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What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in California?

In California, possession of cannabis or any other form of marijuana is a crime, unless you have a valid medical marijuana card. Penalties for a conviction will depend on the amount of marijuana with which you were found.

For28.5 grams or less, it is seen as a minor infraction and you will be fined $100. For more than 28.5 grams, however, penalties are more severe. You will be charged with a misdemeanor and face penalties of 6 months in jail and fines of up to $500.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

There are certain circumstances in which your possession charges may be elevated to intent to distribute:

  • Large amounts of marijuana: you were found with more of the drug then you would probably use yourself, this would indicate sale to someone else.
  • Packaged drugs: drugs that are packaged suggest that they are ready for sale.
  • Scales at the scene of the crime: scales and other drug paraphernalia make it seem as if you were weighing the drug in preparation for sale.
  • Customer messages: voicemails, texts, or emails from customers that reveal a drug operation may implicate intent to sell.

Possession with intent to distribute is a felony charge for any amount and a conviction could incur penalties of up to 3 years in prison.

Underage Possession and Possession on School Grounds

If you are underage or possessed marijuana on school grounds, then your crime and penalties may be elevated.

  • Underage possession under 28.5 grams: this is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 10 days in jail and a fine of $500.
  • Possession on school grounds: this is also a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 10 days in a detention center and fines of up to $250.

Contact Anthony Curiale and Associates, A Professional Corporation

To get tough defense on your side for your marijuana possession charges, call us at (714) 684-6922 or submit an online form. We have over 40 Years of experience in criminal law and are strong advocates of medical marijuana. Our lead attorney, Anthony Curiale is one of the lead defense attorneys for medical marijuana, having successfully defended more than 100 dispensaries and countless individuals. In addition, he was the lead counsel for a landmark case that fought for patient associations' right to sue cities and counties for banning medical marijuana.

Contact us today for more information about how we can help you! We offer a free case evaluation for all of our potential clients.