Getting arrested on a marijuana possession charge can damage your future, but it doesn’t have to. If you’re looking for a DuPage County marijuana possession lawyer who can get your charges reduced or dismissed or can achieve a favorable plea bargain, then you need to talk to the attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. Sometimes you’re just at the wrong place at the wrong time, or perhaps the marijuana belonged to a friend, not you. Our marijuana possession attorneys in DuPage County understand how that can happen. We can create a legal strategy to protect your rights under the law.
The first step to take in learning about your legal options is to schedule a meeting with our experienced marijuana possession attorneys. Please contact us at 866-936-6104 or 312-388-7882 to schedule a free initial consultation. We represent clients throughout DuPage County and Cook County in such communities as Bolingbrook, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton and Downers Grove, Illinois.
Not all drug charges are created equal. Many narcotics and opioids charges carry stiff penalties for possession and trafficking. Marijuana possession, which is now legal in several states, falls into a different category altogether. While marijuana possession is not yet legal in Illinois, an experienced marijuana possession attorney knows that public sentiment is leaning in favor of legalization nationwide. Our attorneys can leverage that change in national sentiment to achieve a favorable outcome in your marijuana possession case.
About six in ten Americans (62%) in 2018 said the use of marijuana should be legalized, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The share of U.S. adults who support marijuana legalization was little changed from the previous year– when 61% favored it – but the 2018 number was double what it was in 2000 (31%).
As in the past, there are wide generational differences in views of marijuana legalization. Majorities of Millennials (74%), Gen Xers (63%) and Baby Boomers (54%) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Members of the Silent Generation continue to be the least supportive of legalization (39%), but they have become more supportive.
If you’ve been charged with marijuana possession in DuPage County or Cook County and are looking for an attorney who understands your situation, contact a marijuana possession lawyer at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. You can call us at 866-936-6104 or 312-388-7882 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than half the states (33) – plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico – have legalized it for medical purposes. Marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law.
The federal law regarding marijuana possession allows state legislators to decide for themselves whether or not marijuana should be prohibited. Many state authorities in the U.S. have allowed marijuana for medical use. Here are the states where recreational marijuana possession is currently legal:
The retail sales of cannabis for recreational use have grown considerably since 2014, amounting to about $4.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. The leading market in terms of overall cannabis sales is California, with sales of about $5.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, according to Statista.
Depending on the amount and type of substance involved, drug charges may be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Most states and the federal government define misdemeanors as crimes punishable by a year or less in jail; felonies are all offenses with a maximum sentence of more than a year.
A lawyer may charge a flat fee for a specific phase of the case (such as the preliminary/pretrial hearing and motions) or an hourly rate of $100-$300 or more. Either way, you must pay the attorney an advance fee known as a retainer, based either on all or part of the flat fee or an estimated number of hours. If an attorney works on an hourly rate, as legal services are provided, the hourly fee is deducted from the retainer; when it’s gone, you will be billed for additional costs. Whether your lawyer is working on an hourly rate or flat fee, generally retainers for a criminal defense attorney on drug-related charges start around $2,000-$5,000 for misdemeanors and $5,000-$15,000 for felonies.
For a more specific estimate of the cost of fighting your particular marijuana possession case, contact a drug possession attorney at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. You can call us at 866-936-6104 or 312-388-7882 to schedule a free initial consultation.
If you must fight a marijuana possession case on the merits, the primary way this is done is by challenging the means by which the evidence was obtained, according to HG.org Legal Resources. First, you will attempt to show that the reason the officer stopped you was unjustified (i.e., that the officer lacked probable cause). Even if the stop was legal, the subsequent search that led to the discovery of the drugs may not have been if the officer lacked probable cause to search or a valid search warrant.
This is usually where the case will have the most weaknesses. Often, officers “ask” to search in a manner that implies no choice, HG.org Legal Resources states. Allowing an officer to search you or your home or vehicle will allow whatever he finds to come into evidence against you. So, if there is any way to say no to the search without being arrested for obstruction or resisting arrest, you should do so. It is your constitutional right. If the officer still searches without a warrant or probable cause after you have told him no, the evidence is inadmissible.
