The Defense You Need For Marijuana Charges
If you have been accused of cultivation or trafficking of marijuana, you need a strong defense. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, P.S.C., our 22 years of legal experience can be used to protect your rights. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how prosecutors handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
A person is guilty of marijuana cultivation when he knowingly and unlawfully plants, cultivates, or harvests marijuana with the intent to sell or transfer it. KRS § 218A.1423. Cultivating 5 or more plants is a class D felony punishable by a term of imprisonment from 1 to 5 years. Cultivating less than 5 plants is a Class A misdemeanor.
Personal use is a defense under the statute, however, cultivating 5 or more plants is prima facie evidence that they were planted, cultivated or harvested for the purpose of sale or transfer.
Trafficking in marijuana occurs when a person transports and distributes for sale marijuana. The severity of the crime of trafficking in marijuana depends on the amount, measured by weight, of the marijuana, and can range from a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a small amount to a Class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.
Possible Defenses for Cultivation/Trafficking Marijuana
Defenses to this charge of cultivation of marijuana would include a “Lack of Knowledge.” This would come into play if the marijuana was growing outside in a garden, or was tucked away in a corner of a yard, and the person was unaware of the plants presence. Sometimes this will occur in rental houses where the new tenant, was unaware of what the old tenant was growing. Other times it will include a family member who is growing marijuana without the knowledge of the others who reside within the household. Sometimes the defense will be based purely on whether the plants were properly dried and cleared of dirt before they were weighed (i.e., do they really weigh less than 8 ounces).
Other defenses may also apply. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as: biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups, and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced lawyer to defend you in a marijuana cultivation/ trafficking case in Louisville, Jefferson County, or across Kentucky.