Cultivation of Marijuana in California
California Health and Safety Code §11358 makes it unlawful for a person to engage in any activities associated with the manufacturing and growing of marijuana. A person is said to be engaging in manufacturing and growing of pot if they are handling the seeds, cultivating the soil for growing, or drying and processing the marijuana once it has been harvested. Even cultivating just one marijuana plant could result in a felony criminal charge, fines, and jail time.Potential Defenses Against Cultivation of Marijuana Charges
California Health and Safety Code §11362.5, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, allows for marijuana to be used by certain people, in certain situations, for medicinal purposes. A person can obtain a medical marijuana prescription if they are deemed to qualify by a licensed physician. The holder of a medical marijuana prescription is legally permitted to grow a particular set amount of plants for personal, medicinal use. It is important to note, however, that the legal line drawn between plants for sale, and plants for personal medicinal use is a subjective one and will be determined in court, based on the facts of each case.
Another potential defense to marijuana cultivation charges involves demonstrating that the person charged was not the person who cultivated the marijuana. This defense is significant in situations where the land upon which the marijuana was cultivated was not owned by the person charged with cultivation, or was not under that person’s control. For example, if four people share a house and the police find marijuana growing in the back yard, each person can make the argument that it was not a result of their cultivation because the house is shared by three other people.
If officers enter a person’s residence, or non-public area, they must have a search warrant, or an exigent circumstance that allows them legal entry. All searches must be based on probable cause, including those involving marijuana cultivation. Exigent circumstances are those situations that justify entering a dwelling without first obtaining a search warrant because circumstances do not allow them to do so. A search warrant can only be obtained when reasonable suspicion exists. Examples of exigent circumstances could be a case when the evidence may be destroyed if entering doesn’t happen, or if the suspect is at risk of leaving the premises. If officers enter a dwelling illegally, it is a violation of the person’s fourth amendment rights, and the evidence will not be presented in court.Defense Attorneys Fight For Your Marijuana Cultivation Rights
The qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyers at Hoffman & Associates understand the complex laws surrounding marijuana cultivation and can fight to protect your rights and reputation. If you have been charged with illegally cultivating marijuana, or have experienced an illegal search or seizure, call the Hoffman & Associates offices. We offer a phone consultation to discuss the facts of your case and educate you on your options for possible defense again the charges. Our defense attorneys have over 30 years of courtroom experience and will aggressively defend your rights and reputation in court.