A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was pulled over for allegedly running a red light. Inevitably, marijuana was found in our client’s vehicle. We attained the dash cam video from the trooper’s vehicle, which showed that the officer may have been a little to anxious to pull over our client. After the preliminary examination, where we asked the judge to dismiss the case for an unlawful stop but our request was denied, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the possession charge to save from defending the State from our appeal.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was arrested along with two other people after less than one gram of marijuana found in a car that our client was sitting in. No admissions were made to the police, and our client denied that the marijuana was his, and that he did not even know that the marijuana was in the car. Without any medical protections, we set the matter for a jury trial. On the day of trial, the prosecutor offered to dismiss the case for a civil infraction. Our client accepted the deal, and left the courthouse without any conviction.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client decided to smoke marijuana in his car in a public park after the park had closed. Our client had not yet been certified by a physician for the medical use of marijuana. Our client was stopped by an officer who had spotted him in the park and waited for him to leave before initiating a stop. A host of legal issues including were created by this incident. We filed motions to dismiss based on violation of 4th amendment rights and medical marijuana issues going forward. The prosecutor was kind enough to permit our client to plead guilty to improper transportation of marijuana in exchange for dismissing the marijuana possession. Then, we secured an agreement to have the improper transportation charged dismissed after a short term of probation. During sentencing, Shyler Engel was able to convince the judge to have our client only pay fines and costs and avoid reporting and testing probation completely. The improper transportation charge will be dismissed in 3 months. Accordingly, the total consequence to our client was a fine and staying out of trouble for 3 months. No conviction. No probation. No testing.
Three Shyler Engel, PLLC clients had just finished seeing a comedy show held at Soaring Eagle Casino, and decided to smoke marijuana in the parking lot. This parking lot is somewhat notorious in the medical marijuana defense community because it is the same casino parking lot that was the subject of question in People v Carlton, the Court of Appeals’ case that determined whether the immunity and defenses provided under the Medical Marihuana Act apply to a person who smokes marijuana in his or her own car while that car is parked in the parking lot of a private business that is open to the general public. In People v Carlton, the medical marijuana patient lost because the Court concluded that a person’s own car, when in a public place, constitutes a public place, and therefore, medical marihuana protections do not apply.
Our clients’ prosecutor was, in fact, the very prosecutor who argued the case before the Court of Appeals. However, we had alternative theories of defense. Despite only one client having a medical marihuana patient card, we filed a motion to dismiss based on the difference between communal use and possession as it relates to medical marijuana patients, and other traditional defenses. One of our clients was even charged with delivery for simply sharing the marijuana, which we believed a complete overreach from the intent of the delivery statute. When the day of the motion hearing was held, all of our clients we offered and took advantage of the same deal: Possession charges were dropped. Delivery charge dropped, elimination of a non-public record after 30 days of non-reporting and non-testing probation. In fact, the court sent a check back to our clients because the arraigning judge had assessed a bond that well exceeded the fine imposed.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with Possession of Marijuana. Our client unfortunately had no diversion program eligibility; he had already used §7411 and he was in his mid-30s. However, our client did secure a medical marijuana card after the incident. The prosecutor initially made no offer other than to plead guilty and be on probation, however after talking the judge about the implications of having a medical marijuana card while on probation, the judge decided to permit our client to use marijuana for medical purposes while on probation. Bringing that new information back to the prosecutor, the prosecutor was gracious enough to offer a reduced plea to Improper Transportation of Marijuana. The judge, seemingly happy to further help our client, then decided to simply sentence our client to fines and costs. For our client, who had no medical protections at the time of the arrest, he walked away with simply fines and costs on an Improper Transportation charge. No probation, no testing, and no driver’s license sanctions.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was had been charged with Possession of Marijuana after marijuana was found in his pant pocket, his glove box, and in the center console. Our client told the police officer that he had an active medical marijuana patient card, but was unable to produce it at the scene. We filed our Section 4 motion and sought a pre-hearing discussion with the prosecutor. Inevitably, the Prosecutor dismissed the case. Our client never stepped foot in the courthouse.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with Possession of Marijuana in a District Court known for its lengthy terms of testing probation. Our client had one goal: to be able to continue to using marijuana. We uncovered a potential Kolanek issue that would render him protected under Section 8 under the Medical Marijuana Act. We filed a motion and prepared for the Section 8 hearing. When we appeared, the prosecutor eventually offered our client a dismissal in exchange for a plea to Improper Transportation of Marijuana. Unfortunately, Improper Transportation of Marijuana in this court often results in testing probation as well. We explained to the judge firstly the necessity of the need for our client to use marijuana for medical purposes, and then secondly, our position that marijuana use for medical purposes is protected from violations of probation. With that, the judge agreed to simply place our client on non-reporting and non-testing probation. Further, with the dismissal of the Possession charge, our client also avoided all driver’s license sanctions. Our client left the courthouse with his goals achieved.
Two Shyler Engel, PLLC clients were in the same position. They had been caught with marijuana while committing civil infractions, but they were behind in getting their patient cards. One of the clients simply hadn’t even seen a physician, and the other client had an expired card. Among other defenses, both had arguable Section 8 defenses.
We filed the appropriate motions and we were ready to argue a total of a combined 5 motions. The prosecutor offered the following deal: Plead to Improper Transport, and all other charges would be dismissed.
Both clients accepted the deal, and the judge gave them exactly the same sentence: 9 months non-reporting, non-testing probation, $400 fines and costs, and no issues using marijuana for medical purposes on probation. After probationary period, case will be completely dismissed pursuant to HYTA.
This means that both of our clients who faced a real drug conviction with reporting and testing probation, hundreds of dollars in fines and costs, plus the civil infractions walked away with just a $400 fine if they are able to stay out of legal trouble for 9 months.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was recently charged with Possession of Marijuana after he was found with a quarter pound of usable marijuana in his jacket. This client did not have a medical marijuana card at the time of his arrest. The client was pulled over in the middle of the night for a seemingly trivial reason, so we set the matter for a motion hearing to dismiss the case. Our client was presented before the motion hearing with an offer to enter into a plea that would result in non-reporting and non-testing probation, and after 6 months of staying out of trouble, the charge would be dismissed. Our client accepted responsibility to the lesser charge, and after 6 months of consequence-free probation, all charges will be dismissed.