Thursday, September 04, 2008

Legal Ramifications of The Marijuana Incident

A "small amount" of Marijuana was found in apt. 5204. There were a "number" of people inside the residence who were engaged in a social gathering common amongst college-aged young adults. Law enforcement discovered a "small amount" of law enforcement during a search supported by a search warrant. Here is where it starts to get interesting/confusing. AJ Wallace, Andrew Quarless, Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma LIVE at 5204. The search warrant lists Nova, Wallace and Quarless (Aristides A. Nova is a student who was "only staying at the apartment for a time). Evans and Koroma were apparently not at the apartment that evening.

So, the two players who are in by far the most trouble are Wallace and Quarless.

The police say it was a "small amount" of marijuana. So lets take a look at the criminal punishment for Possession of Marijuana in PA. The crime is a misdemeanor carrying up to thirty days in jail and a $500 fine. This punishment is for possessing an amount under 30 g of Marijuana. 30 g of Marijuana is just a little over an ounce of MJ. Should the amount be over 30 g the penalty goes up to up to 1 yr in jail and $5K in fines.

Depending on the details of where this marijuana was found, the Commonwealth is going to have a tough time proving their case. There are a number of people present any of whom might be the actual owner of the MJ. The two residents of the apt. are nowhere to be found. This means the Commonwealth would have to rely on constructive possession of the MJ. To prove one has constructive possession of an item in PA the Commonwealth must prove that one:
does not have actual possession over the illegal item but has conscious dominion
over it. Commonwealth v. Carroll, 510 Pa. 299, 507 A.2d 819 (1986).
Which means that the Commonwealth must show that either Wallace or Quarless or both had a conscious dominion over the aformentioned MJ. Which, depending on the details, could be tough.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

maybe you should be their attorney, i can hear season tickets on the 50 for you, lol