Marijuana Defense In Los Angeles
I've been dealing with marijuana-related cases for the past twenty-five years in LA County. Things have changed drastically in recent years with now California permitting the possession and use of marijuana and making it legal to do so.
Where people seem to run into trouble is when they're selling marijuana in large amounts and trying to make profit from it. There are certain rules that have to be abided by and if you don't comply with these rules, then the local authorities will swoop in, arrest everybody, seize everything and then you're left to defend your case.
The key is not to have this issue in the first place, and the way to try to get around this, is obviously to do things right, to meet with somebody who is seasoned and experienced in setting up these marijuana shops, knows all the rules and regulations related to it, and knows what needs to be done in order to be successful.
Federal Drug Charges
Of course, one of the biggest problems that anybody who's considering being involved with the sale of marijuana has, is that currently the federal law makes marijuana illegal.
So that means anytime the feds want to swoop in, they're able to do that, arrest everybody, send the case into federal court, and now you have to deal with a serious situation which is going to cost you time, money and potential ramifications and consequences related to a federal conviction.
So, the bottom line is this – dealing in marijuana is a risky business. It always has been. It's become less and less risky because of the change in law – the change in perspective across the county – and also because of the medical value that marijuana has and that there's much more serious drugs out there that the feds want to prosecute, and obviously the local authorities want to prosecute.
Defenses for Marijuana Charges
So, when it comes to the defense of marijuana cases, obviously each case is going to spin on its own facts. You can't just say I have a cookie-cutter defense and say – okay, if you're charged with this, then this is what we're going to do every time.
No, it depends on what evidence they have against you, exactly what you did, what you knew, what you didn't know, how much you had, how it was being sold, the circumstances of the arrest and – I think now more and more – the police are just moving away from arresting people for marijuana related offenses because they feel like a lot of these cases are just being thrown out and it's a waste of their time.
So, if they do arrest somebody then it's usually going to involve big money, guns, maybe other drugs – situations where they really feel the prosecutors will pursue the case – won't dismiss it and will actually try to get a conviction and they feel they can make a case stick.
What to Do If You're Charged With A Marijuana Related Offense
What I would suggest you do is what I do in all my cases which is sit down with a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the area of law that relates to your arrest and go over all of the facts and details with them.
When you meet with your attorney come in with a list of questions so that when you leave the meeting, you feel satisfied that they answered all of your marijuana defense related questions. What I do is, we go over everything, I have the client give me all the facts and details in an honest, straightforward and detailed manner.
I always encourage people don't leave things out, don't put a spin on things. Just tell me what happened. Even tell me what happened from the police's and prosecutor's perspective, so we can see how they're going to attack us. And then once we have it all laid out on the table, now we can start talking about – okay, what's the defense going to be?
How are we going to deal with this problem? Why did they arrest you, and what can we do to show that they're wrong and that you shouldn't have been arrested and you weren't doing anything illegal?
And this is just where experience comes in – knowing the law, having dealt with these types of cases in the Los Angeles courts and knowing what it takes to have a successful marijuana defense in Los Angeles County.