Despite the perception that marijuana possession is not a serious crime, a conviction will result in serious penalties. Many states have legalized the recreational use of this drug, but the drug is still a controlled substance in Kansas. In July 2016, state lawmakers passed a measure that slightly reduced the penalties associated with possession, but, if you are facing charges for marijuana, you still need an experienced defense attorney.
Is medical marijuana legal?
In a growing number of states across the country, the use of marijuana in various forms for the treatment and management of certain medical conditions is legal. At this time, Kansas is not included in that number. Regardless of the reason why a person possesses or uses this drug, it could result in serious legal repercussions.
Consequences for possession, distribution and possession
If you are currently facing criminal charges associated with the possession, cultivation or distribution of marijuana, it is important to fully understand all potential consequences. Penalties for a conviction are as follows:
- Possession: A first-time possession charge is a misdemeanor and comes with penalties that may include fines up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail. A second or subsequent possession charge is a felony, bringing penalties that include 26 months in prison and expensive fines that could reach $100,000.
- Possession with intent to distribute: It is a felony crime to possess any amount of marijuana with the intent to sell. The severity of penalties depends on the amount of marijuana involved and can include 10 months to 17 years in jail and fines up to $500,000.
- Cultivation: The penalties for growing marijuana depend on the number of plants found and the defendant's criminal record. If convicted, a person could face a sentence that includes many years behind bars.
These are serious penalties, and whether it is your first possession charge or you have previous convictions on your criminal record, you need to know how to effectively confront marijuana charges.
The elements of a strong defense
From challenging the evidence against you to questioning the circumstances of your arrest, you have the right to seek the most beneficial outcome to your situation. If there was a violation of your personal rights, a problem with the search or seizure process, or other issues with the prosecution's case, you may be able to secure a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you.
The elements of your defense will depend on the details of your case, including the type of marijuana-related charges and your criminal record. A strong defense begins with a complete evaluation by an experienced defense attorney.