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Health & Safety Code 11357(c) – Possession A More Than An A Ounce Of Marijuana

(c) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not
more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment.


Under this Code section, the defendant is accused of possessing more than 28.5 grams of marijuana. This crime is considered a misdemeanor under California law.

Potential sentence: Up to 6 months in county jail or a maximum fine of $500, or both.

To be guilty of this offense, the prosecutor must prove these elements:

  1. The defendant illegally possessed marijuana
  2. He or she knew that the marijuana was present
  3. That he or she knew the marijuana was an illegal drug
  4. That the substance found was in fact marijuana.
  5. The marijuana weighed more than 28.5 grams.
  • Second Element: A defendant must have knowledge of the presence of the narcotic, and it's nature as a controlled substance. The defendant does not need to know exactly what drug he or she possessed, just that it was an illegal substance.People v. Romero (1997) 55 Cal. App. 4th 147.
  • Fourth Element: The prosecution must prove that the substance has the chemical properties which identify it as the Cannabis sativa L. plant.

Defense: Medical Marijuana

To assert a defense that the defendant legally possessed marijuana as medical marijuana, the defendant must show that there is a reasonable doubt that his or her possession is lawful. People v. Mower (2002) 28 Cal.4th 457.

Southern California Areas Served:

Phone: (619) 787-3456 Areas Served: San Diego, Vista, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, San Marcos, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, El Centro, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Clarita, Glendale, Lancaster, Palmdale, Pomona, Torrance, Pasadena, El Monte, Downey, West Covina, Norwalk, Burbank, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Costa Mesa, Riverside, Corona, Moreno Valley, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Temecula, Bakersfield, Clovis, and everywhere in between.

Bay Area Areas Served

Phone: (831) 431-0986 Areas Served: Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, Salinas, Monterey, Seaside, Carmel, San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, Livermore, Concord, Richmond, Walnut Creek, Antioch, San Rafael, Novato, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Napa, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Fairfield, Vallejo, Vacaville, Dixon, Solano County, San Benito, Daly City, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Redwood City, Belmont, San Carlos, San Bruno, Pleasanton, Union City, San Leandro, Milpitas, Pittsburg, Danville, Rohnert Park and the entire Bay Area.

Northern California Office & Areas Served

333 University Avenue; Suite 200 Sacramento, CA 95825 Phone: (916) 233-7346 Areas Served: Sacramento, Elk Grove, Antelope, Citrus Heights, Carmichael, the friendly confines of Land Park, Folsom, Yolo, Woodland, West Sacramento, Davis, Placerville, South Lake Tahoe, Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Auburn, Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Yuba City, Marysville, Wheatland, Colusa, San Joaquin County, Lodi, Manteca, Stockton, Tracy, Lathrop, Modesto, Turlock, Oakdale, Stanislaus County, Humboldt County, Arcata, Mckinleyville, Fortuna, Eureka, Butte County, Oroville, Paradise, Chico, Mendocino, Ukiah, Colusa, Shasta County, Redding, Calaveras, Yreka, Amador, Jackson, Lassen, Susanville, Plumas County, Quincy, Nevada County, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee, Lakeport, Sonora, Madera, Crescent City, Trinity, and all of Northern California.