Tag: constructive possession

Defending the Sentencing Enhancement for Firearms in Felony Marijuana Possession Cases

All too often, inexperienced attorneys defending felony marijuana cases fail to fully appreciate the incredibly significant impact that evidence of a firearm can have on sentencing. How significant, you ask? Under Iowa Code section 124.401(1)(e), a person in the immediate possession or control of a firearm while possessing marijuana for delivery shall be sentenced to twice the term provided.  As a result, the nickel for a few ounces of bud may be enhanced to a dime simply because of a gun.  In other words, the Glock 19 seized by the task force now earns the unsuspecting person 10 years behind […]

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The Accommodation Defense for Marijuana in Iowa

In Iowa, a person who possesses up to 50 kilos of marijuana with the intent to deliver it to another can be charged with felony possession under Iowa Code section 124.401(1)(d).  Fifty kilos of marijuana tip the scales at 110 pounds, but you don’t need to be holding Black Tuna Gang quantities to risk a prison sentence.  Depending on the surrounding circumstances, possession of a few quarter ounce bags or less can lead the state to charge a class D felony. However, if the evidence at trial demonstrates the person possessed one-half ounce or less (< 14.17 grams) of marijuana, […]

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Prior Out-of-State Convictions for Marijuana Possession

Prior out-of-state convictions for marijuana can be very problematic if you are arrested for a possession offense in Iowa. Iowa Code section 124.411 provides “an offense is considered a second or subsequent offense, if, prior to the person’s having been convicted of the offense, the offender has ever been convicted under this chapter or under any state or federal statute relating to . . . marijuana . . . .”  Prosecutors typically rely on this provision in charging a second offense when you are charged with felony possession with intent to deliver or manufacture in Iowa and have any prior […]

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