Marijuana Leaves

Cultivation of Marijuana – CA Penal Code

drug charges bail bondsSome states have significantly liberalized their laws governing the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana. For example, Colorado and Washington states now both permit the recreational use of marijuana. However, this is not the case in the state of California. Indeed, the cultivation of marijuana in California is a felony crime that can result in some stiff penalties.

The Crime of Marijuana Cultivation Defined

California law sets out what specifically is involved in the crime of cultivating marijuana. Pursuant to California law, in order for a person to be convicted of the crime of marijuana cultivation, the prosecuting attorney must demonstrate that an individual planted and cultivated as well as dried an processed marijuana plants.

Personal Use Versus Cultivation for Sale

If an individual is arrested for growing only a truly small amount of marijuana that appears to be intended for personal use only, that person may be able to enter into a diversion program with the court. This particularly is the case if a person charged with this crime has no previous criminal history.

Through diversion, a person is able to avoid some of the more serious sanctions associated with marijuana cultivation cases. A person sentenced to diversion may be required to participate in a drug education or drug treatment program as part of his or her sentence.

When it comes to personal use, a person must keep in mind that if more than a couple of plants are being grown, law enforcement and a prosecutor in California may consider this quantity beyond what constitutes personal use.

Amount of Marijuana Plants

The number of plants being grown not only is important in an attempt to make a personal use defense, it also impacts the penalties imposed in a case, including the length of a possible sentence. The more plants being cultivated, the more serious the likely penalty imposed by the court.

Generally, in addition to diversion, a person found guilty of cultivating marijuana may be sentenced to a term of probation only, a jail sentence followed by a term of probation or a more lengthy jail sentence. Anyone convicted of cultivating marijuana in California can face a sentence of up to three years in prison in the worst case scenario.

Bail Bonds for Marijuana Cultivation Charges

Each county in California has the ability to set its own bail bond amounts when it comes to crime, including the cultivation of marijuana. As a consequence, the amount of a bail bond required to obtain a release from jail pending a resolution of a case varies rather significantly one from jurisdiction to another.

At the low end of the scale, Santa Cruz County sets bail for a marijuana cultivation case at $2,500. At the other end of the spectrum, in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties, the amount of a bail bond can be as high as $50,000 in a marijuana cultivation case, depending on the weight of the plants maintained by a defendant in a particular case.

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