Manzuri Law's California defense attorneys represent clients facing a multitude of marijuana, drug and narcotics charges. Manzuri Law has years of experience fighting everything from large-scale drug trafficking to simple possession of a controlled substance. We are invested in providing our clients with the best defense possible, obtaining a lesser included charge and reducing fines, fees and jail time.
Identifying where the cops went wrong – In making drug busts, whether for personal possession or large scale drug operations, there are strict procedures in place that narcotics officers must follow. Often, officers cut corners in their initial investigation to get to what they are looking for. Manzuri Law takes an in-depth look at all the places that narcotics officers could and would violate rights:
- ignore the California rules of search and seizure
- “set-up” suspects in violation of California entrapment laws
- rely on bogus “confidential police informants”
- mislead judges in order to obtain California search warrants
- exaggerate or outright lie in their police reports, or arrest people without evidence that the drugs even belonged them
Our California drugs crimes lawyers scrutinize the case for police mistakes and misconduct. Our attorneys are skilled and well versed in exploiting problems in the prosecution's case to our client's advantage. Cops also often use faulty information, unreliable police informants and even lies to obtain California search warrants. If our drug crimes defense lawyers can show that a search warrant was improperly obtained, most likely we can get the evidence suppressed and the entire case dismissed.
To assess whether a suspect possesses narcotics for the purpose of sales, officers, detectives and prosecutors look to the quantity of the drugs, set side by side with any indicia of sales, i.e. packaging in numerous separate baggies or bindles, scales, and weapons and/or large sums of cash.
California Marijuana Laws
Although medical marijuana is legal in California, qualified patients can still be arrested and criminally charged for marijuana related offenses. Current law allows patients to request a dismissal of charges at a pre-trial hearing if they can prove that they enjoy immunity under California marijuana law as a qualified patient in possession of a reasonable amount of marijuana as related to their medical need.
If patients are not found guilty, charges are dropped and they can file to have their property returned. If law enforcement officials confiscate your medicine but do not file charges, you still have a right to reclaim your marijuana, but may need legal assistance to do so.
A little known fact is that medical marijuana patients can have their medicine confiscated and face federal charges if in possession or cultivating on federal park or forest lands in California, or anywhere in the United States. There is no defense in federal court as state laws do not apply or protect. The penalties for possession of a small quantity of marijuana are light, and often merely entail a small fine. But cultivation, sale or transportation of marijuana are serious felonies in California, and can land a person in state prison.
Manzuri Law has enjoyed substantial success getting marijuana charges reduced or dismissed, and wrongfully-seized marijuana returned to the client.
Patient's Limited Immunity
In the state of California a physician's recommendation for medical marijuana only provides patients a “limited immunity.” As a medical marijuana patient in possession of your medication you can be charged with a variety of violations of Health & Safety Code 11357. These are all misdemeanor or infraction charges and can be dismissed easily by a legal professional. Consult our skilled attorneys to discuss.
Patients can also be charged with felony violations of Health and Safety Code if there is evidence to suggest you are in possession of marijuana for others.
If you are a medical marijuana user and are in possession of a personal amount of medical marijuana, you are ABSOLUTELY protected under Health & Safety Code § 11362.
If you have been arrested or charged with these violations, it is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney that has experience in medical marijuana issues. An attorney without experience in this area will overlook key legal issues and legal strategies. The attorneys at Manzuri Law understand the often complex and intricate laws governing medical marijuana in California. Due to the unclear nature of medical marijuana law in California, an important strategy to your defense is to hire an attorney that understands and knows how to navigate medical marijuana charges. This is where Manzuri Law comes in. We use our years of criminal defense experience and in-depth knowledge of medical marijuana law to aggressively advocate for our clients.
If you are a medical marijuana patient who ALSO grows for distribution to other patients, you are also protected by the law, provided you follow the law and the Attorney General Guidelines. If caught growing marijuana, patients can be charged with several violations of the Health & Safety Code, including but not limited to: § 11358 (cultivation), § 11359 (possession with intent to sell) and § 11360 (transportation or offer to sell). These are all felony charges and carry substantial jail sentences even without a prior criminal record.
It is important to know that providing medical marijuana to others is a risky endeavor and should only be undertaken after legal counsel has been consulted and you are fully aware of all the risks involved.
Return of Property
Have you gotten a ticket for possession or had your medication or plants confiscated? You have a right to the return of your marijuana.
In California, if a person has a physician's recommendation for medical marijuana, they have a right, under state law, to possess, cultivate and use cannabis to the extent permitted by law. California Health & Safety Code §11362.5. This means the cannabis belongs to the patient just as any moveable property, and cannot be taken away by law enforcement without probable cause to believe it is not lawfully possessed or cultivated.
