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The Law Office of Matthew C. Hug represents individuals charged with marijuana offenses from Unlawful Possession of marijuana (the least serious offense) to criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree (the most serious). If you have been arrested or given an appearance ticket for any marijuana offense, call Matthew C. Hug, at 518-283-3288 for a free initial consultation.
Marijuana offenses can be charged in an elevating degree of severity. These levels are dependent upon the amount of marijuana that is possessed and where it is possessed. Given the fact that the largest volume of marijuana offenses involve relatively small amounts, the brief overview contained herein will begin with unlawful possession of marijuana.
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Unlawful Possession of Marijuana
By and large the most common drug charge is unlawful possession of marijuana. This offense can be charged for simple possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana out of public view. In most cases, the charge is levied for a very small amount of marijuana. UPM, is a violation and, not a misdemeanor. While only classified as a violation, whose fine is limited to $100.00 in addition to a hefty surcharge, a conviction for UPM can have long-lasting and damaging consequences. The most serious tangential consequence is that college financial aid could be placed in jeopardy. In addition, if charged with a drug crime later in federal court, the previous UPM could have disasterous effects on your later case.
For these reasons, simply pleading guilty to a UPM -- while it seems innocuous -- is a great mistake and it is critical to retain an attorney to fight your UPM charge. Under most cases, your attorney can file a motion to have the charges disposed of as an ACOD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal). There are strict rules to getting a UPM immediately disposed of as an ACOD and you must confer with an attorney to determine whether your case qualifies. It must also be noted that on occasion, in order to obtain an ACOD the court will require you to complete a nominal amount of community service. In the event that it does not qualify for an ACOD, an attorney after looking at your case can determine whether you were stopped and searched properly, or whether there are any other evidentiary issues that can substantially weaken the prosecution's case.
If you have been charged with UPM in the greater capital region (Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Columbia, Montgomery) call Matthew C. Hug at 518-283-3288 for a free initial consultation. Do not fight these alone.
Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth Degree
Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth degree is a crime: a B misdemeanor. Since it is a crime, it is a far more serious matter than a UPM. You can be charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree on two different theories. The first is where you possess more than 25 grams but less than 2 ounces. The other, is where you possess marijuana that is burning or in public view. Under this latter theory, you can be charged with this crime regardless of how little the amount in your possession. Thus, an otherwise UPM becomes a misdemeanor if the marijuana is exposed to public view or is being smoked (burned).
As a misdemeanor, these charges are slightly more complicated than a UPM. The consequences are also more serious, as a sentence of incarceration or probation is more likely to be a potential outcome.
If you have been charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree, call Matthew C. Hug at 518-283-3288 for a free initial consultation.
Felony Possession of Marijuana
Any possession of marijuana in excess of eight ounces brings the charge into the felony level (8 or more ounces: E felony; 16 or more ounces: D felony; more than 10 pounds: C felony). As with any felony charge, the consequences are serious and can result in a term of imprisonment in a state correctional institution, five years probation and other criminal sanction. These cases are complicated and require the steady hand of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.
If you have been charged with felony level marijuana possession, call Matthew C. Hug at 518-283-3288 for a free initial consultation.
Matthew C. Hug, Esq., represents individuals charged with marijuana offenses and drug offenses in Albany County, Rensselaer County, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Warren County, Washington County, Greene County, Columbia County and Montgomery County.