Call us 24/7: (515) 279-9700

Juvenile Marijuana Drug Charges

Despite the growing number of states that have either legalized or decriminalized marijuana in some form, cannabis plants and other forms of it are considered illegal in Iowa. Juveniles who are caught with marijuana could face life-altering consequences such as fines, prison time, and even expulsion from school.

Even if you do not ingest the marijuana, you can be charged for possessing it under state and federal law. Charges and potential penalties increase exponentially if you are caught with a large number of plants or products, as prosecutors can argue for distribution and intent to sell. Juveniles facing weed-related charges need proficient attorneys to fight on their behalf and protect their reputation.

Attorneys for Juvenile Marijuana Defense in Des Moines, IA

McCarthy & Hamrock P.C. attorneys have forty years of combined legal experience that can build a strong defense for your case, defending against all cannabis-related allegations. A Des Moines marijuana lawyer from McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and fight for your charges to be dropped or reduced. We will advocate for any accusations of possession, sale, cultivation, or any other weed charge. Call us today at (515)279-9700 for a free consultation.

Our attorneys represent clients facing marijuana charges throughout Polk County and Dallas County, including in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, or Johnston. We may also represent those facing marijuana charges across Iowa.

Iowa Juvenile Marijuana Crimes Information Center

  • Types of Marijuana Charges
  • Consequences for Student Marijuana Convictions
  • Defenses to Marijuana Charges
  • Additional Marijuana Defense Resources

Types of Marijuana Charges

Under federal law, marijuana is considered a schedule I narcotic, which the Drug Enforcement Administration deems as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Iowa’s laws about marijuana are not very forgiving either. Here are some other common marijuana-related charges in Iowa and the potential punishment for them, according to NORML:

Possession: A first-time offender with any amount of marijuana can expect to be charged with a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to six months in prison and a max fine of $1,000. Typically, this offense is charged to anyone who has a small amount of marijuana that would not be considered enough for distribution. A second offense can lead to another misdemeanor charge punishable by a year in prison and up to $1,875 in fines. Penalties for a third offense result in a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 2 years in prison and $6,250 in fines.

Cultivation and Distribution: Under Iowa’s marijuana laws, first-time offenders possessing up to a half ounce of marijuana is treated as simple possession. Anyone who. Having up to 50 kilograms of marijuana may be charged with a class D felony and could face fines from $750 to $7,5000 and up to five years in prison. The felony charge increases in class the more kilograms of marijuana someone is accused of possessing. Those who have more than 100 kilograms of marijuana can face a class B felony, punishable by up to $1 million in fines and up to 50 years in prison.

Hash and Concentrates: Marijuana in oil, edibles, and other forms are also illegal in Iowa. They are treated the same as marijuana plants when it comes to punishment, with some variation for first-time offenders.

Paraphernalia: Anyone caught with marijuana-related items can be charged with a misdemeanor and punished with a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in prison. Any item that is knowingly used to ingest, inhale, enhance, or be used with marijuana, in general, can be considered paraphernalia.

Defenses to Marijuana Charges

If you were caught with any amount of marijuana, that does not automatically mean you will be convicted of a drug charge. In many instances, marijuana is discovered by police during a search or pat-down, also called a “frisk.” To search a student, the police need to show they had probable cause and often must secure a warrant. For a pat-down, they must show reasonable suspicion.

For prosecutors who cannot show police had sufficient reason to search a student, your defense attorney can argue for the evidence collected against you to be considered inadmissible. We can file a motion to suppress evidence from your case. If flaws are found in the prosecutor’s evidence, the charges could be dropped against you, possibly before your case reaches trial.

Our lawyers will argue vigorously in your defense. The prosecutor must prove all elements beyond a reasonable doubt. We will use all of our resources at our disposal to show reasonable doubt applies to your case.

Additional Marijuana Defense Resources

NORML – Iowa: A concise overview of the various marijuana laws, charges, and arrest data that exist within Iowa. NORML has additional information about defenses and the attorney’s takes on marijuana laws throughout the country.

Marijuana Policy Project – The Iowa chapter of this organization tracks various bills related to marijuana and aims to change state laws about cannabis.


McCarthy & Hamrock P.C. | Polk County Student Cannabis Attorney

Young people facing marijuana charges need attorneys who will fight for their rights, no matter how tough their case is. Have an experienced Des Moines marijuana lawyer from McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. fight for you. We will challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Call us today at (515)279-9700 to set up a free consultation.