, you face one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For a second conviction of simple possession, you will face up to five years in jail and a fine of as much as $3,000. Some crimes that are technically misdemeanors can be treated like felonies. If your misdemeanor is labeled as “aggravated” or “gross,” you could be facing more time in jail.
Felony possession can have more serious penalties than simple or misdemeanor possession. For a first felony possession offense, you can face up to five years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $2,000. A second offense can result in up to ten years in prison, and a fine of up to $5,000.
Possession with intent to sell has the most serious penalties. If you are charged with intent to sell less than one kilogram of marijuana, you will face up to seven years in prison as well as fines. If you are found with more than one kilogram of marijuana and are charged with intent to sell, you could serve 5-20 years in prison and deal with serious fines.
Understanding your possession charge can help you build a solid defense case. If you have been charged with possession, contact a lawyer immediately – this can help your case and help you get the minimum penalty if you are found guilty.