If you have been accused of possessing, distributing or trafficking marijuana in the state of Oregon, you could be facing serious legal penalties. Many people assume that they would receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist, since this drug has been legalized for medicinal purposes in more than 18 states throughout the country, but it is important to understand that the unlawful possession of cannabis is still a crime. According to O.R.S. § 475.864, "it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana." This means that you could be charged with a Class B felony if it is discovered that you were in possession of more than one ounce. In Oregon the sentencing guidelines initially call for lenient sentences on a simple drug possession case, but there are many factors that could lead to prison, even in a possession case. Those include possession of a substantial quantity of marijuana and possession of marijuana as a commercial drug offense. In short, prison is a possibility in certain marijuana cases, even if possession is the only crime. Prison is also, definitely, a possibility in delivery or manufacturing cases. Although this may not necessarily seem fair, it is the law.
For this reason, it is recommended that you discuss your case with the Portland criminal defense lawyer at Neal Weingart, Attorney at Law, LLC if you are facing charges for marijuana possession. Even if law enforcement uncovered less than one ounce at the time of your arrest, you could still be facing a presumptive fine of $650 and a six month license suspension. Additionally, the charges could be increased to a Class C misdemeanor if you were in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana while you were located within 1,000 feet of "a public or private elementary, secondary or career school attended primarily by minors." Under the law, you could be sentenced to 30 days in jail and subjected to a $1,250 fine—which are the same penalties that are imposed on those who have been convicted of third degree theft. As such, you should take these charges seriously and move quickly to protect yourself from a guilty finding.
Even if you have gained permission from a doctor to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes, you could still be charged with a crime if you are found to be in possession of more than the allotted amount. Under Oregon law, you are permitted to have no more than 24 usable ounces and/or 24 plants (6 mature and 18 immature). Additionally, you would not be allowed to possess or use medical marijuana in Oregon if you have obtained permission in another state. Although some states accept other states' registry ID cards, ours is not one of them. Regardless of the circumstances under which you were arrested, however, you should not hesitate to take timely action in the interest of your defense. Contact a Portland criminal defense attorney at our firm today for a free initial consultation.