Possession of Marijuana on School Property - HS 11357(d)

In Orange County, an individual can be arrested for Possession of Marijuana On School Property under California law.

Adults over 18 years old arrested for an ounce or less of marijuana at a school while classes or school activities are underway face a misdemeanor charge punishable by a maximum fine of $500, and/or a maximum sentence of 10 days in a county jail. For juveniles, the fine is a maximum of $250 for a first offense. A second offense carries a fine of up to $500 and/or a maximum commitment of 10 days in a juvenile detention facility. Health and Safety Code, Section 11357(d) and (e)

Schools have an interest in maintaining their campuses as “Drug Free Zones” and to keep the focus on educating the students there. It is not uncommon for a juvenile to face charges for Possession of Marijuana On School Property if the minor possesses marijuana at school, even for a small quantity. The consequences of this charge can result in serious consequences for both minors and adults.

The prosecution must prove that the individual charged actually possessed the marijuana, knew it was marijuana, knew that marijuana was a drug and that the marijuana possessed was a usable quantity. Some individuals charged with this crime may dispute that they actually possessed the marijuana. Other defenses to the charge might be that the individual has a lawful medical marijuana recommendation.

California’s Jury Instructions - Criminal (CALJIC) 16.030 (California's law against personal possession of concentrated cannabis or marijuana and Health and Safety Code Section 11357, subdivisions (a), (c), (d).) provides that there are two kinds of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. "Actual possession" requires that a person knowingly exercise direct physical control over a thing. "Constructive possession" does not require actual possession but does require that a person knowingly exercise control over or the right to control a thing, either directly or through another person or persons. One person may have possession alone, or two or more persons together may share actual or constructive possession. In order to prove this crime, each of the following elements must be proved: 1 The defendant exercised control over or the right to control a certain controlled substance; 2 The substance was [concentrated cannabis] [more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis,] [not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis]; 3 The defendant knew of its presence; 4 The defendant knew that the substance had a narcotic character; [and] 5 The substance was in an amount sufficient to be used as [concentrated cannabis] [marijuana] [; and] [.] [6 The defendant was 18 years of age or older and possessed the marijuana upon the grounds of, or within any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs.].

It is also important that the attorney you hire to represent you evaluate whether the marijuana was located during an illegal search and seizure. This will be driven by the particular facts of your case including your reason for being on school grounds, whether the police has probably cause to search you and/or whether you gave legal consent to the search.

The attorneys at the Johnson Criminal Law Group have extensive experience representing individuals charged with possession of marijuana on school grounds. Contact us today for more information.

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