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California Possession of Marijuana Defense Lawyers

Possession of Marijuana Penalty and Punishment – California Health and Safety Code Section 11357

Recent changes in California law have made simple possession of marijuana (28.5 grams or less) an infraction that is punishable with a fine of up to one hundred dollars ($100). This essentially reduces the offense to the same level as a traffic ticket, which means a criminal record will not result.

Changes in the law have also made certain felony convictions punishable by serving time in county jail rather than state prison. Due to over-crowding in California’s state prisons, persons who are convicted of certain non-violent felonies will serve their sentence in a county jail as opposed to serving time in state prison. However, the duration of the prison sentence will remain the same.

Possessing 28.5 grams or less of Marijuana in California – California Health and Safety Code Section 11357

Anyone who possesses 28.5 grams or less of marijuana is guilty of an infraction and shall be punished by a fine up to one hundred dollars ($100). If the defendant has been previously convicted of possession of marijuana three or more times, the court shall divert and refer him for education, treatment, or rehabilitation to an appropriate community program which will accept him. See California Penal Code 1000.1, 1000.2.

If you are convicted of possession of marijuana while driving, and you are under 21 years of age, the DMV will suspend your drivers license for one year. If you do not have a driver’s license, the court will order the DMV to delay issuing a driver’s license to you for a year subsequent to the time you become legally eligible to drive. See California Vehicle Code Section 13202.5.

Possessing more than 28.5 grams of Marijuana in California – California Health and Safety Code Section 11357

Possessing more than 28.5 grams of marijuana shall be a misdemeanor and punished by imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months, or by a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment. See California Health and Safety Code Section 11357.

However, the prosecution can charge you with a felony for possession of marijuana for sale if you are caught with a significant amount of the unlawful substance. IF you are convicted of this offense you will be subjected to a punishment of imprisonment for up to three years in county jail. See California Health and Safety Code Section 11359.

Eighteen Years of Age or Older and Possessing 28.5 grams or less of Marijuana on School Grounds – California Health and Safety Code Section 11357(d)

Anyone 18 years of age or older who possesses 28.5 grams or less of marijuana on the grounds of a school teaching any class level from kindergarten to 12th grade during school hours shall be punished by a fine up to five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment in the county jail for up to 10 days, or both. See California Health and Safety Code Section 11357(d).

Under 18 Years of Age and Possessing 28.5 grams or less of Marijuana on School Grounds – California Health and Safety Code Section 11357(e)

Anyone under 18 years of age who possesses 28.5 grams or less of marijuana on the grounds of a school for grade levels kindergarten to 12th grade during school hours shall be punished by a fine up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250), if this is your first offense. If it is a second or subsequent offense, the defendant shall be punished by a fine up to five hundred dollars ($500), or commitment to a juvenile hall, ranch, camp, forestry camp, or secure juvenile home for up to 10 days, or both. See California Health and Safety Code Section 11357(e).

Planting Marijuana – California Health and Safety Code Section 11358

Every person who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes any marijuana or any part thereof, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail for 16 months, two or three years. See California Health and Safety Code Section 11358.

Availability of Diversion Programs – P.C. 1000 & Prop. 36

Diversion programs may be available if you are charged with possession of marijuana. Diversion programs allow a defendant charged with possession of controlled substances to enter into a drug treatment program in lieu of going to jail. Upon completion of the drug treatment program, the charges will be dismissed. It is important that you talk to an attorney to see what your options are. See California Penal Code Section 1000, 1210.1. Also read our Diversion Programs section for more information.

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today

For all of the above reasons, it is critical that you retain an experienced drug crimes defense attorney to represent you when you are first accused of this or any drug offense. The experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can provide you with the best possible defense in your drug case. Call us at (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.

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