Los Angeles Marijuana Cultivation Defense Lawyers
Before November 2016, it was a criminal offense to grow any amount of cannabis in California. After voters passed Proposition 64, it became legal for individuals ages 21 and older to grow no more than six plants at home for personal use. Anyone with a medical marijuana card may grow up to six mature plants, up to 12 immature plants, or more with a doctor’s recommendation.
Growing more than the prescribed number of plants or growing and selling or giving away marijuana without a license is a criminal offense. Conviction of cannabis cultivation carries serious penalties. If you are facing these charges, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced Los Angeles marijuana attorney as soon as possible.
A conviction on your record for cannabis cultivation may follow you for years, affecting your future prospects. Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is a nationally recognized criminal defense law firm. Our Los Angeles attorneys will seek the best strategy to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
Call (213) 688-0460 to learn more today.
Cultivating cannabis includes handling seeds, preparing the soil, irrigating, growing and fertilizing, pest control, harvesting, and drying marijuana. Laws pertaining to the number of plants allowed are based on the residence involved and are not applied per person. That means you and your roommate cannot exceed the total number of plants allowed if you live under the same roof.
You don’t have to be physically present to be charged with cultivating cannabis. A person is legally considered to be cultivating if they are in any way involved in the plant’s growth, harvesting, or processing.
Local jurisdictions such as cities and counties are not allowed to completely ban people from growing up to six cannabis plants for personal use, but they may place “reasonable” restrictions on cannabis cultivation, such as not allowing people to grow cannabis outdoors. Several cities require residents to acquire a local permit to grow cannabis.
Local city councils across California have passed ordinances that restrict cannabis cultivation in various ways, including:
- Requiring growers to register with city officials
- Requiring growers to register with local police departments
- Charging registration fees
- Prohibiting outdoor growth
- Restricting electricity use
- Requiring growers to keep portable fire extinguishers
- Requiring renters to get written permission from homeowners
- Notifying nearby homeowners about neighbors who seek permits
- Prohibiting indoor growth
- Requiring criminal background checks
- Denying cannabis permits to growers with felony convictions
Illegal cannabis cultivation may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Although it is usually a misdemeanor offense, you may be charged with a felony if you have two or more prior cannabis cultivation convictions, you have a prior conviction for a violent felony, you are a registered sex offender, or your cultivation broke certain environmental laws.
- Potential criminal penalties for misdemeanor cultivation include a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to $500.
- A felony cultivation conviction carries up to three years in county jail and fines of up to $10,000. It also gives you convicted felon status, which can significantly impact your employment opportunities and ban you from owning a firearm for life.
- For minors under the age of 18, cannabis cultivation is an infraction, no matter how much the police find. A first offense will likely result in eight hours of drug counseling and 40 hours of community service. For a second or subsequent offense, the sentence maybe 10 hours of drug counseling and 60 hours of community service.
- Many cannabis cultivation offenders qualify for a drug diversion program. That means jail time is deferred, and you are allowed to attend a drug treatment program instead. After successful completion of the program, you serve out the remainder of your probation. You still have a conviction on your record, but you avoid going to jail.
Even though public opinion is much more accepting of cannabis use than it was in the past, and the laws are a lot less strict, police and prosecutors are often looking for any excuse they can find to arrest and prosecute people for drug-related offenses. When aggressive prosecutors try to make a name for themselves by going after people for nonviolent offenses, it’s important to have the right criminal defense lawyer by your side.
The Los Angeles cannabis cultivation defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP will thoroughly examine the charges against you and challenge every weak point in the prosecution’s case. For example, if evidence was obtained illegally, we can file a motion to suppress it, which could mean your charges will be reduced or dismissed.
Effective criminal defense strategies against cannabis cultivation include:
- You are the victim of false accusations.
- You were not aware that cannabis was being cultivated on the property in question.
- The police did not possess the right search warrant.
- You were never properly informed of your rights.
- Witnesses against you are not reliable.
- The number of plants found by police is legal under the law.
- You are legally allowed to grow cannabis for medical use.
- The prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to support their case.
- The cannabis was part of a legally operated patient cooperative.
At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, our nationally acclaimed Los Angeles drug crime defense lawyers will spring into action on your behalf. In these situations, we are frequently able to resolve the matter without any criminal prosecution.
Our firm is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating for ethical standards and legal ability. We have also been recognized by Super Lawyers for providing our clients with outstanding service.
Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP has been featured on Fox News, CNBC, ABC News, Esquire, the BBC, and the Los Angeles Times.
Call (213) 688-0460 to schedule a case review today.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.