Being caught with weed can seem like a minor offense if it’s a small amount, but in Delaware there is a charge for any amount of marijuana, no matter how little. Even if you have less than one ounce, you can face a civil penalty and a fine of $100.
Is Marijuana Legal in Delaware?
In May 2017, a bill was advanced to try to legalize recreational marijuana in Delaware. If this bill becomes law, it will make the state the ninth in the nation to legalize the substance. Despite the move, however, news outlets claimed the chances of the bill making its way into law were “bleak.”
The law would allow anyone over the age of 21 to buy no more than one ounce of marijuana from retailers who would be specifically authorized to sell the substance. However, conservative groups and lobbyists have been opposing the bill.
What Happens If You’re Caught With Marijuana?
Currently, if an adult is caught with less than one ounce of marijuana, they are not charged with a crime but with a civil penalty. They must pay fines of $100. This is a relatively new regulation, having been passed in 2015.
If you are charged with possession of more than one ounce, however, marijuana charges in Delaware do include criminal charges. If you are charged with possession of one ounce or more but less than 175 grams, you could face misdemeanor charges as well as three months of incarceration and $575 in fines.
For possession of 175 or more grams, you could face felony charges as well as a fine, which could be determined by the court. In addition, you could face two or more years of incarceration. For over 500 grams, for example, you face two years of mandatory incarceration but could face up to twenty five years. For less than 3,000 grams, you could face up to five years and for less than 4,000, you could face up to eight years.
In addition to these penalties, you may face additional charges, too, if you are suspected of dealing marijuana or having an intent to deliver. Intent or delivery is a felony and can carry years of incarceration — especially if you dealt to or intended to deliver to minors.
If you are caught with marijuana paraphernalia for use with less than one ounce of marijuana, you could face a civil penalty of $100. If you have paraphernalia and are found to intend to use it with over one ounce of marijuana, you could face fines of $1,000, misdemeanor charges and up to six months of incarceration.
In addition to the charges and fines, being arrested for weed can have other serious consequences. Due to social views of these charges, some people charged and convicted for this offense may face lost opportunities at work or may even be terminated from their positions. These charges can cause friction and loss of relationships as well as difficulty securing jobs in the future.
Contact a Lawyer for Your Marijuana Charge in Delaware
For all the above reasons, it is important to contact an attorney in Delaware if you are charged with possession. An attorney can ensure you do not face wrongful conviction or wrongful dismissal at work. An attorney can also seek to have charges dropped or reduced, if feasible, which can help your future prospects.
Finally, an attorney can ensure you are not made into an example. In these cases, they can determine whether you really did have the amount claimed by the police and not a smaller amount, which would result in a smaller sentence.