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Has California Followed Or Lead The Way On Marijuana Legalization?

Has California Followed Or Lead The Way On Marijuana Legalization?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“California followed a number of other states in the legalization of marijuana. Colorado, Washington, I’m not sure about Oregon. I know Washington is within the Ninth Circuit in the Federal Courts. Is California following the existing laws in those states, or are we cutting our own ground?” Or are we actually using what these other states have tried? It failed, now we’re trying to make it better for the populace, we’re not overburdening our system. Do you know if we are following these other states?”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Here’s how I understand the historical record. California was one of the first three or four states, if memory is correct, in offering medicinal marijuana.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media


Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“And then there was a softening of the approach regarding possession of marijuana… how much could you possess. I used the example of the infraction that was available. That was for someone who did not have the medical card. Those changes began in California, and then much of the nation, being sympathetic to that. By the way, I’ll say that 57% of Americans now are in favor of legalization of marijuana. It is clearly a groundswell of support across the country.

California moved a little more slowly to the legalization for recreational use than a few other states, but it wasn’t because there was a lack of effort. There was an initiative that was proffered, and it was voted down. There had been political movements to change the legislation, and I think it simply was a matter of timing. Legislators, as much as they would like to think they are sympathetic to good arguments about the right kink of issues, are often, typically, topical driven. So if there is some issue that comes up that weighs more heavily, then marijuana took a second chair in priority. I think it was really more a matter of how things unfolded in California, it just simply took longer to get to this place.”

If you’ve been charged with a crime, one of the things that you should think of is what type of defenses are available to you. There are different types of legal defenses available in criminal law, and the type of criminal defense applicable to you and your case will depend on your situation.

Criminal defense law consists of all the legal protections given to individuals who have been accused of committing a crime. In criminal court, the prosecutor must meet the burden of proof – that is, the responsibility of proving their allegations against the accused.

The police and prosecutors have plenty of resources at their disposal to go after someone and charge them with a crime. To balance the power within the justice system, certain protections are in place for the accused. These, and the skills and experience of a defense attorney will dictate how a defendant will be treated in criminal litigation.

An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to use constitutional laws for the benefit of their client. For instance, criminal prosecution is based upon the evidence gathered by law enforcers. This evidence can be in the form of physical evidence. This will usually consist of objects found in a crime scene, like a possible weapon, tire marks, shoe print, or even tiny pieces of fabric.

Common Defenses in a Criminal Case

There are many common defenses to criminal charges. You may argue that there are inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case against you, that the evidence gathered violated your constitutional rights, or that you had a justifiable reason for committing the crime. Below are some common primary criminal law defenses.


The defendant didn’t commit the crime you were charged for. The defense can provide an alibi proving you weren’t at the scene when the crime occurred, or present evidence and witnesses that can counter the prosecution’s case.


The defendant admits to using force. However, the defense argues that it’s justified since it was done in self-defense due to the violent and threatening actions of the other party.

Insanity Defense

The defendant may plead insanity to avoid being punished, since a criminal punishment is only justified if the offender has full control over their actions and understand that what they did was wrong.

Under Influence

In certain circumstances, a defendant may commit crimes under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This can be used as a criminal defense as if it affects the defendant’s mental functioning to the point where they cannot be held accountable for their actions.


If law enforcement officers caused the defendant to commit a crime that they wouldn’t have otherwise committed, then it’s considered entrapment and be used as a defense in criminal court.


Claiming innocence is one of the most basic defenses to criminal liability. You must remember that the prosecution has to prove the crime filed against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re innocent, you don’t have to prove anything, but you can provide documents, testimonies, or evidence that will support the claim that you’re innocent.

Constitutional Violation

A constitutional violation is a type of criminal defense used if the evidence collected by the prosecution was gathered in a manner that violated your constitutional rights. This can include the illegal search, entry, or seizure of your house, car, clothing, etc. Failing to obtain an entry warrant, getting an improper confession, or failing to read to you your “Miranda Rights” at the time of your arrest are also constitutional violations that could lead to suppression of evidence against you or the total dismissal of the case.

Defense of Others

Similar to self-defense, you can use this type of defense if you have used a justifiable amount of force or violence to protect others who are being threatened or are in danger.

Other types of criminal defenses include defense of property, necessity, involuntary/voluntary intoxication, mistake of law, coercion, abandonment, and the statute of limitations.

If you’re accused a crime in California, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why you need an experienced defense attorney on your side when you face your charges. With over 20 years of experience successfully defending clients in California, Andrew Dósa understands the unique challenges of criminal defense in Alameda, CA and other areas in California.

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