July 24, 2014 • Jerod Gunsberg, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
OK, so I get that it sure seems like marijuana is legal in California. There’s dispensaries all over the place. Doctor’s recommendations which can get you into a dispensary are inexpensive and easy to come by and if you get caught with under an ounce of marijuana, the worst that will happen is that you’ll pay a $100 fine. It’s not even a misdemeanor and a lower fine than most traffic tickets.
But let’s not get carried away here. It’s still illegal to sell marijuana, it’s illegal to transport large quantities in your vehicle and most of all, it is absolutely illegal to send it through the mail to anyone for any reason at all. If you get caught you will absolutely be charged with a felony. Specifically you’ll be charged with sale/transportation of marijuana under California Health and Safety Code 11360. This is a straight felony, meaning that it can’t be reduced to a misdemeanor unless your attorney negotiates a lesser charge.
One of the most popular Los Angeles locations for police to arrest people caught sending marijuana is the post office on near the Los Angeles International Airport. The case is almost always exactly the same every time. The police conduct a surveillance operation and focus on people who they believe are mailing a suspicious package. Often they’ll use the cameras on the post office to zoom in on the address of a box. If the box has a fictitious return address or a name at a destination address not associated with that address (they have a computer program where they can look up addresses instantly). They then let you drop off the package, leave the post office and drive away. A few blocks away, the police pull up and come up with some reason for a traffic stop. Once the car is stopped, a white SUV pulls up and a bunch of cops pour out. hey search the car and if they find any money they take it (if they don’t give you a receipt, then guess what? You’ve just been robbed). If you don’t have any outstanding warrants, the police will usually let you go. A couple of months later you’ll get a letter in the mail telling you that a felony has been filed against you and then you need to appear in court for an arraignment.
Sound familiar? If this happened to you or a loved one, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. These cases can be defended, mitigated, and handled. You can call me at The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg at (323) 633-3423 or by using this confidential contact form.