Los Angeles Marijuana Sales Defense Lawyer
A criminal conviction for selling marijuana in Los Angeles can lead to remarkably high penalties, including monetary fines and significant jail time. The best way to avoid these penalties is to prevent a criminal conviction in the first place. If you face a criminal charge for selling marijuana, you need an experienced team of criminal defense attorneys advocating for you every step of the way.
The Los Angeles marijuana sales defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law are fully aware of the high criminal penalties and collateral consequences that may come with a conviction. Our legal team will be in your corner every step of the way, aggressively fighting for your legal and constitutional rights and pursuing the best possible result in your case.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Los Angeles marijuana sales defense attorney, please contact our defense firm today.
Why Select Our Law Firm for Legal Representation?
Given everything riding on the line, including the potential legal penalties and collateral consequences upon conviction, you want the best possible legal team on your side advocating for your rights at every step of the process.
In that regard, you should look no further than the experienced and compassionate Los Angeles marijuana sales defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law.
Our team has a combined 65 years of experience successfully defending individuals facing criminal charges throughout California. In addition, many of our attorneys were once district attorneys and state prosecutors.
As a result, we can examine a criminal case from both sides and understand how prosecutors build their cases against criminal defendants from start to finish. We then use that experience and knowledge to assist our clients in achieving favorable results in their cases.
Unlike many criminal defense law firms, we are not afraid to litigate your case in the court system and, if necessary, take it to trial. Our attorneys have defended over 9,000 criminal court cases and jury trials throughout our careers.
We also maintain effective working relationships with criminal prosecutors, judges, and other individuals who work in the system. We then use these relationships to achieve the results our clients deserve when the future is uncertain.
Our firm is recognized for its skill and trusted criminal defense representation.
The following publications have featured us regarding criminal matters:
- NBC News
- Los Angeles Times
- The Washington Post
- New York Daily News
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- CBS News
We have also received many recent accolades, including:
- 10.0 Superb Rating on AVVO
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association
- 5 Star Rating on Lawyers.com
- 5 Star Peer-Reviewed on Martindale-Hubbell
- 5 Star Ratings on Google Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach
- 5 Star Rating on Findlaw
- 10.0 Lawyer Rating on Justia
- Rated best criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles & Orange County by Expertise
Potential Penalties for Selling Marijuana in California
For a judge to impose penalties against you for marijuana sales, the state prosecutor in charge of your case must satisfy all of the necessary legal elements. Additionally, they must fulfill their legal burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Since this is a very high burden to overcome, you might obtain a charge dismissal if you can raise one or more successful legal defenses at trial.
However, if the state prosecutor can convict you of marijuana sales, you may face serious penalties.
A state prosecutor can bring a violation of California Health and Safety 11360 as a felony offense. Upon conviction, you can receive a maximum of four years of incarceration in a county jail. Also, in California, the sale of marijuana is always a felony charge, and a prosecutor does not have the discretion to reduce it to a misdemeanor.
In cases where the accused individual gave away or transported 1 ounce of marijuana or less, the court will typically impose a $100 fine and court costs.
If you incur a conviction for selling marijuana to a minor, you can receive a maximum of seven years of incarceration at a state prison, depending on the minor's age at the time of the sale.
In addition to these potential legal penalties, you might have to deal with collateral consequences that can affect many aspects of your life. For example, you may have difficulty gaining admission to a college, university, or other educational program if you have a conviction for marijuana sales on your record. Additionally, if you are currently a student at a college or university, you may risk losing your scholarship funds or financial aid.
Likewise, someone convicted of marijuana sales might have difficulty finding or keeping a job. This is especially true if their job involves operating a vehicle like a commercial truck.
Convicted marijuana sale offenders may also experience extreme harm to their reputation – both personally and professionally.
If you incur a criminal conviction for marijuana sales, our legal team will stand by you every step of the way. We can represent you at your sentencing hearing before a judge and argue for the lightest possible penalty available in your case. In addition, we can minimize the collateral consequences you may experience in other areas of your life due to your criminal conviction.
What Is a Criminal Charge for Marijuana Sales?
Under Section 11360 of the California Health and Safety Code, it is a felony offense in California for an individual to give away, sell, or transport marijuana. In addition, if an individual simply offers to sell marijuana, they violate the law – even though the parties might not have exchanged the actual drugs or money.
In many situations, an arrest for marijuana sales occurs when an undercover police officer asks a suspect to purchase a certain amount of marijuana. If the suspect makes an offer to sell the marijuana, then the undercover police officer has the probable cause necessary to make an arrest.
