Many states throughout the U.S. have decriminalized marijuana for medicinal use, and sometimes recreational use. While that has made many users breathe a sigh of relief, it often hasn’t for those in possession of it in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma has not legalized marijuana for recreational use, which means if you are caught with it, you may receive a misdemeanor conviction for up to 1.5 ounces, along with a $400 fine. Sometimes, the punishment can be even more severe, depending on what some lawyers like to call ‘legal traps.’ If you have found yourself in this predicament, a few factors may signal the need for a criminal defense attorney.
You Were Within 1,000 Feet of a School or Park
Even if you had no intention of being near a school or park, it might be essential to enlist the services of Oklahoma City attorney Angela Singleton if police pulled you over within 1,000 feet of one. While outside of that 1,000 foot perimeter, you may only be charged with a misdemeanor; it may become a felony charge inside that perimeter. A reputable attorney may be able to assist in fighting these charges or downgrading them to the lesser charge of a misdemeanor.
You Don’t Have a Medical Marijuana License
Fines and jail time can sometimes be the reality of being caught in possession of marijuana in Oklahoma, especially if you don’t have a Medical Marijuana License. This license allows individuals to smoke and consume medical marijuana in Oklahoma, as long as it’s within the guidelines of:
- Up to three ounces of marijuana
- Up to six mature plants – budding
- Up to six seedlings – non-budding
- Up to eight ounces of marijuana in a residence
- Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana
- Up to one ounce of concentrated marijuana
License holders are also legally permitted to smoke anywhere tobacco products can be and may also consume marijuana in edible form anywhere. However, they are not exempt from federal prosecution if they are on federal land in Oklahoma, such as National Park Service or Department of Agriculture land or military posts.
If you don’t have a license to use marijuana within these guidelines and haven’t declared a medical issue at the time of police questioning, hiring an attorney can ensure you understand what the likely consequences could be.
You Were Caught with Marijuana Around Children
Even if you possess under 1.5 ounces of marijuana, signaling a misdemeanor, the presence of children under the age of 12 may result in a felony. That child may have been in a vehicle with you when you were caught with the drug, or they may reside at the property at which it was discovered. Even if you were compliant with police officers and there was no evidence to suggest the child was in danger, this situation can undoubtedly see the need for legal intervention.
Police Believe There Was Intent to Distribute
A charge of possession with intent to distribute can come about in a variety of ways. You may have carried your marijuana in two bags, or police may have discovered scales in your vehicle or home. You may have even said something to the police about sharing it or baking brownies with friends. Even if you had no intention to sell or distribute the marijuana in your possession, your upgraded charges might not reflect that. A competent defense attorney may be required to fight for a lesser charge.
You Aren’t Aware of Oklahoma Laws
Because each state has a different set of laws surrounding marijuana use and possession, not everyone will be aware of the laws relating to the state they are in. You may not be from Oklahoma originally, or you may be passing through from somewhere where it is legal, such as Massachusetts.
However, ignorance or a lack of marijuana law knowledge is not enough to stop you from being charged with a misdemeanor or felony. To familiarize yourself with the law and determine your next move, contacting an attorney may be necessary.
You Were Driving Under the Influence
Oklahoma laws state that anyone driving a motor vehicle with a Schedule 1 controlled or chemical substance in their system will be jailed for a minimum of ten days and upwards of a year or longer. In Oklahoma, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled or chemical substance. The charges may be even more severe, such as having property or vehicle seized if they were related to that marijuana and having a driver’s license suspended for three years or longer. These serious charges are not something you can manage on your own.
Even though many states have relaxed laws relating to the recreational use of marijuana, Oklahoma is not one of them. If you have found yourself facing charges relating to personal possession or something more serious, consider contacting a criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later.