There are many states where marijuana has become legal. Despite that, not all states recognize that marijuana may have its place in medicine or as a recreational drug. Marijuana is also illegal in federal law. If you are caught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or any federal officer, you could face federal penalties even if marijuana is legal where you are at the time.

Federal laws require mandatory minimums in many cases. These are the minimum penalties you face for a crime. Since mandatory minimums are required for marijuana-related crimes, you need to do everything you can to be found innocent. If you are found guilty, there are no standard ways to negotiate out of a mandatory sentence.

For simple possession on a first offense, you face up to a year in prison with no mandatory minimum. That’s for a misdemeanor. A second offense-misdemeanor leads to a mandatory sentence of 15 days in prison with the potential for up to two years in prison. Additionally, those who are found guilty of possessing marijuana in any amount more than two times face a minimum of 90 days in prison with up to three years possible.

Any time you’re charged with possession, it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney or someone familiar with the law. The right defense makes a difference and could mean you end up avoiding time in prison. Our website has more on what makes a strong defense, so you can prepare yourself and know what you want to ask your attorney before your case goes to court.