HOW MUCH TROUBLE AM I IN FOR A MARIJUANA POSSESSION CASE?
Answering this question depends on a lot of different factors. A person convicted of a marijuana possession case can be facing a fine and probation all the way up to many years in prison. To answer this question accurately a lawyer will need to have many questions answered. Below are a few common questions a lawyer may ask.
What is your criminal history?
How much marijuana did you possess?
What jurisdiction or court are you in?
What judge and prosecutor are assigned to your case?
Where you distributing marijuana?
If you were distributing marijuana, where were you distributing?
If you were distributing marijuana, where you using a telephone?
If you were distributing marijuana, who were you distributing to?
Where you growing marijuana?
If you were growing marijuana, how much were you growing?
If you were growing marijuana, how were you growing it?
Each one of these questions can have a dramatic impact on how much trouble you may be in. On this page we are going to look at just a few of the factors in play when you get a marijuana case to illustrate how marijuana cases work in Kansas.
1. What Is Your Criminal History?Obviously. a person with little to no criminal history is going to be in a better position than a person with significant criminal history in almost any case. This is very apparent when discussing marijuana cases. In Kansas, a person that is caught with a minor amount of marijuana for the first time is looking at a Class B misdemeanor. The maximum punishment allowable by law when facing a class B misdemeanor is 6 months in the county jail. In Kansas, a person that is caught with a minor amount of marijuana for the second time is looking at a class A misdemeanor. The maximum punishment allowable by law for a class A misdemeanor is 1 year in the county jail. Any possession case that occurs after the second-time possession will generally be a felony charge.
Kansas ranks drug possession crimes, including possession of marijuana, into five different levels. Each of those different levels of crimes have a significant impact on what happens to the person accused of the drug crime. The levels are ranked in severity, level one being the most severe and level five being the least severe. A person convicted with possession of a minor amount of marijuana for the third or more time is looking at a level five drug felony. Depending on the offender’s criminal history, a level five drug felony is punishable by probation all the way up to 42 months in prison. For any possession with intent to distribute charge the offender’s criminal history also has a dramatic impact on the amount of punishment that the offender is facing.
To briefly sum up how criminal history plays a part in marijuana possession look at this chart.
Class B Misdemeanor
0 – 6 months jail
Class A Misdemeanor
0 -12 months jail
Level 5 Drug Felony
Probation – 42 months in prison
When you are looking at felony marijuana possession the range of punishment seems very broad. Your criminal history dictates where you fall on the spectrum between a probation sentence and 42 months in prison. Look at this cart to see where you fall.
0-1 Misdemeanor (Score I)
10-12 Months (Presumptive Probation)
2+ Misdemeanors (Score H)
12-14 Months (Presumptive Probation)
1 Non-Person Felony (Score G)
14-16 Months (Presumptive Probation)
2 Non-Person Felonies (Score F)
16-18 Months (Presumptive Probation)
3+ Non-Person Felonies (Score E)
18-22 Months (Presumptive Probation)
1 Person Felony (Score D)
23-26 Months (Presumptive Prison)
1 Person Felony + 1 Non Person Felony (Score D)
28-32 Months (Presumptive Prison)
2 Person Felonies (Score B)
32-36 Months (Presumptive Prison)
3+ Person Felonies (Score A)
37-42 Months (Presumptive Prison)
2. How Much Marijuana Did You Possess?One of the other major factors a lawyer must know to determine how much trouble a person is in when they are charged with marijuana possession is obviously going to depend on how much marijuana you were caught with. To a certain extent, the more marijuana you are caught with the more trouble you are going to be in. In Kansas, it is very common to elevate the crime of possession of marijuana to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, depending on the amount of marijuana you are caught with. All charges of possession with intent to distribute are going to be felony charges. Possession with intent charges are broken down like this. Remember the prosecution still must prove that you actually had the intent to distribute marijuana.
Amount of Marijuana
Less than 25 grams
14-51 Months (Presumptive Prison)
Between 25 grams and 450 grams
46-83 Months (Presumptive Prison)
Between 450 grams and 30 kilograms
92-144 Months (Presumptive Prison)
More than 30 kilograms
138-204 Months (Presumptive Prison)
3. What Jurisdiction Or Court Are You In?The jurisdiction or court you are in can have a dramatic impact on what happens to you when you are facing a marijuana charge. Remember, possession of marijuana can be charged in both a municipal court or a district court. Each municipal court handles marijuana cases differently and the difference in punishment from court to court can vary. In some municipal courts marijuana cases can be a simple fine in other municipal courts you can be looking at serious jail time. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can talk to you about the particular jurisdiction you were charged in and can give you insight on how to navigate a difficult jurisdiction.
4. What Judge And Prosecutor Are Assigned To Your Case?Remember when you are faced with a marijuana case there are vastly different opinions as to the severity of marijuana possession cases. A prosecutor or judge will almost certainly have a “tendency” or preconceived idea of how “bad” they think marijuana is. Prosecutors and judges are not robots that process cases without interjecting their own beliefs. Some prosecutors and judges will naturally be easier on crimes that they do not perceive as very severe others will see things in the opposite fashion. Sometimes the difference between going to jail or being placed on probation is dictated by who is prosecuting or hearing the case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can give you insight on the actors in your case and may be able to help guide you to a favorable outcome based on their experience with the judge or the prosecutor handling your matter.
If you find yourself facing a marijuana possession case in Johnson county or a municipality located in Johnson county you need to speak with a lawyer that has experience in that jurisdiction. For more information on Marijuana Possession cases contact our office for a free consultation.