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Have The New Marijuana Laws Affected How Large Quantities Are Charged As A Crime?

Have The New Marijuana Laws Affected How Large Quantities Are Charged As A Crime?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“You were talking about personal use. It was hard for somebody, prior to the legalization of marijuana in California, to say ’well, 12 pounds is for my personal use’. But now, there is a legitimate defense?”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“There is a legitimate defense. I will also say, by the way, there is now something else that works in favor of someone who is possessing that much marijuana. That is, that marijuana can be stored safely over a stretch of time. Not forever. It doesn’t mature finally, like a wine would, but it can be preserved. For example, I have a client who tells me that he preserves his marijuana by using a corn tortilla in the bag, and it keeps his marijuana fresh for months. So there’s a little tip for those in need of some help.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Did this whole situation move from a serious felony charge down to, even a misdemeanor, well first of all a lesser felony charge, then even to a misdemeanor, correct?”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Right, right. And of course, we do have another possibility. That is, present law, well the law in California before the most recent change going back a year and a half, did allow for someone who was possessing less than an ounce of marijuana to get an infraction. Now we have that as another potential fallback for the District Attorney, who may feel that a misdemeanor is not quite appropriate, but still serious enough for it not to be a dismissal. So they may then, do a default and do an infraction. Which would be perfect for someone, say who is a college student who has more weed that he or she would really want to be caught with, but has a future. So the District Attorney would consider that persons circumstances and allow that sort of scenario. If you do get the infraction, and if you do come up with another case later, where you’re possessing enough, the infraction is not available a second time.”

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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