There has to be a cut-off point somewhere between a felony and a misdemeanor
and the law provides for one. In California, the cut-off is 28.5 g. If the weight of what you possessed is 28.6 g, that would be felony weight, and the DA would be within his rights to charge you with and prosecute you for a felony.
You asked, on the other hand, whether that's reasonable. I think that is likely to depend on all the facts and circumstances of the case. If it were your very first contact with the system, for example, I suspect that the DA may be inclined to reduce it to a misdemeanor. If, on the other hand, you have a RAP sheet with a number of marijuana arrests, this might be the time that the DA would not want to do you any favors. A defendant's criminal
history is just one factor that the DA would look at. Every case is in some way unique, so there are always others.
If you wanted to go to trial
on this case, the state would have to call the chemist from the forensics lab who would tesitify to the analysis of the marijuana that was performed after the arrest, which, of course, would include the weighing of the substance. Your lawyer would get to challenge the accuracy of the weight on cross-examination of the chemist. He may be able to establish that there's a margin of error here that could very well make this actually weigh at or under 28.5 grams. If he creates some doubt as to whether this is felony weight, then a jury could only convict you of the misdemeanor
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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your State for specific legal advice.
Edited by FranL on 6/1/2010 at 1:13 AM EST