Specifically with respect to the issue of returning medical marijuana to an accused after their case had been dismissed, the appellate court in Garden Grove v. Superior Court (Kha) provides this authority. In short, the court in Kha held qualified patients have the right to obtain and use marijuana without fear of criminal prosecution or sanction under Health & Safety Code §11362.5, and that due process, as well as several Penal Code provisions, require the return of lawfully possessed property, including medical marijuana, to qualified patients.
Manzuri Law advocates for and is successful in obtaining orders for the return of their client's property under a multitude of legal grounds such as such as California Penal Code §§ 1417.5 (providing for return of exhibits in criminal case); 1540 (restoration of property that was wrongfully taken pursuant to search warrant); and 1538.5, subd. (e) (return of property subject to successful search or seizure motion). Let the experience litigators at Manzuri Law navigate the often daunting waters of medical marijuana law to help you get justice.
Preventing a Criminal Prosecution
If you are a medical marijuana patient who ALSO grows for distribution to other patients, you are protected by the law, provided you follow the law and the Attorney General Guidelines.
It is important to know that providing medical marijuana to others is still a risky endeavor and should only be undertaken after legal counsel has been consulted and you are fully aware of all the risks involved. Call or email us for a consultation.
If you are a medical marijuana user and are in possession of a personal amount of medical marijuana, you are ABSOLUTELY protected under Health & Safety Code § 11362. Have you gotten a ticket for possession or had your medication taken away? You have a right to the return of your marijuana. Email a skilled medical marijuana attorney here to advocate for you.
Protect Against a Criminal Prosecution with An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
As a medical marijuana patient in possession of your medication you can be charged with a variety of violations of Health & Safety Code 11357. These are all misdemeanor or infraction charges and can be dismissed easily by a legal professional. Consult our skilled attorneys to discuss.
You can also be charged with felony violations of Health and Safety Code if there is evidence to suggest you are in possession of marijuana for others.
If you are caught growing marijuana, you can be charged with several violations of the Health & Safety Code, including but not limited to: § 11358 (cultivation), § 11359 (possession with intent to sell) and § 11360(transportation or offer to sell).
These are all felony charges and carry substantial jail sentences even if you do not have a criminal record.
If you have been arrested or charged with these violations, it is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney that has experience in medical marijuana issues. An attorney without experience in this area will overlook key legal issues and legal strategies. Call us today for a consultation.
Facts about Medical Marijuana Law are hard to come by.
This is mostly because there is little clarity, and much confusion about the state of the law. Attorneys, politicians, judges, and legal scholars can and often do all disagree about the nuances of medical marijuana law! YET district attorneys and law enforcement expect patients to be able to differentiate between what is legal and illegal to the extent of being held criminally liable.
Although horribly unjust and unrealistic, know that this is the reality of the current political climate. This is why it is most important to be as educated about and protected by the law as possible. Here is a summary of the current issues:
For more than 15 years, California's medical marijuana law (“Compassionate Use Act”) has taken shape and evolved, creating clarification for medical patients and providers as well as law enforcement. With the passage of Senate Bill 420, the legislature codified several aspects of the CUA that remained unclear with the passage of Proposition 215. Issues dealing with allowable amounts that patients may cultivate and possess have been the most complicated. In addition, the rules governing patients who wish to associate collectively or cooperatively have also created the most confusion under CUA. This confusion manifests itself in the form of criminal prosecutions in both State and Federal court, with the latter carrying mandatory minimum prison sentences.
Health and Safety Code sections 11362.77, 11362.765 and 11362.775 were codified as a result of SB 420 in an attempt to resolve the confusion surrounding the CUA. Section 11362.77 establishes a threshold amount that a patient may cultivate and possess by simply being in possession of a valid medical marijuana recommendation. This amount is six (6) mature plants OR 12 immature plants AND eight (8) ounces of dried marijuana bud. Although those limits have since been found unconstitutional, they still serve as good guidelines regarding what amount is reasonable for a patient to possess. In People v. Kelley, the California Supreme Court ruled that any limits placed by the legislature were unconstitutional because the CUA was passed by the people of California and did not envision a limit to be placed on patients. The Court intimated, though, that these limits should remain the guideline.
Section 11362.5 clarifies that patients shall not be subject to criminal liability for possession, possession for sale, cultivation or transportation. In practice, however, most prosecutors and law enforcement reject this section, taking the position that a patient can raise his or her defense at trial even when a patient is clearly in possession of a valid recommendation. Section 11362.775 provides that patients who wish to associate to collectively or cooperatively cultivate marijuana shall not be subject to criminal sanctions. In practice, however, most prosecutors and law enforcement possess a shoot first, ask questions later mentality and do not appreciate the validity of this section. Nonetheless, these two sections are relied upon by medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives throughout California as providing the authorization to conduct lawful business operations. As a result, presently, there are at least several hundred medical marijuana dispensaries in California, coming in all shapes and sizes, and it has never been easier for a medical patient to obtain their medicine.