How to Defend Against Charges of Marijuana Possession

Even though many states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or even recreational use, marijuana possession is still prohibited in Wyoming and at the federal level.

Penalties for a Wyoming Marijuana Possession Conviction

If you are found in possession of marijuana in Wyoming, you face serious penalties, including fines and jail time. The severity of the punishment will depend on the amount of marijuana in your possession, whether you were charged with simple possession or possession with intent to distribute, and, in some cases, where you were when you were found to be in possession of marijuana.

A conviction for Wyoming marijuana charges carries the following penalties:

  • Under the influence of marijuana (not limited to while you are driving) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $750.
  • Possession of less than 3 oz. of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Possession of more than 3 ounces of marijuana is a felony that may result in up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
  • If you are caught in possession of marijuana within 500 feet of a school, you face the penalties above plus an additional $500 fine.
  • If you are in possession of drug paraphernalia, such as a pipe with marijuana residue, you face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $750.

Defending Against Wyoming Marijuana Possession Charges

The defenses available to you will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. To give yourself the best chance of beating the charge, you should work with the experienced criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law.

Led by former prosecutor Christina L. Williams, we will carefully analyze your situation, identify the best defenses, and fight for a Not Guilty verdict.

The Marijuana Is Not Yours

In cases of marijuana possession, it is common to claim that the marijuana is not yours. This defense is particularly compelling if other people were in the car when you were arrested or if you share a house with other people.

In Wyoming marijuana possession cases, the prosecutor does not need to prove you were in actual possession of drugs to secure a conviction. Instead, they can convict you if they can prove that you exercised ‘dominion and control’ over the marijuana.

Unwitting Possession

To claim unwitting possession, you acknowledge that you were in possession of marijuana but argue you did not know or reasonably know that you were carrying the drug. This defense is particularly effective if marijuana was found in a bag that you were carrying for someone else or driving someone else’s car when you were arrested.

Attack the Chain of Custody

The chain of custody refers to documentation that establishes a record of the control, transfer, and disposition of evidence in a criminal case.

To prove someone guilty, the prosecutor must prove that the evidence presented in court is the same evidence that was recovered at the scene of the alleged crime. They must show that the evidence was handled properly and was not contaminated or tampered with. If law enforcement does not properly handle evidence, the evidence can be challenged on the grounds that it was tampered with or that evidence was planted at the scene of a crime.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protects against unlawful searches and seizures and requires that a search or seizure be supported by probable cause. The government can only search and confiscate your property if they follow the rules.

If the police did not have probable cause to suspect you committed a crime, our criminal defense team will file a Motion to Suppress Evidence asking the court to exclude evidence that was illegally obtained. If we are successful, the illegally obtained evidence cannot be considered at trial.

Crime Lab Analysis

To secure a conviction for Wyoming marijuana possession, the prosecutor must prove that the substance in your possession was actually marijuana. This is commonly accomplished by sending the substance to a crime lab for analysis. But if there are errors or discrepancies in the lab analysis report, we can challenge whether the substance was actually marijuana. A successful challenge can lead to a reduction in the charges or dismissal of your case.

Contact Just Criminal Law for Aggressive Defense Against Wyoming Marijuana Charges

If you are facing Wyoming marijuana charges, you need an experienced criminal defense team on your side. Led by former prosecutor Christina L. Williams, the defense team at Just Criminal Law aggressively defends people against Wyoming marijuana charges. To learn more, read about our results and why clients choose us, then contact us today to schedule your personalized case review and strategy session.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

Categories: Marijuana