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How can an attorney help with marijuana possession charges?

How an Attorney Can Help with Marijuana Possession Charges

Getting charged with marijuana possession can be scary. Even if it’s a small amount for personal use, the penalties can be severe depending on where you live. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges and build the strongest defense to get the best possible outcome.

Assess the Charges

The first thing your attorney will do is look at what exactly you’ve been charged with. Marijuana laws vary greatly by state, and even by county or city within a state. Some key questions:

  • What amount are you accused of possessing? The penalties for a couple of joints may be very different than for a pound of marijuana.
  • Where did the alleged possession occur? Penalties for possession at a school or park may be harsher.
  • Is it a misdemeanor or felony charge? Felony convictions can mean jail time and impact future job and housing opportunities.

Your attorney will determine if you’ve been overcharged based on the amount and circumstances. They may be able to get charges reduced or even dismissed by identifying procedural problems with the arrest or flaws in the prosecutor’s case.

Evaluate the Evidence

Police and prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly possessed marijuana. Your attorney will scrutinize the evidence to look for illegal searches, faulty lab tests, or unreliable witnesses.

If the marijuana was found in your car, your lawyer may argue it belonged to someone else. Or challenge whether police had probable cause to search your vehicle. Any cracks in the evidence gives your attorney room to negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges or dismissal.

Assert Viable Defenses

Several defenses can potentially beat marijuana possession charges, either by showing you didn’t commit the crime or mitigating your culpability:

  • Lack of knowledge – Argue you didn’t know the substance was marijuana, such as if someone left it in your car.
  • No possession – Claim you never actually possessed the marijuana, like if police found it in a park you were in.
  • Medical necessity – Explain you use cannabis to treat a medical condition if you live in a state where that’s allowed.
  • False confession – If you admitted to possession but were coerced, your rights weren’t read properly, or you were intoxicated.

Your lawyer will determine if any defenses like these apply to your case. Having an experienced attorney argue them makes these defenses much more convincing to a judge and jury.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Negotiate a Plea Bargain

Rather than risk trial, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal for a lighter sentence like probation, fewer charges, or a lesser offense. This avoids the maximum penalties if convicted at trial. The prosecutor may agree to a plea bargain if they have a weak case or want to avoid trial.

Your lawyer’s experience with local courts and prosecutors helps them leverage the best possible plea agreement. They’ll advise if it’s wise to take the deal or reject it and head to trial.

Build Your Defense for Trial

If a plea deal can’t be reached, your attorney will dig into every aspect of your case to defend you at trial. This includes:

  • Filing motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence.
  • Hiring expert witnesses to challenge the marijuana testing procedures.
  • Advising you on whether to testify in your own defense.
  • Selecting jurors most receptive to your defense.
  • Vigorously cross-examining the prosecutor’s witnesses.
  • Raising doubt about your guilt during closing arguments.

Your lawyer leaves no stone unturned to build the strongest case possible to win at trial. Their intimate knowledge of criminal law and trial experience gives you the best chance at an acquittal or hung jury.

Get Your Charges Expunged

If found not guilty, or after completing probation under a plea bargain, your attorney can petition the court to expunge the charges from your record. Expungement clears your name of the offense and lets you truthfully deny it occurred on job or housing applications.

For the best chance at expungement, be sure to complete all terms of your probation like required counseling or community service. Your lawyer will handle filing the proper expungement paperwork and representing you at the hearing.


Being charged with marijuana possession is scary but beatable with an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. They can get charges reduced or dismissed when possible, or build a strong defense to win at trial. Having a seasoned attorney protects your rights, future, and freedom.


Defense strategies against marijuana possession charges: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/defenses-marijuana-possession-charges.html

How lawyers get marijuana possession charges dismissed: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/marijuana-possession-charges.cfm

Expunging marijuana possession convictions: https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/how-to-expunge-a-marijuana-conviction


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