Possession of Marijuana (first offense) is a misdemeanor criminal charge in Rhode Island, punishable by up to one year in prison, and/or between a $200-500 fine. Yet, just a few miles away in Massachusetts, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is strictly a civil infraction; the consequence of which is a $100 fine.
Rhode Island General Law: Section 21-28-4.01(c)(2)(ii)
A controlled substance classified in schedule I as marijuana is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.
Massachusettss General Laws: Chapter 94C, Section 32LNotwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, possession of one ounce or less of marihuana shall only be a civil offense, subjecting an offender who is eighteen years of age or older to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars and forfeiture of the marihuana, but not to any other form of criminal or civil punishment or disqualification.
Unfortunately, young men and women from Massachusetts are being charged with possession of marijuana if they are caught with it in Rhode Island. It seems unfair, given how frequently Massachusetts and Rhode Island citizens go back and forth between the two states, that a person should either be given the equivalent of a traffic ticket or face potential jail time depending upon which side of the border they are on. It also seems unfair that Rhode Island citizens have to leave the State to smoke marijuana without fear of obtaining a criminal record.
Attorneys Katherine Godin and Matthew Marin have been successful in helping prosecutors understand the unfair nature of the situation. Oftentimes, Rhode Island prosecutors are willing to work with those charged with their first offense possession of marijuana to prevent jail time. Yet, with a skilled marijuana defense lawyer working for you, it is possible to achieve dismissal of the charges altogether.
That is why it is vitally important that you contact the skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyers Katherine Godin and Matthew Marin.
CHARGE: Possession of Marijuana / First Offense
POLICE REPORT: Client, an 18 year old high school student, was stopped by police for failure to use a turn signal. Upon speaking with the Client, police detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Police asked the Client to step from the vehicle, and the Client subsequently consented to a search of the vehicle. During the search the police located a small amount of marijuana and the Client was charged with possession of marijuana / first offense.
CHARGE: Possession of Marijuana
POLICE REPORT: Police responded to the report of gunshots fired at a home. Upon arrival, police spoke with our Client in the driveway. After police entered the home they smelled a strong odor of marijuana and asked our Client where the marijuana was. The Client handed over a small amount of marijuana to the police. Client was charged with possession of marijuana (not the Client's first offense).
RESULT: FILED FOR ONE YEAR - We were able to convince the prosecution to offer a filing, normally reserved for first offenses, in this case due to serious questions raised by our attorneys regarding the legality of the search and seizure of the marijuana.
CHARGE: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (Marijuana)
POLICE REPORT: Client, a 19 year old college student, attempted to enter college campus and campus Police detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Police investigated and located a bowl and marijuana in the vehicle. The client smelled of marijuana, had bloodshot, glassy eyes and admited to the police that he smoked the marijuana twenty minutes before arriving at campus. Client was arrested for DUI Drugs (Marijuana).
RESULT: NOT GUILTY AFTER TRIAL
Call Matthew Marin or Katherine Godin today at 401-228-8271 for the kind of quality criminal defense representation that can make a real difference in the outcome of your case. For More Information About Our Rhode Island Marijuana Defense Lawyers Visit Our Website at:www.matthewtmarin.com/