Transportation of Marijuana


Under most circumstances, transporting marijuana is a crime in California. The exception is for transportation of less than 1 ounce of recreational marijuana in a closed container. If you’ve been charged with marijuana transportation, a San Diego marijuana defense lawyer can explain your options for resolving or defending against your charge.

A marijuana attorney with experience handling transportation cases will be able to hear your side of the story and create a custom defense best-suited to get you the best possible outcome for your case.

Understanding Transportation of Marijuana Charges

California law defines the crime of marijuana transportation as transportation for sale. “Transportation” does not have to mean that the drug is hidden in a vehicle in a secret compartment. You can be charged with transporting marijuana if you are traveling by any means, including:

  • Bicycling,
  • Driving a motor vehicle,
  • Riding a motorcycle or scooter, or even,
  • Walking

This means that if you are walking in public with marijuana in your pocket or backpack for the purpose of selling it, you can potentially be charged with marijuana transportation.

Consequences of a Marijuana Transportation Conviction

The potential consequences of a marijuana transportation conviction depend on your age and the amount of marijuana you were transporting.

If you are under 18, the possible consequences of marijuana transportation of any amount may include:

  • First Offense — Eight hours of drug education or counseling and up to 40 hours of community service over a 90-day period
  • Second or Subsequent Offense — Ten hours of drug education or counseling and up to 60 hours of community service over a 120-day period

If you are over 18, marijuana transportation is a misdemeanor with possible penalties that include:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • A fine of up to $500
  • Marijuana transportation can be a felony when you have two or more prior transportation convictions, certain other convictions, or the transportation was related to a transaction with someone under 18, or the transportation involved more than 28.5 grams being transported outside the state. A felony marijuana transportation conviction can result in 2 years, 3 years, or 4 years in a county jail.

    Other Consequences You May Face

    When you receive a criminal conviction in California, the official sentence you face isn’t the only collateral consequence you may suffer in the short term and even for years afterward. The following are some other realms where you may experience problems in the wake of your convictions:

    • Housing: Some landlords have policies against renting to convicted drug offenders.
    • Employment: Jobs that require you to pass a background check or to disclose past convictions may be harder to qualify for once you have a criminal record. In addition, you may lose a professional license or have difficulty getting necessary security clearances in certain professions.
    • Education: You may have difficulty qualifying for financial aid and scholarships with a criminal record.
    • Legal: After serving time, your legal troubles don’t necessarily end. It can be more difficult if you are ever arrested again. Plus, civil custody cases may be more difficult to win.
    • Immigration: If you are in the U.S. on a visa or you have a green card, you could be deported after a drug conviction.
    • Other: Certain everyday things can be more difficult after a conviction. Many people are surprised how much their lives change after a felony conviction, which is why you should always fight the charges fully.

    If you are worried about the other implications of your transportation of marijuana arrest, consult a San Diego marijuana attorney today to find out what they could be in your case.

    Defending Against Marijuana Transportation Charges

    The effects of a drug conviction may follow you for the rest of your life, but with the help of qualified San Diego marijuana lawyer, you may be able to fight the charge to lessen the consequences — or even get the accusations dropped completely.

    Every case is different, but you may have options for a defense that you and your attorney can build. Some common defenses used in transportation of marijuana cases include the following:

    • You were unaware of the marijuana.
    • You never formally possessed the marijuana.
    • The substance found was not marijuana.
    • The evidence law enforcement has against you in this arrest was obtained through an illegal search or seizure.
    • Police somehow violated your rights during the investigation.
    • You are entitled to use (and transport) medical marijuana.
    • You are a primary caregiver who was giving marijuana to or transporting it for a medical marijuana patient.
    • You were disposing of the marijuana.
    • In the end, every case is unique, so tactics that may work in one case won’t always work in another. That’s why a good California marijuana attorney can analyze the evidence in your specific case to build a strong defense. Make sure that you are prepared to fight the charges.

      This website is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Free consultation for criminal defense cases only. Cannabis business consultation requires a fee.