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Marijuana Criminal Charge in Coeur d’Alene

While the recreational use of marijuana in Spokane is now legal, use of marijuana in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is still against the law. This can be frustrating for people who live in Spokane or travel from Coeur d’Alene as one minute you could be engaged in a legal activity, and the next minute you could be facing a criminal charge and jail time.

What can I expect if I have a marijuana charge in Coeur d’Alene or Post Falls?

The reality is that right now there is no uniform disposition you can expect for a marijuana charge. The courts in Coeur d’Alene are currently in flux, trying to decide how to deal with people from nearby cities like Spokane where marijuana is legal. Accordingly, a marijuana charge can result in anything from an outright dismissal, to a conviction and jail time. Many factors to consider involve the facts of the case, the prosecutor’s stance, and the judge you are in front of.

Marijuana charge penalties pursuant to Idaho Code.

POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA

It is illegal to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana in Idaho. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2732(c).) Penalties vary according to the amount possessed.

Up to three ounces. A violation is a misdemeanor, punishable with up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2732(c)(3).)

More than three ounces. A violation is a felony, punishable with up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2732(e).)

Present on the premises. It is a misdemeanor to be present on any premises known to be used for marijuana cultivation, storage, distribution, or use. Penalties include up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $300, or both. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2732(d).)

TRAFFICKING IN MARIJUANA

Cultivating marijuana plants, distributing (selling) marijuana, possessing marijuana with the intent to do these things, or bringing marijuana into Idaho from out of state, are all crimes known as “trafficking in marijuana”. Penalties vary according to the amount of marijuana possessed or brought into the state, or the number of plants grown.

Between one and five pounds, or between 25 and 50 plants. A violation is a felony, punishable with a mandatory minimum of one year (and up to 15 years) in prison, and a fine of at least $5,000 (and up to $50,000). (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2732B(a)(1)(A).)

Between five and 25 pounds, or between 50 and 100 plants. A violation is a felony, punishable with a mandatory minimum of three years (and up to 15 years) in prison, and a fine of  $10,000 to $50,000. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2732B(a)(1)(B).)

25 or more pounds, or 100 or more plants. A violation is a felony, punishable with a mandatory minimum of five years (and up to 15 years) in prison, and a fine of  $15,000 to $50,000. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2732B(a)(1)(C).)

Second convictions. A second conviction incurs double the mandatory minimum prison terms according to the amount possessed. However, for any conviction, the maximum prison term is 15 years, and the maximum fine is $50,000. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2732B(a)(1)(D)&(a)(7).)

DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

It is illegal in Idaho to possess, use, sell, or advertise drug paraphernalia. Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties vary according to the violation.

Possession, use, or advertising. A violation is a misdemeanor, punishable with up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2734A.)

Manufacture or distribution. A violation is a felony, punishable with up to nine years in prison, a fine of up to $30,000, or both. (Id. Code Ann. § 37-2734B.)

GETTING A COEUR D’ALENE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

The most common charges I see in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls are Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia charges arising from a traffic stop.  As I-90 runs through Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, this is a problem for people in possession of marijuana that travel back and forth. Travelers must be careful when going between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, and must also be cognizant of the fact that both cities will pursue a driving under the influence of marijuana charge if suspected.

How your marijuana charge will be resolved depends on a number of factors.  As Coeur d’Alene criminal defense lawyers, we have a lot of experience in marijuana charges.  If you have any questions about your marijuana or drug charge, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

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