In addition, under California statute, a police officer has the legal authority to make an arrest if they observe the suspect merely handing over the marijuana, even if they did not accept money from another individual. A prosecutor can then bring a criminal charge for marijuana sales.
If you are currently facing one of these criminal charges, you must retain skilled legal counsel to handle every aspect of your case.
The Los Angeles marijuana sales defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law can review the circumstances of your arrest with you and the particular circumstances surrounding your charge. We can then advise whether you can raise a legal defense to your pending criminal charge or negotiate with the prosecuting attorney for a favorable plea deal.
Successfully Defending against a Criminal Charge for Marijuana Sales
Sometimes, you can raise a solid legal defense to a criminal charge for marijuana sales in California. If your defense succeeds, it can negate one or more legal elements of the prosecution's case. In that instance, the prosecutor may have no choice but to drop all the charges, or you may receive an acquittal if your case goes to trial.
One common defense that individuals may raise to a criminal charge of marijuana sales is police entrapment. A police officer is not allowed to lure an unsuspecting individual into committing an offense that they will not likely have committed had the officer not interfered.
In some situations, an officer might pose undercover as a marijuana seller and attempt to entice the accused to sell marijuana.
If the undercover officer pleads with the accused, a sale may occur, and the police officer will initiate an arrest. In cases where a setup like this occurs, you can allege police entrapment as a legal defense to your criminal charge.
In addition, if a police officer violated your constitutional rights, you can advance a robust legal defense to your marijuana sales charge.
Common constitutional violations include:
- Fourth Amendment violations regarding an individual’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures
- Fifth Amendment violations regarding an individual’s right against self-incrimination (such as where a police officer or investigator continues to question a suspect after they invoke their right to the presence of legal counsel)
Potential Legal Options for Your Pending Criminal Case
Individuals facing a criminal charge for marijuana sales may raise a solid legal defense to their charge if their case goes to a criminal bench or jury trial. Alternatively, they can negotiate a favorable plea deal from the state prosecutor handling their case.
A state prosecutor might offer the accused person a plea deal if they are not confident in their ability to secure a conviction, should the matter go to trial. For example, the prosecutor may not have sufficient evidence to satisfy the legal elements of their case and fully satisfy their burden of proof.
When a prosecutor puts a plea deal on the table, they may offer the accused individual several concessions in exchange for their guilty plea. For example, the prosecutor might agree to offer the accused individual a probation period. If the accused completes all of the terms of their probation, then they may not face the black mark of a conviction on their criminal record.
In some cases, plea deals are beneficial because they take away the uncertainty of a criminal trial. However, if the accused has a strong legal defense to their pending marijuana sales charge, they may take their case to trial and assert that defense in court.
If the accused individual decides to accept a plea deal, they will waive certain legal rights, including their constitutional right to a trial by jury. They also give up their right to appeal the case result.
If you decide to accept a plea bargain, we can represent you at your hearing before a judge. At that hearing, you will inform the judge that you agree to the plea bargain freely, willingly, and voluntarily – and that no one coerced you into making the plea deal.
Steps to Take after an Arrest for Marijuana Sales in California
If a police officer arrests you for marijuana sales, invoke your right to remain silent and to the presence of legal counsel during any interrogation. It is all too easy to say something authorities can twist and make incriminating. A prosecutor can use any offhand remark you make against you at your criminal trial if you do not invoke your Miranda rights during police questioning.
Then, you need to speak with our defense attorneys as soon as possible after your arrest. You want defense representation at every hearing, including your initial court appearance if possible. Once we discuss your case, we can begin representing you, formulating a solid legal defense for your pending charge, and exploring your potential legal options.
Waiting too long to secure legal counsel to represent you can be a severe mistake.
A lawyer needs time to formulate defenses, speak with potential witnesses, and prepare a criminal case for an upcoming bench or jury trial. Moreover, if you do not have an attorney when you go to court, the judge may not postpone your case. Instead, they can make you go forward with your case without legal counsel.
Speak With a Los Angeles Marijuana Sales Defense Lawyer Today
If you are currently pending a criminal charge for marijuana sales in Los Angeles, you need to have legal counsel in your corner as soon as possible.
At Chudnovsky Law, we can immediately enter an appearance as counsel of record in your case and begin protecting your legal and constitutional rights. We can also explore all of your potential legal options and select the best course of action that serves the interests of your case.