Underage Attempt to Enter a Marijuana Facility in ColoradoClick For A Free Consultation
When Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana, there were several rules and regulations put in place in an effort to make sure that the process went smoothly. One of the laws requires that individuals be at least 21 years old to enter into a marijuana dispensary. Some locals and tourists who are under 21 have used fake IDs to try to purchase the drug, which can result in very serious charges if they are caught. If you, or your son or daughter has been arrested for an underage attempt to enter a marijuana facility, you need to make sure that you take immediate action to address these charges. As a criminal defense attorney with over 20 years of experience, I can help you explore the best possible approach to minimize the impact that the charge will have upon your future at J.B. Katz, P.C.
Cannot Enter Where Marijuana is on Display
While it may not seem like a big deal to enter a marijuana dispensary if you are underage, it can cause significant problems for you and the owners or employees of the dispensary. If there are any marijuana products on display, even though they are packaged, an individual under the age of 21 cannot enter the store.
If a dispensary fails to check that the person entering is 21 years old and/or sell marijuana to them can be fined up to $100,000 and potentially have their license suspended or revoked.
In addition to being prohibited from entering a dispensary if you are under 21, you can face other charges as well if you end up entering and purchasing marijuana. If you are under the age of 21 and are caught buying, carrying, selling, or using marijuana, you could be charged as a minor in possession. The potential penalties for this include fines, community service, educational classes, loss of driver’s license, and misdemeanor or felony charges. Even though Marijuana is legal in Colorado, individuals who are underage need to be incredibly careful to not break the law.
Using a Fake ID
Many individuals who are underage and wish to purchase marijuana at a dispensary will attempt to use a fake ID to get into the store and buy what they want. Not only is this against the law because they are under 21 and cannot enter the store or purchase marijuana, but it’s also against the law to use false identification.
A significant percentage of individuals using fake IDs to try to enter the store and purchase marijuana are out of towners. They know that marijuana is legal in Colorado, and figure that a decent looking fake ID will get them in and let them purchase the drug. What many don’t realize is that the dispensaries in Colorado take this very seriously, and routinely confiscate fake IDs and contact the police.
Penalties for Using Fake ID to Enter or Purchase
Any individual who uses a fake ID to enter a marijuana dispensary or who attempts to purchase marijuana can face criminal charges. Use of a fake ID is charged as a class 2 misdemeanor. This can carry up to 120 days in jail and a fine of up to $750.
One of the most common defenses to using a fake ID to enter a marijuana dispensary is an illegal search and seizure by the police. If they behave in a way that violates your constitutional rights, it might be possible to have the evidence suppressed so the prosecutor cannot use it at trial.
Why You Need A Strong Defense
While it may seem like these are relatively minor charges, understand that there is the potential for a conviction to make things much more difficult for you when you are just starting out in life. You might have trouble getting into college or finding an employer who is willing to take a chance on you. Also, the consequences of a conviction can become much more serious if you do not take action. Many of the people who are charged with these crimes are here from out of town. They think that they do not have to respond to letters from the court or show up for their court dates. Failing to respond or appear could lead to felony charges, which carry much stronger penalties, including the possibility of up to one year in jail. There are fewer defense options that will be available to us in these situations, so you need to be sure that you act quickly to ensure that wave the ability to take advantage of all of the opportunities available to us.
It’s always a good idea to contact a criminal defense attorney right away so they can start working on your case immediately. An experienced lawyer may be able to obtain a plea offer that doesn’t include jail time, or a deferred sentence which can later be dismissed or expunged.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Breckenridge Defense Attorney
To speak to an experienced lawyer about your case, call my Breckenridge criminal defense office at (970) 453-5533 or send me an email. I may be able to appear on your behalf, saving you the time and trouble of having to come back to fight these charges.