Wilmington Marijuana Offense Defense Lawyer
Marijuana laws continue to be enforced in Delaware, despite the increasing national trend toward decriminalization and even legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational use. Delaware marijuana laws vary according to the quantity involved and range from civil penalties to criminal misdemeanors and felony offenses.
My name is Michael Modica, and I have been handling criminal defense matters in Wilmington and New Castle County for over 30 years. My expertise includes representation of University of Delaware students and others charged with marijuana possession and other drug crimes. I may be able to help you avoid the potentially-serious negative consequences of a marijuana charge. Call me for a free consultation if you have been arrested for possession of marijuana, and find out how a Wilmington marijuana offense defense lawyer can help you.
Marijuana Offenses under Delaware Law
Possession (for personal use) – Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a civil penalty with a maximum fine of $100. No criminal record will be made.
Misdemeanor Possession – It is a misdemeanor to possess between one ounce and 175 grams (about six ounces) of marijuana.
Felony Possession – Possession of marijuana in an amount greater than 175 grams is charged as a felony. The class of felony and potential penalties increase depending upon the quantity of marijuana involved and the presence of any aggravating factors (see my page on drug possession for information about aggravating factors in drug crime cases).
Dealing in Marijuana – The manufacture, sale or distribution of marijuana (drug dealing) can be charged as a class B, C or D felony depending on the quantity of marijuana involved, the presence of any aggravating factors, and any prior convictions. Penalties for conviction range from 8 to 25 years in prison.
Paraphernalia Offenses – Paraphernalia offenses mirror possession offenses. Possession of paraphernalia related to the use or possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a civil penalty carrying a maximum fine of $100. Possession of paraphernalia for use with more than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor, and delivering or possessing with the intent to deliver paraphernalia is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison (three years if delivered to a minor under 18).
Diversion Available for First Time Offenders
If you are facing a criminal conviction for a first-time marijuana offense, it may be possible to enter a diversion program and avoid a criminal conviction. Submitting to diversion requires getting tested for drug abuse and going into treatment, performing community service and undergoing a driver’s license suspension. After completion of the program and required probation period, the charges are dropped and there is no conviction or criminal record.
Agreeing to diversion requires you to enter a guilty plea, which means you can be convicted and sentenced without a trial if you fail to meet the terms of your probation. Whether it is better to take diversion or fight the charges depends on a number of factors regarding the strength of the prosecution’s case, the strength of your defenses, the potential penalties involved, and other factors. Your attorney should have a frank discussion with you about your options to help you decide whether diversion is right for you.
Call Michael W. Modica in Wilmington after a Delaware Marijuana Offense
Any drug arrest should be taken very seriously, and it is often in your best interests to fight the charges against you rather than enter a guilty plea. I offer a free initial consultation on your case, so you have nothing to lose by giving me a call and giving me the opportunity to evaluate your situation. It is most important that you call an experienced Wilmington marijuana offense defense lawyer before you talk to the police and give them any information that can hurt your case. In Wilmington, Newark and New Castle County, call the law office of Michael W. Modica at 302-600-1262.