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I was cited for 11359 andXXXXXdate is July 1st. I have a reciept for the money and all paperwork associated with it. This occured in Sonoma County. What bothers me is that the gentleman who had this stuff clearly told the officer that the mariguana was his for his personal use, yet they still wrote me and the other gentleman a citation. As far as my money I have all documentation of my money when I took it out the bank how I got it in the bank etc.all on my bank statements.
Hello again eur3118o.With charges of 11359 and 11360, there must have been a fairly significant quantity of marijuana. On the other hand, the fact that you were cited and released on two potential felony charges shows this case for exactly what it is -- a money grab, pure and simple.Sometime before your appearance on July 1st, you may receive a notice from the DA's office which will include a copy of a complaint filed in lieu of the citation. It may charge the 11359 and 11360 and may add a count of 182, conspiracy to distribute marijuana.This notice may also include a suggested ECR ("Early Case Resolution"), which would be something like plead guilty to 11357, subd. (c), waive the PC 1210 (drug treatment) and PC 1000 (drug diversion) alternatives, perhaps a short period of probation, no jail time and forfeit the $54,500.What they are really interested in is getting your money -- drug forfeitures are a significant source of law enforcement funding and many DA's offices (including Sonoma, where I have another such case pending right now) are aggressive about trying to keep money that has been seized.To give you an idea of how the California legislature has encouraged this money grab, if the amount seized is less than $25,000, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (the same standard as for a criminal conviction) that the funds were related to criminal drug activity. However, if the amount seized is more than $25,000, the burden of proof is preponderance of the evidence or just a bit over 50-50 (the same standard as in civil proceedings). This, of course, makes it easier for the government to keep the larger amounts of money.As I mentioned previously, this kind of case almost certainly will require the assistance of counsel experienced in criminal law and forfeiture proceedings. Since you live out of the area, you can contact the Sonoma County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, which will refer you to an attorney capable of handling this kind of case. Contact information for the Sonoma LRS is here:http://www.sonomacountybar.org/?page_id=145A lawyer may also be able to make appearances on your behalf, without your having to return to California for every such appearance, by filing a Penal Code section 977 waiver of appearance. The Sonoma ECR court is a bit touchy on this, but persistent counsel should be able to relieve you of at least some of the appearances along the way.If you have any other questions about this situation, please let me know.
The amount from what I was told was approx a pound and a few ounces i didnt see the mariguana and didnt know it was there.How am I charged with possession in this matter when I was a passenger in a vehicle and the individual that possessed the mariguana said it was his and had it in his belongings (napsack). Possession is 9/10ths of the law thus this doesnt fall in the catergory to charge me with possession. It doesnt fall in the relm of constructive possession either being this gentleman had it in his belongings and I had no knowledge of or control over. Please advise??
I have contacted a attorney, no charges have been filed as of yet concerning the citation and I was told by an attorney that they may not file charges. The police report hadnt been complete as of yesterday the incident happened on Saturday. The attorney is pretty confident that if charges are filed that they will ultimately be dismissed leaving the forfeiture proiceedings.
No I havent hopefully I will hear something on Monday
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