Possession of marijuana with the intent to sell any amount of it is punishable as a felony. [Health and Safety Code 11359]. The sale of marijuana means the exchange of marijuana for cash, goods, favors or other benefits. Selling marijuana is different than purely giving away marijuana. Giving away less than 28.5 grams of marijuana is punishable as a misdemeanor. The penalty for giving away less than 28.5 grams of marijuana is a fine of up to $100.
Consequences of Conviction for Possession of Marijuana for Sale
A person facing a charge of possession of marijuana for sale is not eligible for a Deferred Entry of Judgment or other Drug Court alternatives to help keep the person out of prison or jail. Therefore, if convicted of selling marijuana a defendant can be sentenced to state prison for either 16 months, or 2 or 3 years. Alternatively, the defendant may be granted probation and avoid prison time in exchange for time spent in custody in local jail.
In addition to punishments of incarceration, the defendant can be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. If the defendant is not a citizen of the United States, that person is subject to deportation for a conviction for possession of marijuana for sale. If the defendant is under the age of 21, a conviction of possession of marijuana for sale will lead to a mandatory loss of his or her license.
Effective Counsel Needed
Given the gravity of a conviction for possession of marijuana for sale a person accused of this offense should contact the Redwood City criminal defense attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram to discuss their rights and options. It may be possible that we can help you avoid a conviction for possession of marijuana for sale by plea bargaining with the District Attorney for a reduced charge of maintaining a place where marijuana is possessed – (Health and Safety Code 11366) or possession of concentrated cannabis – (Health and Safety Code 11357(a)).
The advantage to pleading to these reduced charges is that they are considered wobblers (punishable as either a felony or misdemeanor) and can accordingly be reduced by the court pursuant to Penal Code 17(b) to a misdemeanor. If this motion to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor is granted, the defendant will not be precluded by this offense from holding a professional license, voting, serving on a jury, or owning, purchasing or possessing firearms. Upon the successful completion of probation, this person may more easily seek to expunge his or her misdemeanor conviction than if he or she suffered a felony conviction.