Charged with a cannabis crime?
THE NEXT STEPS THAT AFFECT THE OUTCOME ARE YOURS TO TAKE…
Cannabis law is undergoing a piece-meal reform as more people across the nation come to realize it shouldn’t be illegal. Be prepared for laws and outcomes to vary drastically depending where your case takes place. Your physical location and type of charge must first be evaluated.
Do you have an attorney? If your charges are serious, you may want to consult with attorneys and see what resources you can manage to retain one. Hiring an attorney is too much money for many of us who live week-to-week, paycheck-to-paycheck, so you should do a lot of research yourself or educate your public defender if you are unable to hire a paid (hopefully cannabis friendly/educated) attorney.
The steps to completing a trial require defendants to appear before the courts numerous times for bail hearings, pre-trial hearings, motions and more. It is important to know that for purposes of bail, you are presumed guilty of any charge the DA can bring up against you no matter how little evidence actually exists to support the charges. These charges are often dropped later in the trial. What this means is that defendants often find themselves shocked to face large bail amounts based on merit-less charges that still land them behind bars for the duration of the trial or until they are able to post bail.
The Courts will often offer a plea deal that should be considered depending on your physical location, laws, and charges. You and your attorney know your case best. Depending on your life and responsibilities, a quiet and simple resolution may be what you feel meets your personal situation best. However, plea deals are acceptance of guilt in a crime and often times include jail or prison time as well as probation, heavy fines, fees and limits on your life for years to come. Take the deal or not, it will cost you at this point.
Your other option is to refuse the plea deal and take it to trial by jury of your peers. It is a scary thought to have a court organized to question you, your life and your actions. However, this could be an opportunity to both teach your community about cannabis and possibly be found “not guilty” through Jury Nullification. This option also could end up in a conviction often-times landing you in a similar position as taking the plea deal. It is a risk. If everyone took their cannabis cases to court, they would likely have to stop filing new cases for lack of funding to prosecute them. If you choose to take it to trial, we would suggest gathering as many friends, family members, and leaders/citizens from your local community to help with court support and locate or Start a THSI Chapter in your area.
In the United States and Canada, Voir direoriginally referred to an oath taken by jurors to tell the truth. Today the term generally refers to the process by which prospective jurors are questioned about their backgrounds and potential biases before being selected for a jury. It is a process where both sides select jurors for removal until the seats and alternates are filled with the jurors they are most satisfied with. This is where many open minded people are eliminated from the group. Sharing an understanding of Jury Nullification concept at this point will result in dismissal.