Defenses to Charges of Marijuana Possession

Even though many states have legalized marijuana for medicinal and even recreational use, marijuana is still illegal in Wyoming. The penalties for possession of marijuana in Wyoming can be severe and may include fines and even time in jail.

The drug possession defense team at Just Criminal Law is committed to providing aggressive legal representation to people accused of possession of marijuana in Gillette and throughout Wyoming. Our criminal defense team can analyze the charges against you and mount a vigorous defense to minimize the potential consequences of a conviction.

What Are the Penalties for a Conviction for Possession of Marijuana in Wyoming?

The penalties for possession of marijuana vary based on the amount of the drug in your possession.

  • 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 and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If you are charged with 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.

Defenses to Possession of Marijuana

If you were charged with possession of marijuana, your defense strategy will depend on the circumstances of your case and how much marijuana you are charged with possessing. Some defenses address the facts of the case, while others target procedural errors. In some circumstances, your criminal defense team will raise affirmative defenses, introducing evidence to show you were acting within the law or that the prosecutor’s case is invalid. Here are some common defenses to charges of marijuana possession:

The Drugs Were Not Yours

One of the most effective defenses to charges of possession of marijuana is to show the drugs were not yours. To charge someone with possession of marijuana, the police must prove you had access to or control over the drugs.

If the marijuana was not found on your person and you can show other people had access to the drugs, you can claim the marijuana was not yours. This defense is particularly effective when you share a house with roommates or when police find marijuana in a car with multiple occupants.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protects against unlawful searches and seizures. If the police did not have probable cause to suspect you committed a crime, our defense team can seek to have evidence excluded due to an illegal search and seizure.

Challenge the Results of the Drug Lab Analysis

To prove possession of marijuana, the prosecutor must show that the substance in your possession was actually a controlled substance. This is typically accomplished through a crime lab analysis. Our defense team can analyze the lab report, and, if we find errors or discrepancies, we can use those errors to negotiate a reduction in charges or dismissal of the case.

Chain of Custody

To secure a conviction for possession of marijuana, the prosecutor must prove the drugs presented at trial are the same drugs that were taken from you at the scene of the alleged crime. If the evidence was mishandled, our defense team can challenge the chain of custody, arguing there were procedural errors and that the drugs presented at trial were not yours.

Unwitting Possession

When you claim unwitting possession as a defense against charges of possession of marijuana, you admit to being in possession of marijuana but claim you did not know or reasonably know that you were in possession of a controlled substance. This defense can be effective if you were carrying a bag or driving a car that belonged to someone else.

Charged with Possession of Marijuana? Contact The Criminal Defense Team at Just Criminal Law Today.

A conviction for possession of marijuana can have serious consequences. The criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law can help you beat the charge or minimize the severity of the penalties you face. We can analyze your situation, identify the defenses that have the best chance of success, and build a strong case to protect your rights and result in dismissal of the case or a significant reduction in the potential penalties. To learn more, contact the criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law 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