State College Marijuana Possession Lawyer
While marijuana has been legalized, decriminalized, or permitted for medicinal purposes in some states, possession of marijuana remains a criminal offense in Pennsylvania. Possession of marijuana can either be a misdemeanor or a felony offense, depending upon whether the person possessed the drug with the intent to personally use it or possessed it with the intent to deliver it.
Call JD Law at (814) 954-7622 or email us if you have been charged with possession of marijuana. We offer free initial consultations and have handled hundreds of cases in the State College area.
Felony or Misdemeanor? Quantity of Marijuana Is an Important Factor
When prosecutors decide which marijuana charges to file, a primary factor is the quantity of marijuana that is possessed. The larger the amount, the more likely it is that the police will file a felony charge of Possession With Intent to Deliver, in violation of 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(30). Felony charges are obviously more severe than misdemeanor charges; there are more severe collateral consequences associated with a felony criminal conviction, and a felony marijuana charge may carry mandatory minimum sentences.
Misdemeanor marijuana charges are generally filed when smaller quantities of marijuana are involved.
- If there are less than 30 grams of marijuana, the charge is Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana, in violation of 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(31), punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 days incarceration and a $500 fine.
- If more than 30 grams of marijuana is possessed, then the charge is Simple Possession of Marijuana, in violation of 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(16), and punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
A conviction of either felony or misdemeanor marijuana charges will result in a suspension of your Pennsylvania drivers’ license and driving privileges. A person facing a license suspension for a drug or marijuana possession offense is not eligible to receive an Occupational Limited License (OLL). The only way to avoid the suspension is to avoid the conviction of the drug possession offense.
First-Time Offenders are Eligible for ARD Program
Many first-time offenders of relatively minor offenses, including Penn State Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia charges, are eligible to participate in a probation without verdict or pretrial diversionary program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). Successful completion of the program allows the criminal defense attorney to have the charges dismissed and then expunged.
Many State College criminal cases, such as fake ID, drug possession, DUI, and furnishing alcohol to minors, are resolved by participating in the Centre County ARD program. Completion of the program allows the defense attorney to seek dismissal and expungement of the charges.
Contact a Penn State marijuana possession lawyer at (814) 954-7622 or via email for a free consultation.