What will happen since I was charged with marijuana paraphernalia, less than month before a bill is set to soften the penalties to a minor misdemeanor?

Will I be charged with the harsher penalty, even if my court date was set slighty after the bill goes into full effect?

Asked on September 7, 2012 under Criminal Law, Ohio


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The rule in effect at the time that you committed the offense will control the level of offense.  If the law harshens-- you get the benefit of a lower sentencing range.  If the law softens-- you get the sting of the harsher punishment.  Even though you are stuck with the harsher penalty, it doesn't mean that the prosecutor won't still give you a reduction in light of the legislature's attitude toward the offense.  If you can show that this is an isolated event or that you want to take steps to rehab, you may be able to negotiate for the reduced sentence, even though by law you're not entitled to it.

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