Criminal defense is a vital tool for anyone swept up in the legal scene. Not just for ensuring the innocent are not pinned for crimes they did not commit but for those lawfully found guilty of a crime to not serve more time than absolutely necessary. A recent court ruling over a drug bust illustrates this. 

According to Telegram, Charles Laverty and his son Thomas were arrested in 2017 and found guilty Tuesday, Jan. 28th after a drug raid by Drug Enforcement Administration agents found 1,029 marijuana plants being grown in a warehouse where Thomas lived. After DEA agents provided the count, prosecution noted that growing 100 or more marijuana plants has a lower minimum sentence of five years as opposed to growing 1,000 or more, with a minimum sentence of ten years. 

Defense attorneys argued that the count could not be confirmed outside of agents’ word and that the government failed to provide adequate proof of the exact count. They also argued that only one-quarter of the grown plants contained THC, though the judge confirmed that it was not THC content that was the concern–only the number of marijuana plants that have roots. 

The jury found both men guilty of growing 100 or more marijuana plants. Their sentencing is scheduled for May 19th. 

It is a sensitive situation to navigate but these sorts of differences in conviction can have an overwhelming effect on the future of defendants. What these men were convicted of is illegal and they will serve time for it. But it is up to shrewd argument and comprehensive defense strategy to ensure that they serve only what time they must.