No Further Penalty- Commonwealth v. L.D.

Mr. Shaffer’s most recent successful trial started off with quite an uphill battle. An officer from the Narcotics Strike Force Unit testified that he was about ten feet from Mr. Shaffer’s client when he saw a hand to hand exchange of small objects for money. Further complicating the matters was additional testimony that Mr. Shaffer’s client approached an individual and screamed “DO YOU NEED WEED?”  Shortly thereafter Mr. Shaffer’s client was arrested with two jars of marijuana and seven individually wrapped packets of weed on his person. His client also had seventy-two dollars in small bills. Despite this damning testimony, Mr. Shaffer was able to deftly weave his client’s own version of the events to set the stage for closing arguments. At closing Mr. Shaffer presented case law and statutory construction showing that having under thirty grams of marijuana, even if for distribution, but not for sale, was only punishable as a summary offense. After hearing the Commonwealth’s closing, the judge agreed with Mr. Shaffer and found his client not guilty of possession with intent to distribute and only guilty of possession of a small amount of marijuana. The penalty? No further penalty!