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Court Discusses Single Transaction Rule in Marijuana Possession Case


The appellant in this case was charged with selling a controlled substance, cannabis and for having more than five grams of cannabis. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the appellant was convicted on both charges and was sentenced separately for each of the crimes. The appellant argues that the trial court has violated the single transaction rule by imposing separate sentences for the sale and the possession of marijuana.

Case Background

The evidence that was shown at trial revealed that there were two undercover police officers who met three individuals at a bar in town. One of the individuals told the undercover agent that they could obtain a quantity of marijuana. The agents were driven to another bar by their companions.
When they arrived at the other bar several people including the appellant approached the car. The appellant asked the occupants of the car what they wanted and the officer replied an ounce. The appellant went into the bar and came out with a bag of marijuana (marijuana possession). The officers paid for the bag.

Case Discussion

The court must look at the evidence to determine whether the single transaction rule was violated by the trial court. A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said the single transaction rule has been recently changed to read that a person can be convicted of more than one crime if they occur in the same transaction, but lesser crimes should not be included in the sentencing.

The appellant relies heavily on several other cases that have taken place where the rule has applied.

Court Decision

The court has looked over other cases that are similar and has determined that these cases do not apply to the current situation. The court rules that the possession charge is not a lesser included offense and therefor the previous court was correct in applying separate sentences. The previous ruling is affirmed.
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