Once Upon A Time, Big Marijuana Sales Meant Long Sentences
More than 10 years ago a young man who was my client asked me to represent him out of state in Arizona at a court appearance where the judge would determine whether or not he would impose a felony conviction. The young man was in a very tragic situation. He and his younger brother had been engaged in illegal marijuana sales and during the transport of more than 100 pounds of bundled pot in the back of their truck, a drunk driver broadsided them and his younger brother was killed. The police discovered the contraband, and my client was charged with a felony.
Meanwhile, a civil attorney filed a claim with the insurance carrier. In order for my client to obtain a cash payout for the accident, he could not be convicted of a felony in accordance with the insurance policy's rules.
I convinced the judge to impose a misdemeanor. During the arguments I asked for mercy for my client under the circumstances. It was also important to let the judge know that by imposing a felony, he was leaving his court open to multiple challenges by the civil attorneys involved in the case. He clearly didn't want to go there.
Sometimes the law is impacted by appealing for mercy and both practical and economic conditions. Fortunately in my client's case, he benefitted by both. Afterward I provided him with bus fare to return to his mother's home, where both of them could address their own grief and that of their family.
Practice area(s): Criminal Defense