What can I do if charged with possession of marijuana but I have a California medical card? 11 Answers as of January 23, 2011

I have an arrest warrant with my primary charge OT11357B HS (POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA) I do have my valid California medical marijuana card. I failed to appear to my first court date that was appointed to me because I didn’t have a valid California I.D and without a valid I.D my medical card would not be valid. Now that I finally received my I.D in the mail I want to go to court but if I do will I go to jail? I’m worried because my warrant says that I have a bail of $1,500. I’m not sure what I should do, please help. Thanks.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
Go to Court. You did not mention an amount, but possession of less than an ounce is now only an infraction. Provide the Court your legitimate excuse for failing to appear. Chances are, a decent Judge would recall and quash the warrant, dismiss any 'Failure to Appear' charge, and you could provide your Medical Marijuana Card to the District Attorney. They might drop the charges. An Attorney would probably have a better chance of accomplishing what I outlined.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/23/2011
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
You need to post bail and put your matter back on calendar. Simple possession of Marijuana less than 28.5 grams is an infraction now. Your bail was set at $1,500.00 due to missing your court date.

Depending on the county, judge, prosecutor, and your attorney, a "card" issued after the offense date might or might not get the case dismissed. On another note, if you are under 21 and enter a plea or convicted of this offense, you will loose your driver's license for a period of 1 year.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
I would suggest contacting and hiring an attorney to assist you with both the warrant and the open case. An attorney will be able to have the warrant recalled and there is a good chance get the case dismissed with the facts that you have presented.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca
Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca | Philip De Luca
Well, hindsight is always 20/20. The absence of your California ID should not have caused you to fail to appear in court. An initial appearance is an Arraignment, where you could seek a short continuance or enter a plea; in other words, you would never have gotten to the merits of the case. Now, you are stuck with two (2) offenses. Failure to Appear (FTA) is viewed as an affront to the Court and the legal process in general. I would get into court as soon as possible, with an attorney, and provide a merciful excuse to the court for your FTA, have the warrant recalled, then plead not guilty and see about successfully defending the possession charge with your medical card. For your information, the FTA could result in fines and/or jail time. In general, FTAs should be avoided because if you are ever arrested again, it will result in increased bail and in serious offenses, it could lead to no bail, because you can be viewed as a flight risk.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
You should hire a lawyer to go to court for you (without you) to first recall the warrant, then talk to the Judge/prosecutor about earning a reduction or dismissal of the charge. Remember if you go to court yourself the Judge could easily execute the warrant and take you in custody right then and there.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You should get an attorney and get the case calendared ASAP. You have a failure to appear-which by itself is a separate offense. An attorney can handle this for you
    and keep you out of jail (hopefully). Do not sit on this
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    Mettias & Associates
    Mettias & Associates | Jimmy Philip Mettias, Esq
    Thank you for asking such good questions. It sounds like there are many different aspects to your case and it is my suggestion that seek to speak with attorney regarding this. I would be happy to schedule you an FREE consultation with one of our very qualified attorneys to discuss your options. Please email me directly or call the office. We look forward to speaking with you in more detail regarding your Warrant and Possession charges. Thank you for contacting us!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    Desert Defenders
    Desert Defenders | John Jimenez
    If the warrant is for a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana, you can hire an attorney to go to court for you, have the warrant recalled and deal with the defense of the case. Therefore, you will not subject yourself to the possibility of being jailed by going to court yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation | Sally S. Chan, Esq.
    It seems clear that your problem escalated by failing to appear to the first court date, which is likely to be an arraignment.

    The best thing for you to do now is to retain an attorney to review the details of your case and your current situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes, if you had a valid card [and valid ID as required] at the time, and showed it to police, you wouldnt / shouldnt have been arrested. Now, there is an arrest warrant out for you because of your failure to appear. For you to handle this, you must turn yourself into the court, with or without an attorney, and try to negotiate a plea bargain on the warrant and outstanding charge[s]. Doing so voluntarily will result in a better outcome than you being brought in cuffs to court after arrest on the warrant. That will happen if you come in contact with law enforcement or customs anywhere in the US. Effective plea-bargaining, using whatever defenses and sympathies you may have, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts and evidence. Your attorney may even be able to get you drug diversion or other programs. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict you. As this was a misdemeanor, your attorney can appear in court without you being present, and negotiate your plea bargain, if that is your goal. If this is in SoCal courts, and you're serious about getting legal help doing so, feel free to contact me. If you can't afford private counsel, apply for the Public Defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Go to the Criminal Clerk. Tell him/her you would like to be added to calendar. Then tell the judge that your screwed up because you were waiting for your ID (which you now have) and now realize you should have gone to court that first day but were afraid because you didn't have an ID. Look pathetic when you tell the judge this. Most likely nothing will happen. Even if he decides to make you bail because of your non appearance, if you can put up $1500 cash you will get it back when the case is over - or you can pay a little more than $150 to a bail bond person - that you will NOT get back. So, borrow from friends, family, etc as you will be in a position to pay them back as soon as the case ends.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
Click to View More Answers: