Possession of a "Controlled substance" in Yosemite...


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Social climber
North Vancouver BC
Jan 31, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
You know, when you're facing a federal crime

I agree, the fine may be insignificant, but the legal consequences may haunt you all your life. At least consult a reputable lawyer for advice.

I donít know US law but a felony conviction may hinder your ability to travel and seek future employment. If you canít decide what to do, ask for a postponement to seek legal council before you commit to anything.

As a felon you would have trouble even visiting Canada, if the border guard decides to look closer in your background.

Good luck, what a screwed up system.

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
Jan 31, 2013 - 11:54pm PT
This conviction, and it wil be that, will prevent you from EVER entering Canada to climb...please, talk to an attorney before you go to court. At the least, DO NOT TAKE A PLEA. Ask for an extension to consult with an attorney. You don't have to do anything on Tuesday but ask for time, or plead not guilty.

The Granite State.
Jan 31, 2013 - 11:57pm PT

Please listen to those words.

Trad climber
Brea ca.
Feb 1, 2013 - 12:06am PT
Sorry to hear that. I've often wondered about the grey area in California regarding medical marijuna in national parks/federal land.

I was pulled over in Joshua tree a few years back for running the stop sign leaving barker dam. The LEO asked me to get out of my truck, and asked me if I had any "illegal drugs". I told him, no, I didn't have any illegal drugs, which was true, and he asked to search my car. After asking to see a warrant, he told me we could "sit here all night, until he got one" blah blah... I stood my ground and he let me go, following me all the way to the exit.

The next week I called curt saur, who was the park superintendent at the time, and after a few attempts to reach him, he told me that as long as someone wasn't blatantly smoking around other people, and no one was driving while medicated, it was pretty much a moot point. It seemed like it was a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of thing.

Again, sorry you have to go through this, and as stated up thread, I'd ask for an extension and seek the advice of a lawyer. The statement about not being allowed into canda is completely true.

Best of luck.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 1, 2013 - 12:15am PT
Back around '77 or so I got busted cold with a bunch of first-generation seedless fallbrook homegrown. Cop had never seen anything like it, and and did not believe it was reefer. He let me go and I got to keep the pot!

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Feb 1, 2013 - 12:22am PT
This all sounds so horrific compared to my $50 citation for such in 1978 whilst OB camping in Curry Orchard in a VW van. $50 was painful for me then, but I sent it in and never looked back. The details are a comical story that have stood the test of time and have never amounted to any consequence whatsoever. If they make a big deal out of this, then crime has dropped to an all-time low and they are really hard up for cases to prosecute. Treat it seriously, but don't overdo it. Lawyer? I wouldn't bother wasting $4,000 at least.

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
Feb 1, 2013 - 02:36am PT
I wad tooled in Yosemite in May of '85 on a failure to appear warrant for a fix it ticket. I worked for the National Security Agency. It caused me no frigging end of grief for nothing more than a missing front license plate. Trust me, plead not guilty, get a lawyer and let her deal with it. Do not take a misdemeanor plea.

Feb 1, 2013 - 08:37am PT

I own it but I also own my mind which tells me that if I bring weed into national park that the Feds control and I get caught I'm going to federal court not state court and you have to be a moron to not know its all biz in the federal systems of justice.

Any retard who thinks he's going to tell a,federal judge he has a state medical card should be put in jail for stupidity not weed.

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Feb 1, 2013 - 09:43am PT
ďIn court the charges are often dismissed because it is not considered a priority.Ē

Locker, that sounds like Washington DC. For a few years after law school I was on the norml legal team, with my phone number on their website for people to call when they got busted. It was more comical than anything else, mostly college kid / dorm room type stuff. After the first couple of them, I learned that all mj possession cases in DC are "no papered", ie dismissed. The prosecutor shows up each morning with something like 50 case files and these are a waste of time. So then when people called I told them, just show up and in the unlikely event the case is actually prosecuted, ask the judge for a continuance while you look for a lawyer. For the next ten or so people who called me, this worked and I never charged any of them.* After I had enough of this I asked them to take my name off their website, sorry but there are bigger fish to fry.

DMT - yes the President can tell DOJ not to prosecute certain people or crimes. In the US prosecutors have total discretion whether to prosecute or not, which means their boss can tell them what to do. It's a shitty system that doesn't work well. In most other countries, crime victims have rights and can start a criminal prosecution on their own, it's not within the discretion of the prosecutors.

* PS - apparantly I could have charged them $4000 each.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 1, 2013 - 09:53am PT
What Coz said about Canada....they won't let you in. All sorts of potential ramifications. A lawyer is a must!

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 1, 2013 - 10:22am PT
^^ Is this true even if it's a misdemeanor infraction or only if a felony?
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Feb 1, 2013 - 10:33am PT
jcory86, I'd listen to those about advising a lawyer and an extension, and heck if you can get it deferred to Fresno, do it.

At least visit a lawyer and get an opinion. The others are right, and it will not only be Canada, but also other countries may not allow you permit to enter. I just know that with a federal conviction, it sends red flags up to immigration/customs officers in countries, and remember, with computers, they can check fast.

I don't know about the $4,000 legal fees figure mentioned, but if it is in that ballpark and it increases your chances of no conviction, it may well be worth it, if you can afford it that is.

I am not a lawyer nor have a legal background, but even if it was a misdemeanor, a federal conviction still spells trouble.

Don't take a plea, is my non-legal advice.

(And no I have never had any sort of conviction of any kind, okay traffic school maybe.)

Social climber
Feb 1, 2013 - 11:38am PT
Some great advice here, good one Coz.

Social climber
Telluride, CO
Feb 1, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
Most National Parks have concurrent or shared jurisdiction - so state laws might overrule differing Federal laws. There are only two National Parks that have exclusive jurisdiction that negates the state laws. The two parks are Yosemite and Yellowstone - both created before the states they are in were granted statehood. Complicated.

You can ask for a Federal Public Defender and get free legal counsel. You have to show that your are "poor". My nephew is one of the Federal Public Defenders in Fresno. He started out with Yosemite cases but has "graduated" to bigger felony drug dealer cases. Carol Moses is one of the best defense lawyers in the area.

It has been 35 years since I was a Valley ranger but the legal weirdness has not changed. When you are in Yosemite, you are not really in California. Yosemite is one of the few parks to have its own license plates!

Get a lawyer - the same situation in a different National Park might be less serious.

Trad climber
Feb 1, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
After this is all over please post the name of this ranger.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 1, 2013 - 12:58pm PT
I actually have a mind too. In addition I have experience with the feds, a battery of good lawyers, and an excellent relationship with them.

But I am the Toker Villain and, as long as I still have that right, I will exercise freedom of speech to question authority over this issue.

People who simply submit actually encourage authoritarian abuse.

The drug laws were born of racism anyway.

The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Feb 1, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
I remember when Carol Moses was was a ranger perusing the Curry Village parking lot "under-cover" looking for said activities that the OP is going to court for. Ironic......

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Feb 1, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
...then got the five years added on for another minor infraction

and the other minor infraction was?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Feb 1, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
After this is all over please post the name of this ranger.

Yes, because this action will become known, particularly as a agreed-upon discussion among climbers, and for the rest of their career, they will go OUT OF THEIR WAY to tool any climber they encounter.

Probably their colleagues, as well.

Setting up a "us vs them" type of situation is a very bad idea, when the other side is the only one with guns and a ticket book.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 1, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
Urgent - check your email.
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