Marijuana laws are changing, but that doesn’t mean that it is legal everywhere. If you are caught with marijuana in a state in which it is still prohibited, you can face fines and even significant jail time. To avoid these consequences, you need to know what to do if you are caught with marijuana.
Know the Law Regarding Quantity
Your first, and best, hope will rely on your knowledge of your local laws. Most states have varying punishments for marijuana possession depending on the amount that you have on your person. If you have more than a certain amount, you may also automatically be charged with intent to distribute. As such, it’s always wise to ensure that you’re aware of what you’re carrying and how it can impact your future.
Don’t Offer More Information
If you’ve been caught with marijuana, there’s a good chance that you will face some significant legal troubles. The last thing you want to do, then, is to make things worse on yourself. Do not offer any extra information to the police, especially if your lawyer isn’t present. Beyond basic identifying information, tell the police that you’ll need to consult with criminal defense attorneys before you continue any conversations.
Talk About Plea Deals
If you’ve been arrested and charged, your best chance to avoid jail time might be to talk to your lawyer about a plea deal. A plea deal will reduce your charges to a lesser charge, generally reducing your potential sentence at the same time. This is especially important if you are being charged with intent to distribute – you may be able to plea down a felony charge to a lesser misdemeanor.
Use Character Witnesses
If you do go to trial, you need to make sure that there are witnesses available to testify to your character. These witnesses are not likely to make the court find you innocent, but they can reduce the severity of your punishment. If the court feels that you are basically a decent person who has made a single bad choice, they are much more likely to hand down a sentence that you can come back from more easily.
Being caught with marijuana can still have serious consequences in many places, so know what you need to do if you are arrested. Know what the consequences might be, how to talk to the police, and what you need to discuss with a lawyer. With luck, you can use this information to avoid the worst possible consequences.
Author information: Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.