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Water Boy

Case Summary:

Defendant was charged with a number of counts relating to the Unlawful Manufacture/Possession/Import/Export of Marijuana. The charges arose after the police executed a search warrant at a piece of real property and discovered a marijuana growing operation. Defendant had coincidently arrived at the property to deliver water while the search warrant was being executed. Defendant pled to a single misdemeanor count, was placed on bench probation, and had to pay a fine.

Attorney Comments:

"This case, as it pertained to my client, was a joke. In Oregon there are ways to grow and distribute marijuana legally. The property where the marijuana was being grown and processed did not belong to my client. In fact, my client was only temporarily staying at the property as he had been paid to simply deliver water to the property for purposes of watering the plants. He had no knowledge about anything related to permitting or licensing of the grow site. My client was friends with one of the people operating the site.

The problem with this case is that the charges my client was facing requires knowledge that the grow is illegal. There was no evidence that my client had any knowledge at all. He was literally being paid a flat sum of money to deliver water; that's it.

To help illustrate this I offer the following example:

Imagine a person sets up shop in town to engage in the practice of dentistry. Now practicing dentistry requires a license. Further, a person practicing dentistry without a license is committing a crime. The practice of dentistry includes more than just "doing things" in people's mouths. Anyone performing duties at the dentist's office is literally, and legally, engaged in "dentistry."

Now imagine the unlicensed dentist hires staff to assist him, including a receptionist whose duties are to make calls, schedule appointments, check patients in and out of the office, and perhaps even accept payments for services rendered. Now, the police discover that the dentist at this office is operating without a license. So, the police show up and they arrest everyone there, even the receptionist, and charge them with the crime of practice dentistry without a license (which is a felony in Oregon). The receptionist had no idea – everything looked above board to her/him and they figured what they were doing was nothing out of the ordinary. The reason the receptionist SHOULD NOT be on the hook here is because the receptionist lacked KNOWLEDGE of the fact the dentist did not have a license.

This is, in principal, identical to the circumstances my client found himself in. However, probably because the marijuana industry is viewed less favorably than dentistry, my client gets charged with a crime as well. Despite the fact I felt he had a good defense at trial he did not want to endure the continued cost, both financial and emotional, to fight his case. He opted to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in exchange for a relatively light sentence and dismissal of felony charges."

Jackson County, Oregon

Actual Case Summaries
Be advised that I never promise a client a particular outcome, details of prior cases should not be taken as an indication that other clients will necessarily see the same results.

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