Many cases also suffer from weaknesses in establishing “constructive possession.” This is when something is deemed to be in your possession because of the circumstances, even though it may not actually be yours, HG.org Legal Resources states. For example, if you borrow a friend’s car to get some groceries and, upon being pulled over for speeding, the officer comes up with a reason to search and discovers a small amount of marijuana in the center console, there could be a question of possession. Are those drugs yours or do they belong to the owner of the car? This creates a cloud on proof of possession beyond a reasonable doubt that a savvy defendant can exploit to his advantage.
Another weakness is in the proof that a substance is actually a drug. After all, if you are in possession of a bottle of spices for your culinary class, and not marijuana, this is a pretty significant mistake. For that reason, it is important to challenge any lab reports verifying the evidence is a controlled substance. Objecting to the identification of the substance will not only leave that matter at issue for trial, requiring the prosecutor to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt (again, creating additional headaches for the overworked prosecutor), but it also will create additional time and expense.
To prove that the substance is actually a controlled substance, the prosecutor will normally call the lab tech to testify at trial, which can be very expensive. Moreover, criminal trial dates are constantly changed, creating a potential administrative nightmare to schedule and reschedule the lab tech’s days off to show up in court, particularly if the lab tech had to testify in virtually every drug possession case on the court’s docket.
The cultivation, trafficking, sale, or possession of marijuana is a crime in Illinois under the state’s Controlled Substances Act. But while laws criminalizing cocaine, heroin, and other hard drugs typically result in felony charges, Illinois marijuana laws are much more lax, according to FindLaw. For instance, possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis is a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine. The state also allows the use of medical marijuana for eligible patients as part of a pilot program slated to run through 2018.
Marijuana laws are subject to rapid change at present. Although the trend has been toward decriminalization and even full legalization on the state level, there is still the possibility of a significant change in legislative attitudes, particularly since marijuana possession, use, cultivation, and sale remain federal crimes.
FindLaw lists these charges for marijuana possession in Illinois:
As you can see, there are many variables in defending a marijuana possession charge, and there are many different sentences and penalties depending on the amount of marijuana possessed. An experienced, trusted and aggressive marijuana possession attorney at your side can make a big difference in whether charges are dropped or sentences are reduced. Don’t go it alone. Contact Wolfe & Stec in DuPage County and Cook County in Illinois to hire a smart and effective marijuana possession attorney. You can call us at 866-936-6104 or 312-388-7882 to schedule a free initial consultation.
According to an article in the Washington Post, there are almost as many marijuana users as there are cigarette smokers in the U.S. And many marijuana users hide their stash in their closets.
Those facts and many more are among the conclusions of survey from Yahoo News and Marist College, which illustrates how pot has become a part of everyday life for millions of Americans. Here are some more statistics from the study:
This is one of the Yahoo News/Marist College survey’s most interesting findings: asked why they currently use marijuana, only 16% of smokers said it was “just to have fun.” The rest cited a variety of utilitarian reasons: 37% said they used marijuana to relax; 19% said they do it to relieve pain; 10% said it helps them be social.
If there’s any group in society who do something “just to have fun,” you’d think it would be marijuana users. The stereotypical image of the “stoner” is the guy on his couch, eating Funyuns and giggling at his TV. But the study shows that most users don’t see themselves this way. For them, marijuana is less about recreation and more about using a product that fulfills a specific need in their life: relaxation, or pain relief, or social lubricant.
The study shows that more than half of American adults have tried marijuana at least once in their lives. Nearly 55 million of them, or 22%, currently use it (the survey defines “current use” as having used marijuana at least once or twice in the past year). Close to 35 million are what the survey calls “regular users,” or people who use marijuana at least once or twice a month.
Contact Wolfe & Stec in DuPage County and Cook County in Illinois if you need to hire an aggressive and efficient marijuana possession attorney. Our firm has a track record of successfully defending clients in marijuana possession cases and other criminal cases. You can call us at 866-936-6104 or 312-388-7882 to schedule a free initial consultation. We are waiting for your call.