Despite state laws decriminalizing marijuana use, it still remains illegal for unlicensed individuals to sell or even give it away. And a conviction for the possession of marijuana with the intent to sell carries lifelong ramifications.
You need to speak to a Los Angeles marijuana possession with intent to sell defense attorney if you’re facing charges related to cannabis distribution. An experienced criminal defense lawyer at Simmrin Law Group can help you fight these charges and protect your life as you know it.
Why Is Selling or Giving Away Marijuana Still Illegal in California?
Marijuana has been decriminalized in California, but marijuana-related drug arrests have not stopped. Even though state law now allows licensed businesses to sell marijuana, regular citizens face severe criminal penalties for doing the same. In fact, you can be convicted even if you merely gave away marijuana, with no money exchanged.
California’s health and safety code known as HS 11360 makes it illegal to sell marijuana. In 2016, the voters of California chose to decriminalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21. This led to an amendment to HS 11360 authorizing certain businesses to provide marijuana.
Much like selling liquor, you need a license to sell cannabis in California. As a result, HS 11360 makes it illegal for you to:
- Sell marijuana
- Give away marijuana for free
- Bring marijuana into the state (importing)
- Transporting marijuana for sale
However, HS 11360 isn’t the only marijuana law on the books in California. There are several others you’ll need to be aware of that can place you at risk of being charged with the intent to sell.
Possession of Concentrated Cannabis – HS 11357(a)
The possession of concentrated cannabis is treated much more harshly than the possession of regular cannabis. This is due to the higher concentration of THC in this controlled substance. You will typically be charged with a misdemeanor under HS 11357(a) absent a prior felony or sex crime convictions.
Possession of Under 1 oz of Marijuana – HS 11357(b)
Under HS 11357(b), the possession of under 1 oz of marijuana is treated as an infraction, on par with minor traffic violations. You can’t be arrested and won’t have a criminal record if you’re convicted of possessing under 1 oz of marijuana. You may face a $100 fine, which a defense lawyer may get reduced or dismissed with your case if you have a medical marijuana card.
Possession of Over 1 oz of Marijuana – HS 11357(c)
Under HS 11357(c), you can be charged with a misdemeanor if you’re found to possess over 1 oz of marijuana for personal use. However, you won’t be able to be charged with a felony, unless there are aggravating circumstances around your charges. Even though you may only face a misdemeanor charge, your criminal record can hinder your future prospects.
Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Sell – HS 11359
Despite the decriminalization of marijuana use in California, selling it still remains a criminal offense outside of licensed vendors. Even if you possess less than an ounce of marijuana, if it’s demonstrated that you have the intent to sell, such as due to the presence of baggies or a scale, you can be charged with a felony, per HS 11359.
For a free legal consultation with a Criminal Defense lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 928-9347
Medical Marijuana Sales
There are exceptions for authorized medical marijuana users and their primary caregivers. who are allowed to provide them with a small amount of marijuana for their medical needs. However, even if you have a medical marijuana license, you can still be cited or arrested for marijuana possession if you don’t have your medical marijuana card on you when contacted by police.
Breaking HS 11360 is normally a misdemeanor, although there are circumstances that can make it a felony. Criminal consequences of breaking this law include incarceration. If you’re permitted to use medical marijauna in California and have been arrested for it, a marijuana possession with intent to sell defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you obtain justice.
Los Angeles Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Sell Defense Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
When is Marijuana Sale Considered a Felony in Los Angeles?
California laws and penalties indicate you will be charged with a felony for a marijuana sale if any of the following apply to your case:
- The person you supposedly “sold” or gave away marijuana to was under 18
- You have two or more prior convictions for marijuana sale
- You tried to bring marijuana into or out of California (importing/exporting) and the amount was at least 28.5 grams of leaf or 4 grams of concentrate
- You have a past conviction for a violent felony such as murder, DUI manslaughter, rape or violent sex crimes, a violent crime against a child under 14, or if you are a registered sex offender
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What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Sale in Los Angeles?
Most marijuana charges in California are brought as misdemeanors. The misdemeanor penalties for marijuana sale in Los Angeles include:
- Up to six months in jail, and
- Up to $500 in fines
Marijuana charges for more grievous infractions of state law are brought as felonies. Felony penalties include two, three, or four years in county jail.
Status as a convicted felon, which means a lifetime ban on owning firearms, and can affect your ability to get a job
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Is There Any Way to Avoid Jail Time for Marijuana Sales?
Yes, it is possible to avoid jail time for marijuana sale charges in some cases – when you have a lawyer. Most drug “possession” charges in California allow you to avoid jail if you go to drug treatment, but this is not an option for marijuana sale. The state doesn’t grant addiction treatment as an acceptable outcome, since you are charged with providing marijuana to others.
Instead, your criminal defense lawyer has to make a case to the judge why you are not a threat to the community and why you can be trusted to learn your lesson and move on. Making an effective case depends on knowing the personality of the particular judge and their past history on other cases. However, if granted, you can receive probation instead of jail time.
Probation is different for misdemeanor and felony cases. But if you complete the probation successfully, you can be excused from serving your time in jail.
Of course, the best way to avoid jail time is to avoid being convicted in the first place. A good Los Angeles possession of marijuana with intent to sell defense attorney from Simmrin Law Group can help you potentially win your case or simply get the charge reduced to something less serious.
Is It Possible to Beat a “Marijuana Sale” Charge?
Yes, it’s possible to fight and successfully beat a marijuana sale charge. In fact, these charges can be hard to prove or suffer from weak evidence. Lawyers routinely win marijuana sale cases for their clients.
Some of the possible defenses in a marijuana sale case include:
- Personal use: The marijuana was for personal use only and you did not intend to sell it.
- You didn’t possess the marijuana: Just because it was found near you or in your home does not mean it was yours.
- You didn’t know the marijuana was there: It could have been left by someone else, even in your car, without your knowledge.
- You didn’t know what it was: If you didn’t realize it was marijuana, you are not guilty.
- There isn’t enough evidence against you: Even if the police found evidence, there could be legal problems with it or there could be mitigating factors. This could result in the prosecutor dropping the case or the judge throwing it out.
- Entrapment: If an undercover officer pressured you to sell marijuana, you cannot be convicted.
- Illegal search and seizure: There are detailed laws about how and when police can search you or your property. If they were broken, you could win your case.
Choosing the right defense depends on your case and the specifics of what happened. You need to speak to a lawyer who has experience in taking on marijuana sales cases to determine the best defense in your circumstances.
Talk to a Los Angeles Marijuana Sale Lawyer for Free
At the Simmrin Law Group, we can fight your marijuana charges. We don’t believe that California’s marijuana laws are fair or balanced—and we know that regular, law abiding citizens get caught up in them all the time. When you call us, we listen to your story, take your side, and give you the best defense possible.
Let our possession of marijuana with intent to sell defense attorneys in Los Angeles offer you a free consultation to discuss your case and how to beat it. Contact us online or call us by phone. Conviction for a single marijuana sale can affect your career, your freedom and the rest of your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late to fight your marijuana charges.