Recreational users can be charged for planting their own marijuana. Only people that have a physician’s prescription can grow the plant without getting into trouble. However, a person can only grow six plants for personal use. A household cannot plant more than 15 seedlings, regardless of the number of people using medical marijuana in the home.
The police can take legal action against you if you plant more medical marijuana plants than required or if you’re a recreational user with Marijuana plants. Accused persons that want to protect their rights need the representation and defense of a Seattle criminal justice attorney.
What Does the Prosecution Need to Prove to Successfully Charge Someone?
The prosecution needs to prove that you were growing marijuana for non-medical personal use, and you were not licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to retail or produce it.
Notably, you cannot be licensed unless you:
- Pay an application fee
- Pay an annual renewal fee
- Grow the marijuana in an appropriate location, i.e., an enclosed area or a field with physical barriers that protect it from the public view
- Submit to random criminal history checks
Legal representation is necessary for better outcomes of every drug case. An experienced Marijuana lawyer in Seattle can negotiate until you get a dismissal or reduced charges.
What are the Penalties for Marijuana Cultivation in Seattle?
Illegal cultivation of marijuana is classified as a Class C felony in Washington State. Convicts can part with up to $10,000 in fines, and a prison term of 5 years. First-time offenders can pay an additional fine of $1,000 and $2,000 for second and subsequent offenders. The standard imprisonment and fines can double if the cultivation was done:
- In a public housing project that should be a drug-free zone
- Within 1000 feet from a school
- Within 1000 feet from a public park
- Within 1000 feet from a school bus stop
Apart from the drug offense sentencing grid, the judge’s discretion of the seriousness of the offense affects the sentencing. If he/she feels that the amount of marijuana involved is small, the judge can waive the standard sentence instead of treatment or a prison-based alternative. First-time offenders can also have the standard sentence waived with certain conditions.
Suspension is available for such drug charges at the discretion of the court. This allows offenders to pay fines and report to a probation officer without going to prison. These favorable outcomes can be achieved if you work with a Marijuana lawyer in Seattle.
What Kinds of Defenses are Applicable for Marijuana Cultivation Charges?
A conviction is avoidable with skilled and experienced defenses. The journey to a successful defense begins with the first client-attorney consultation. Thereafter, the legal expert can come up with the most appropriate defense for the unique circumstances.
If you intended to use the plants as medical marijuana, a skilled Seattle Marijuana lawyer could help you prove that you were in compliance with the law. They can also explain your extenuating circumstances and ask for a dismissal of the charges.
Illegal Search and Seizure
Your attorney could suppress the evidence presented in court if the police didn’t follow the proper procedure for search and seizure. Notably, the police need a valid reason to enter your residence to collect evidence.
A skilled attorney can plant seeds of doubt in the minds of the jury by asking strategic questions. If the police or witnesses stutter while answering questions or if they sound unsure, the case can be dismissed.
Unlawful Arrest Procedure
The police have a responsibility to remind you of your right to remain silent. If they fail to do so and go right ahead to asking you questions, the case can be dismissed. It is advisable not to speak to a law enforcement officer in the absence of your Seattle Marijuana attorney.
Can the State Seize the Property Where Marijuana was Grown Illegally?
The State can seize the property connected with the illegal growing of marijuana in a civil proceeding. Notably, the procedure is never against the owner of the property but the property itself. The State should prove that the property was associated with crime, and if it is successful, the property owner gets a chance to attempt to recover his/her property.
Remember, the seizure proceeding can begin even before criminal charges have been finalized. The property owner has to prove that they had nothing to do with the criminal activity that took place in their property. The right attorney can help one protect and retain their real property in Seattle.
When Can One Expunge their Criminal Record if Convicted?
Drug crimes on your record can affect your access to certain opportunities, including the ease of finding a job. Fortunately, the illegal cultivation of marijuana can be expunged if you meet the requirements. They include:
- Five years have passed since you were released from Department of Corrections supervision, released from confinement, or sentenced – whichever came last
- You have not been a convict in the last five years – dating from the day you applied for expungement
- There are currently no criminal charges against you
An attorney that understands the complex and ever-changing expungement and drug crimes laws can evaluate your circumstances and offer guidance. But it is better to fight and prevent a conviction early to eliminate the need for an expungement.
An Aggressive Marijuana Lawyer in Seattle Protecting Your Rights
People facing a drug crime charge in Seattle can reach out to an experienced marijuana attorney for in-depth legal assistance. The criminal justice system in Washington is often baffling, and you don’t want to navigate it by yourself.
You need a criminal defense attorney who is updated on the current marijuana laws in Washington. At The Law Offices of Kevin Trombold, PLLC, we can help you build a defense strategy that is tailored just for you. Call (206) 382-9200 for your first FREE consultation.