Have you been charged with illegal possession of marijuana? These next few months won’t be easy, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Expect a long, hard road ahead of you before this can be resolved.
Here’s your guide for what to do when charged with illegal possession of marijuana:
Get a Lawyer — Now
You will need a lawyer. Get one right away.
Don’t try to represent yourself in court. You may think you’ve watched enough Law & Order to be your own lawyer. You have not. Only four years of law school makes you qualified to represent a criminal case. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you can seek out legal aid or ask for a government-funded lawyer.
If you choose not to follow this advice and decide to represent yourself, you will need legal counsel. The attorney will advise you to hire a lawyer (and he’ll be right), but he’ll also give you valuable advice that you’ll need in the courtroom.
If you’re convicted of pot possession , you’ll face a world of consequences; drug-related offences are not taken lightly. If you were charged with a criminal offence and you are convicted, you will have a criminal record. Unfortunately, this criminal record will affect all aspects of your life: where you can travel, what jobs you can apply for, and what schools you can attend. This charge will affect your future.
We’ll say it again: Hire a lawyer.
Do Your Research
Each state has different laws regarding drug possession. For example, in New York, if you are caught with under 25 grams of marijuana, you will likely be charged with Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. This charge is considered a violation, not a crime. It’s far easier to get your case dismissed in exchange for fines or community service with these charges.
Most states follow such structured hierarchies of crimes and violations, depending on how much marijuana you possessed when arrested. If you were carrying more than your state’s requirements for a violation, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor crime (and jail time is usually unlikely). If you were carrying a larger amount, you may be charged with a felony. Felony cases are much more likely to end in jail time than misdemeanors.
Contact a lawyer. Find out the laws in your state. Prepare yourself for a long legal battle—unfortunately, this won’t be over quickly.