Caught with Marijuana in a Drug-Free Zone? Learn What Your Defense Options Are
Though marijuana is now legal in the state of California, there are limits to it. Many citizens are confused by the laws and not fully informed on what they mean and how they affect them. Today you can read about drug-free zones. Learn what they are, why you can’t smoke there, and what happens if you are caught – plus defense options if you are facing legal action. Remember you can always contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 for a free legal consultation.
Definitions of Drug-Free Zones
As the name implies, a drug-free zone is a place in which a person cannot possess marijuana. In fact, they cannot possess marijuana within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone. There are a variety of drug-free zones including daycare centers, K-12 schools, youth centers, colleges, and universities. If a person is caught violating said rules, their punishment can largely depend on their age.
Charges for Being Caught in a Drug-Free Zone
If a person is under the age of 18 and is found with marijuana in a drug-free zone, they will face an infraction. They will then have to go to mandatory drug counseling. If they are older than 18, then they will face harsher punishment, including a misdemeanor charge and fines of up to $250 for a first offense. The fines and punishment can go up if the individual is charged with this drug crime several times.
Potential Consequences for Having Marijuana at an Academic Institution
Students enrolled in schools / universities have more to worry about than just the legal ramifications – they could face legal repercussions as well. This could include students being suspended or expelled. Just being accused of violating drug-free zone laws can ruin a career or reputation. This is one of the reasons to fight these charges, even if they seem minor on the surface.
There Are Defense Options if You Are Charged with Having Drugs in a Drug-Free Zone
When you talk to your criminal defense attorney, they can figure out the best defense option for your case. It may involve arguing that you did not have marijuana and it was a case of mistaken identity. We may argue that you had a lack of awareness that the marijuana was in your possession, which would mean you were not guilty of the crime.
We may argue that the evidence against you was found via unlawful search and seizure, which would mean that evidence was not admissible against you. If you are guilty of the crime and there is a wealth of evidence, then we may work to have a misdemeanor charge reduced to an infraction. To learn more about your options and which defense choice is likely to provide the best outcome, contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 for a free legal consultation.