Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Los Angeles Marijuana Possession

Posted on: November 16, 2009 at 2:32 a.m.

In Los Angeles, marijuana laws are complicated. Having a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to help defend your Los Angeles drug offense will go a long towards keeping you out of prison.

Major League Baseball pitcher Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants was arrested two weeks ago in his home state of Washington after local law enforcement agents found a small amount of marijuana in his car. Lincecum was initially pulled over because he was speeding, driving 74 miles per hour in a 60 mile per hour zone. When the officer approached the star pitcher’s car, he smelled the marijuana and immediately asked him to surrender the drug. Lincecum handed over roughly 3.3 grams of marijuana, in addition to a marijuana pipe from the car’s center console. Since the state of Washington considers most quantities of marijuana of less than 40 grams to be for personal use, Lincecum will most likely avoid felony drug possession charges and will instead be charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense. In the state of Washington, a first-time charge for the possession of marijuana for personal use typically garners a fine of about $622. Lincecum will also be cited for speeding.

In Los Angeles, small amounts of marijuana for personal use are technically legal-depending on which law enforcement agency finds them. Since marijuana laws allow for the use of marijuana for medical purposes, state and city agents might not arrest you if you are consuming the marijuana in your home. According to Los Angeles marijuana law, carrying the marijuana outside your home (in a car or in a public place, for instance), however, might make you eligible to be charged with a misdemeanor drug possession offense. Depending on the circumstances of your case, probation, community service, fines or time in a county jail may be assessed if you are found guilty. For many first-time drug offenders, Los Angeles also has a deferred entry of judgment program that would allow for drug treatment rather than jail time. In these cases, a defendant pleads guilty to drug possession charges, but instead of being sentenced to harsher punishments, the defendant’s case is instead put on “hold" for a time. The defendant is then required to complete a six-month series of drug education classes and avoid being arrested or convicted of another crime for 18 months. If the defendant successfully completes both requirements, the case is dismissed and criminal charges are wiped from their record.

Los Angeles marijuana laws surrounding the use of pot can be confusing. However, the help of an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is invaluable when you have been charged with a drug offense. Call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today to find out what your options are.

Tagged as: los angeles criminal defense attorney, los angeles drug laws, los angeles drug offense, los angeles marijuana laws

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