How Strong A Defense Is There For Marijuana Possession?
When a marijuana possession attorney helps a client tackle a case, they have to consider the possible defenses. If you're facing marijuana possession charges, the strength of your potential defense will hinge on these four factors.
The menu of available defenses for a marijuana attorney to even consider starts with the jurisdiction. Are you in a state that allows recreational use? If so, were you in possession of more than state law allows?
You might have a medical marijuana defense, too, if your state allows it. However, that defense probably won't cross state lines if you have a medical right in one but not the other. Also, be aware marijuana is still illegal under federal law so the federal jurisdiction can always create legal pain.
Drugs or Not?
As much as it sounds like a bad sitcom plot for a drug defense attorney to assert a client had a bag of oregano rather than weed, there's an argument there. Ideally, you haven't admitted to possession by that point. A confession always makes a defense harder, even in a scenario as embarrassing as this one.
Whenever possible, don't admit to anything when the police speak with you. Make them do their job, even if they're standing there with what you're certain is marijuana. Confess to nothing. The police still have to test the alleged drugs and prove the state's case.
Was It Possession?
It sounds a bit like a philosophy lecture, but there is another defense based on what counts as possession. You might be able to assert someone else must have left the marijuana in your car or home, for example. If the alleged drugs weren't on your person, you can at least force the cops to prove you ever possessed them physically. Remember, the state has to tie the physical possession of the weed to you and prove it in court.
Alternatives to Fighting the Charges
You may also be able to consider alternatives to fighting the case, especially if the state has a strong possession case. Some states offer diversion programs for non-violent offenders and non-traffickers, for example. Usually, these are only available to folks with minimal or no criminal records. However, you may be able to negotiate a guilty plea with the prosecution.
Typically, a diversion program involves undergoing substance abuse counseling. If you complete the program, the prosecution will then ask the court to suspend the sentence or even drop the charges. If this is a possibility, you may want to explore it.