The attitudes around marijuana for both medical and recreational use are changing, but in Pennsylvania, it is still an illegal drug. In Chester County, PA and in West Chester in particular, marijuana charges are quite common and convictions can seriously complicate your life. From possible jail time to a license suspension, and a permanent drug conviction on your record, do not take marijuana charges lightly. Speak to a marijuana lawyer right away.
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in West Chester, Phoenixville, Kennett Square, Oxford, Coatesville, or anywhere in Chester County, it is imperative to hire a defense lawyer experienced in this area with a history of success. Michael J. Skinner is a knowledgeable and highly skilled drug lawyer with an impressive track record in similar cases. Let us review your case and fight to have your charges completely dismissed or find a way to mitigate your punishment. Call the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 for a free consultation.
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, pot, ganja, bud, chronic, grass and reefer, is one of the most frequently abused drugs in Pennsylvania.
Under federal and Pennsylvania state law, marijuana is illegal. A conviction for many marijuana charges can result in harsh punishments in both criminal sentencing and in consequences on your daily life.
Some of the most common marijuana charges include:
If you are found with marijuana on your person or under your control, whether in your vehicle, home, or office, then you may face criminal charges. This is even more likely if large quantities of marijuana, plants, or products like cannabis concentrates are under your control.
Any second or subsequent marijuana offense conviction increases the possible penalties.
In addition to the criminal penalties, being convicted of a marijuana offense will result in various other negative ramifications to your life. First, PennDOT will almost assuredly suspend your driver’s license for anywhere between six months to two years depending on your prior record.
A marijuana conviction will also result in a permanent mark against your criminal record. The stigma attached to a drug conviction, even for marijuana, will make finding a job difficult, result in the loss or inability to get certain professional licenses, complicate custody or visitation agreements, and lead to an embarrassing stain on your record that you’ll have to explain repeatedly.
Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program does provide access to medical marijuana for patients with specific medical conditions. Currently, only patients suffering from one of the following medical conditions can participate in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program:
Using authorized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania without fear of criminal charges requires you to first register for the program through the Medical Marijuana Registry and having a physician certify that you suffer from one of the listed conditions before obtaining a medical marijuana ID card. This card will allow you to secure medical marijuana from approved dispensaries in Pennsylvania.
When individuals do not secure the proper medical marijuana authorization or remain in good standing, they are just as susceptible to arrest and criminal charges as anyone else. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime in relation to using medical marijuana, contact Skinner Law Firm immediately.
There are always steps you can take to improve your situation if you’re charged with a marijuana crime. There may be defense options available or programs you’re eligible for. A marijuana attorney can help identify ways to help This includes possible defense strategies or other mitigating factors that may reduce your marijuana charge to a lesser offense or even ways to have it dismissed.
Examples of defenses or mitigating factors to marijuana charges can include:
Depending on if any of the above scenarios applies to your case, your attorney will be able to file a motion to dismiss your marijuana charge or a motion to suppress any illegally obtained evidence on your behalf.
For many first-time marijuana offenders, the court may grant probation without verdict. The state provides for conditional release, alternative sentencing programs or diversion options like ARD for first-time offenders. Pennsylvania law also allows offenders to choose probation rather than being sentenced at trial.
If the offender completes the requirements of probation, the marijuana charge will be dismissed, and his or her criminal record will not reflect the marijuana offense.
If you’ve been arrested for a marijuana offense anywhere in Chester County, Pennsylvania, contact the Skinner Law Firm for a free consultation. We will review what lead to you being charged, assess whether you are eligible for drug court or a diversion program, and pursue every opportunity to have the charge reduced or dismissed.