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Can you avoid jail time if caught with too much marijuana?

As the country’s general attitude toward people using marijuana changes, more states are passing medical and recreational marijuana laws. The strike down of Amendment A was a great disappointment for many South Dakotans who voted to legalize recreational use, although medical marijuana is legal.

Patients eager to try different strains for their various medicinal benefits may enjoy traveling to out-of-state dispensaries to stock up. While it’s legal for registered patients to do so, if you’re driving around with more than three ounces of marijuana flower in your person, you are breaking the law. Getting pulled over with more than that amount might land you in some serious legal trouble. If this happens, is there any recourse?

Suspended imposition might be a lifesaver

If you are a first-time offender with no previous convictions of a misdemeanor or felony charge, you may qualify for a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS). What this means is that your sentence is sealed by the court, and you could serve probation instead of incarceration. With an SIS, you are not legally obligated to disclose the arrest for the purpose of employment or housing. You still retain your right to vote, and your driver’s license remains active.

There is some risk, however. Getting arrested for the same offense down the road could mean worse trouble, as your original sentence would come back into play. Drug charges are not something to take lightly, so it’s best to consult with a defense attorney to determine your best course of action.