Potential Defense Strategies for your Marijuana Possession Charge
Although the possession of a small amount of cannabis has been decriminalized in Illinois, you can be charged with a criminal offense for allegedly possessing more than 10 grams of the substance. If you are facing a criminal charge for marijuana possession, you can fight the charge with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Depending on your case’s circumstances, your defense strategy could hinge on one of the following factors.
You Possessed Less than 10 Grams
Possession of 10 grams of marijuana or less is a civil charge punishable by a fine of up to $200. Possession of more than 10 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 — for your first offense. For any subsequent offense, possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana can land you in jail for up to six years and leave you on the hook for a $25,000 fine.
If you only had a small amount of marijuana, you can potentially have your charge reduced.
You are a Medical Marijuana Patient
If you are a registered Illinois medical cannabis user, you may legally possess up to two and one half ounces of marijuana. If you are erroneously charged with marijuana possession, you can use your prescription card to show that you are part of the medical cannabis program and thus, permitted to possess your medication.
The Evidence Used to Support the Charge was Obtained Illegally
When evidence is collected through an illegal search and seizure, it may be thrown out in court. This means it cannot be used to support the prosecution’s charge. When this is the case, it can significantly undermine a criminal charge.
An illegal search and seizure is one conducted without a valid search warrant. Unless an officer has a warrant to search your home or vehicle, you do not have to consent to his or her request to conduct a search. Similarly, you do not have to answer an officer’s question about your marijuana use or whether you have marijuana on your person.
There is No Evidence to Support the Charge
When you are facing a criminal charge, the court must find you guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you. If there is not sufficient evidence to support a claim that you possessed more than 10 grams of marijuana, you cannot be convicted of this crime.
Work with an Experienced Geneva Criminal Defense Lawyer
The job of your talented Naperville criminal defense lawyer is to work on your behalf to fight the charge you are facing. In an ideal situation, your defense strategy shows the court that you are innocent of your alleged crime, resulting in dismissal of the charge. In many cases, the best result is having the court reduce the charge to one with lower penalties. To learn more about your options when you are facing a marijuana possession charge, schedule your legal consultation with Donahue & Sowa.