It’s important to hire the correct attorney for your needs. For example, you hire a criminal attorney if you are accused of a crime, a DUI lawyer if you’re stopped for driving under the influence, and a marijuana mediation lawyer if you are charged with marijuana possession.
Isn’t Marijuana Legal?
The legality of marijuana can be confusing. Consider the following:
- In certain states it’s legal.
- In other states, it is illegal.
- Marijuana can be legal locally, but it’s still illegal on the federal level.
- Recreational marijuana can be illegal in a state that allows for medical marijuana.
A Marijuana Possession Charge Can Have a Serious Impact on Your Life
While penalties for marijuana possession have been reduced in many areas of the country, the charge can still impact your life negatively. Such negative impact includes:
- Monetary penalties
- Job loss
- Suspension from college
- Shame from having a conviction on your record
- Depending on how much marijuana you had when you were stopped, you could face jail time. Possession charges are typically less severe than if you were selling marijuana.
Charges for Marijuana Possession
Just as the legalities of marijuana vary greatly, so do the punishments for possessing it. In some cases, you can get a ticket and be on your way. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s over, it simply means that you’re not getting arrested, at that time. You could still face other consequences. In other cases, you could be arrested and taken in.
The amount of marijuana often determines what happens to you once the police have you. The marijuana is weighed to determine the amount. Keep in mind that in some states, a very small amount is still considered a felony. In other states, it is decriminalized. This differs from states where it’s legal. If you’re in a state that has decriminalized marijuana, you won’t see jail time, but you will be fined, or it could be a civil matter.
What to Do If You’re Stopped
Being stopped while in possession of marijuana is frightening, but stay calm. Here are a few things you can do if you are stopped while in possession of marijuana:
- Follow directives, such as stop when stopped, raise your hands up and get out of the vehicle.
- Remain polite. Keep in mind that being rude only makes things harder for you.
- You have the right to remain silent, use that right. Don’t answer questions that may incriminate you.
- Ask to call your attorney.
- Choose an attorney that specializes in marijuana law.
What Can a Lawyer Do For You
An attorney goes over the facts of your case to determine whether or not the charges against you are valid. Where was the marijuana found? If in a car, were you the driver or passenger? Was the marijuana found in a shared space? Your attorney also ensures that the marijuana was weighed and handled correctly. These things matter and your lawyer gathers information to ensure that you’re treated fairly.
A lawyer can also argue for an alternative to jail time. Marijuana offenses are treated less harshly than other drug offenses these days. However, you could still face some jail time. A good lawyer can argue for you to receive an alternative to a criminal conviction. An example is agreeing to drug counseling, rather than prison.
The First Step
Before you do anything, contact an attorney. Don’t make a statement, sign a statement, or agree to a deal before you contact a lawyer. You can get a free lawyer consultation. During your consultation, you and the attorney discuss your case and what can be done. You also discuss fees during this consultation.
If you feel comfortable with the lawyer and decide to let them take your case, they begin working. Keep in mind that:
- What you tell your lawyer is confidential.
- To represent you to the best of their ability, your lawyer needs honestly.
If you’re facing a marijuana charge, don’t panic, but do take it seriously. The best thing that you can do at this point is to contact an attorney who specializes in marijuana cases. These lawyers have experience and knowledge that can help you. The sooner your lawyer starts working on the case, the better.