Marijuana Crime Attorney in Albuquerque
New Mexico is among the 20 U.S. states in which medical marijuana is legal. Since 2007, patients with certain conditions who have obtained a written recommendation from a doctor and a state registry identification card which allows them to avoid criminal marijuana charges. Contact your Albuquerque marijuana crime defense lawyer if you or a loved one have been accused of a marijuana crime in New Mexico.
Recreational use of marijuana, however, is still a crime; although a bill to decriminalize the drug passed the House in the 2013 legislative session, the Senate failed to act on it. So, although you may enjoy an occasional smoke, you do it at a substantial risk. Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is a petty misdemeanor, punishable by fines and potential jail time.
Regardless of your personal feelings on the subject, if you are convicted on a pot charge from simple possession upward, you could lose your freedom for a time and be saddled with a criminal record. The fact that a majority of people in the state think this is excessive is little consolation if you or your child is facing criminal charges for marijuana use or trafficking.
The good news is that with an excellent Albuquerque criminal attorney, it may be possible in some cases to make the charge go away, or at least reduce the negative consequences to your life.
Penalties depend on whether you are convicted of possession or trafficking, the amounts involved, and whether it is a first or subsequent offense, whether it occurs in a school zone, or whether a minor is involved. Penalties are more severe in all categories for a second or subsequent offense, violations taking place in a school zone, or offenses that involve a minor.
Possession penalties range from a fine of anywhere from $50 to $5000 and from 15 days in jail to 3 years in prison.
Selling or trafficking in marijuana is a more serious crime with harsher penalties:
- At the low end, distributing a small amount of marijuana without being paid for it can put you in jail for up to 15 days with a possible fine of 50 to $100 for a first offence;
- Trafficking of up to 100 pounds of marijuana is punishable by fine of up to $5,000 and as much as three years in prison, or both;
- Trafficking in 100 pounds of marijuana or more can bring penalties as high as a fine of $15,000 and up to 18 years in prison, or both.
It is also illegal in New Mexico to manufacture, sell, use, or possess drug paraphernalia, which includes anything meant to be used for growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Most paraphernalia charges are misdemeanors with potential fines and jail time. Penalties vary according to the violation, with harsher penalties for selling paraphernalia to a minor, which is a felony.
Marijuana Charges Destroy Lives
A criminal drug conviction, even for marijuana, a drug that is now legal is some states, often causes serious setbacks, especially for college students, who in addition to the legal penalties listed above can lose their financial aid, making it impossible to complete their degree. Promising careers may be destroyed because of a drug that is arguably less dangerous than a legal one—alcohol.
Other obstacles that you can face when you’ve been convicted of a felony drug crime are difficulties finding housing and employment and losing your rights to vote, hold public office, and own a firearm.
Protect Your Future Contact Albuquerque Marijuana Defense Attorney
Don’t let a marijuana charge destroy your life or the life of your son or daughter. Hire an experienced drug crime defense attorney with a track record of having marijuana charges dropped or reduced. Contact the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices in Albuquerque for aggressive, effective defense against marijuana and other drug-related charges. The initial consultation is always free with one of our professional drug crime defense lawyers.