As with any criminal offense in the State of California, there are penalties for possession with intent to sell or distribute that vary based upon a number of factors. First, let’s examine those possible penalties for those that are charged and convicted of 11359 HS and Proposition 64:
Under 18 years of age
- First offense: Eight hours of drug education or counseling and up to 40 hours of community service over a period of 90 days.
- Second or subsequent offense: Ten hours of drug education or counseling and up to 60 hours of community service over a period of 120 days.
Over 18 years of age
If over the age of 18, you may be charged with a misdemeanor offense punishable by the following:
- A fine of up to $500.00
- Prior convictions for the same offense: May face a felony charge with possible jail sentence of 16 months to three years
It is important to note that California law does not allow the option to complete a drug diversion program and to enter treatment in lieu of serving a jail sentence.
There may be collateral consequences as well as a result of a conviction of possession with intent to sell or distribute and those are as follows:
- Employment: A felony drug conviction may impact the ability to secure necessary employment.
- Housing: Landlords in the State of California do have practices and contractual obligations to refrain from renting to people with felony drug convictions.
- Professional licenses: The State of California may deny a professional licensing application or may even suspend or revoke a current license following a felony drug conviction.
- College entrance: A felony conviction may prevent admission to a Califormnia college or university and one may not be eligible to receive federal financial aid such as grants or student loans.
- Immigration: A felony drug conviction in the State of California may be grounds to deny an immigration visa, green card, or even citizenship. If in possession of a visa or green card, it may be revoked under these conditions as well.
- Child custody: A felony drug conviction in the State of California may have an impact on family court, insomuch, that a judge deems a parent unfit, order removal of the child or children and the felon will be required to work with a caseworker to restore custody rights.
It is not all doom and gloom as there are a variety of legal defenses in the State of California if one is charged with intent to sell or distribute marijuana. It is important to note that every criminal case is based upon a unique set of circumstances, facts, and the evidence. Based upon those circumstance, the following legal defenses may apply:
- The substance was not marijuana
- Not in possession of the marijuana
- No intent to sell or distribute the marijuana
- Evidence was obtained through an illegal search or seizure
- Evidence was obtained through an illegal traffic stop
- Evidence was obtained using illegal wiretapping or surveillance
- Law enforcement made an error in the investigation
Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.