The police arrest you with marijuana in the car. You are facing a possession charge, but this also your third offense. You know that your record could complicate things.
It does. Regardless of the amount in your possession, you could face federal felony charges. The mandatory minimum sentence is 90 days, but you could face up to three years. This is a serious situation.
Your first thought is how you can defend yourself against these charges. They could upend your entire life. They could impact your future for years to come. Here are four potential defenses that people in your position sometimes use:
- You have a valid prescription and are therefore allowed to use and possess marijuana. You are using marijuana in accordance with the medical marijuana laws that are on the books. It is as valid as any other prescription medication. Maybe your other arrests happened through illegal use, but those arrests convinced you to go to the doctor, follow the proper channels, and get a prescription this time so that you wouldn’t get arrested again.
- The search that found the marijuana was illegal, violating your Fourth Amendment rights. For example, officers searched your car for no justifiable reason. After all, the drugs weren’t in plain sight.
- The police engaged in entrapment and set you up just to arrest you. While this is uncommon, it does happen.
- The marijuana belonged to someone else. Maybe you just gave a friend a ride home, they forgot it in the car, and you honestly had no idea that it was there the entire time.
These are not all of the defenses you may use, but they give you an idea of how to proceed. Be sure you know exactly what legal steps to take to protect your future. By all means, speak to a defense attorney before you speak to the authorities.