Also known as ganja, grass, pot, and cannabis, marijuana is known for many good and bad things. While 37 states have approved cannabis for medical use, 19 states have also legalized recreational marijuana. If you have been caught possessing marijuana in Philadelphia, you should know that the herb is illegal in the state. Charges involving marijuana, including sale and possession, have harsh penalties, and you need to have an attorney on your side to defend your case. Top firms like Lento Law Firm have experienced lawyers who defend clients against such charges. Here’s more on what you need to know.
Pennsylvania legalized medical cannabis in 2016. However, recreational marijuana is still illegal. If you are caught in possession of marijuana weighing 30 grams or less, you may face up to 30 days jail time and up to $500 in fine. For higher quantities, penalties can be as high as $5,000 with up to one year of jail time. The sale and delivery of cannabis can mean up to 10 years in prison and is a felony. Penalties may reach up to $100,000. In 2014, Philadelphia changed the local cannabis laws, and some offenses now are a civil penalty. If someone is found consuming cannabis in public, they are usually cited and fined $100. Offenders may also have to do community service in some cases.
Defending your side
Your attorney can help decide on the defense strategy, which is largely dependent on the circumstances of the case. It is not rare for law enforcement officers to make mistakes, and your lawyer can guide you on how you can defend yourself. For instance, if any of your rights were violated in the due process of being charged with an offense related to marijuana, your lawyer could get the case dismissed. Common defenses include lack of adequate evidence, case of mistaken identity, a valid alibi, and illegal search done by the police. If the arresting officer did not read your Miranda rights, you could possibly use it in your defense. In case you were tricked into committing the marijuana offense, it could be a defense too.
Marijuana charges are serious and shouldn’t be taken for granted. You will have one good chance to get the case dismissed or the charges reduced, and therefore, you need to make sure that you hire an experienced attorney for the case. Don’t forget to check the reviews of an attorney before you hire them.