For many years, it was well-known that marijuana was illegal on both a state and federal level all over the country. In the past few years, though, this has changed. There are several states that allow residents and visitors to possess and use marijuana without facing state charges. In even more states, medical marijuana has been approved for possession and use. With all of these changes, marijuana laws across the country can be more than a little bit confusing for the average person.
Despite all of the changes that have been going on all over the country in regards to marijuana, there are still legal issues to be concerned about. For example, even though small amounts of cannabis have been decriminalized in New York State, and even though medical marijuana is permitted for use, it is still possible to be charged with marijuana-related offenses like the criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree.
What is the Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree?
There are actually five different offenses that a person can be charged with for selling marijuana in New York State. For those who are caught selling an amount equal to or less than 25 grams of marijuana, the charge is known as criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree.
What is an Example of Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree?
If you accidentally sell two grams of marijuana to an undercover police officer, then you can be charged with criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree.
How Can a Lawyer Defend You Against Charges of Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree?
The way that your lawyer can defend you against this charge will depend on the situation. For one thing, if you were caught giving away less than two ounces of marijuana, then you would not be guilty of criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree. This would only be applicable if you gave away the marijuana without receiving cash or any items of value in exchange for the marijuana.
Another way that your lawyer could potentially defend you is by arguing that the search that was operated when you were arrested and when the marijuana was found was unlawful. For example, if the police did not have probable cause to search you or if the search was not conducted properly, then your lawyer could use this information to fight the case in court.
What are the Consequences of a Conviction for Criminal Sale of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree?
Naturally, you could be concerned about the consequences that you could be facing if you are facing charges of criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree. Luckily, the courts do not seem to take lower-level marijuana-related offenses as seriously as they once did. The consequences of being convicted of criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree are not as serious as many drug-related offenses and their consequences.
However, this does not mean that there are no consequences to this type of conviction. On a legal level, you are facing a class A misdemeanor. This means that you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail. However, the judge may choose to sentence you to a period of probation or a shorter jail sentence instead; this generally depends on the circumstances of the crime and your prior criminal record. If you are a first-time offender, then the judge might not be as harsh on you as he or she would be if you had a longer record.
Even if you don’t face a lot — or any — jail time because of this crime, though, you should know that it can impact your life. For example, being convicted of criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree could prevent you from renting an apartment or getting a job. It is best to take matters seriously by seeking the help of a qualified and experienced attorney.