Do i need a lawyer or will it get dismissed in court?

i recently got pulled over with some hash, i have my medical marijuana card. i live in fresno ca, the cop checked to see if my card was valid and it was. but he still arrested me and never read me my rights. he just booked me in i have court on wednesday. what should i do?

Fresno, CA -

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Attorney Answers (5)

Michael Kevin Cernyar

Michael Kevin Cernyar

Criminal Defense Attorney - Long Beach, CA
Answered

Medicinal marijuana is an affirmative defense to the possession of marijuana which is now typically an infraction. I'm not certain if hash qualifies for an infraction. If charged with a misdemeanor then look for a qualified attorney in your area that has successfully (emphasis) defended medical marijuana matters because you will need to put on a full scale defense at the preliminary hearing -- NOT at trial. So, expect it to be expensive since it will include possibly a full day of attorney fees, expert fees, and several witnesses, including the physician that wrote the recommendation. Good luck.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice... more
Alan Graham Keating

Alan Graham Keating

Criminal Defense Attorney - Seal Beach, CA
Answered

Your medical marijuana card will cover you for the hash - depending on the quantity you had in your possession. Most DAs and Judges are unaware that hash is covered. I recently had an identical case dismissed entirely. You will need to retain the services of a local attorney familiar with this issue. Good luck to you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and shall not constitute legal advice. I have answered a... more
Richard Franklin Taub

Richard Franklin Taub

Criminal Defense Attorney - Sherman Oaks, CA
Answered

You should retain counsel to defend you. There may be technical reasons why the officer arrested you, despite the valid card. As you can see from another post of mine, police only need to read your warnings if both custody and interrogation are present. If he did not speak or act to try to elicit incriminating responses upon or after your arrest, he did not have to read you your rights. Often police will interrogate prior to arrest to avoid having to read you your rights and have you lawyer up. Now, lawyer up. www.taubcriminaldefense.com

The information provided herein does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is to... more
Vijay Dinakar

Vijay Dinakar

Criminal Defense Attorney - San Jose, CA
Answered

You are being charged with a violating the law in Fresno. Fresno DAs and Judges seem not to have a clue about the state of recent medical marijuana law in California. The key case is Kelly v. California (2010) which struck down certain portions of Cal. Health & Safety 11362.7 as violating the voter approved ballot initiative (prop 215) in that it set certain specific restrictions as to quantity of what patients could be recommended. As originally written prop 215 (compassionate use act of 1996 [CUA]) did not set any limit on type or quantity of cannabis that could be recommended by a physician. All that stated is that the marijuana possessed or cultivated be for the patient's "personal medical purposes." In People v. Tripped (1997) the court held that this language meant that the "quantity possessed by the patient or primary caregiver and the form and manner in which it is possessed should be reasonably related to the patient's current medical needs.". In 2003 in response to alleged confusion over medical marijuana law, the legislature enacted the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) to clarify the CUA. As stated, Kelly struck down certain portions of the MMP while allowing the MMP to provide a "safe harbor" against arrest to those who comply with the requirements of the MMP. In other words, MMP strengthened protection for medical marijuana patients, it did not create any new requirements, and created a minimum safe harbor protection. Bottom line is you can use or cultivate that amount of cannabis (regardless of form: bud, dried, hash, oil, ect) that is reasonably related to your health condition. Unfortunately DAs will charge whenever they can and judges will not grant 995 or motions to dismiss before trial. Unfortunately, contrary to the intent of the voters, medical marijuana trials can degenerate into battle of the medical experts and in anti-pot Fresno, you may be out of luck. Hire an aggressive attorney to fight this madness. Happy 4/20

John M. Kaman

John M. Kaman

Criminal Defense Attorney - San Francisco, CA
Answered

I am not sure that a medical marijuana card allows you to possess and use hash. I could be wrong but what you are allowed to have is defined in the Health & Safety Code as follows: "A qualified patient or primary caregiver may possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana per qualified patient. In addition, a qualified patient or primary caregiver may also maintain no more than six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants per qualified patient. "

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