February 2017

Discussing Federal Cannabis Issues with Attorney Omar Figueroa

I got a chance to sit down with one of my colleagues and friend, the brilliant attorney Omar Figueroa, this morning to chat about what’s up with the feds. Know this! ~hb

Choose Your Own Adventure: Gate Notice Edition

If you received a Gate Notice, or you just want to educate yourself, the Law Offices of Heather L. Burke is excited to offer this Choose Your Own Adventure-style game!  While we do advise you see your lawyer if Law Enforcement has requested to visit your home or property, now you can see all the possibilities for yourself in a fun and friendly format:


Please note that additional information is available when you hover over the options, although these extra features may be hidden when browsing on your phone. Thus, we’ve provided a short key with the brief descriptions of each options here:

Here Are Your Options


  • Calling Law Enforcement Back

It is best to have your attorney call Law Enforcement for you, but you can call them back yourself if you feel comfortable.

  • Consent to an Inspection

You may consent to allow Law Enforcement to “check off” your garden. This means you are inviting them onto your property, so it is best to talk to an attorney before you make your appointment.

  • Self-Abate

You can self-abate any plants that are out of compliance prior to your inspection. They can’t fine you if you abated before they arrive.

  • In Compliance 

Hooray! Even if law enforcement enters by warrant, they can’t cut the plants if you are in compliance with state and local law!

  • Ordinance Citation

You may be fined for every plant and every Building Code violation. Those fines can add up fast, so try to be in compliance!


  • Don’t Call Law Enforcement Back

You have Constitutional rights to not call Law Enforcement back. However, this may not always be a good idea. Let’s see why on the next screen!

  • Warrant for Abatement

If you don’t consent to an “inspection” and if Law Enforcement has Probable Cause that a nuisance or a crime is occurring, they could get a warrant and may abate any unlawful cultivation, fine you, or even arrest you if you are violating Prop 215.

  • Self-Abate

Even if you cut down your own plants in front of Law Enforcement, fines and fees may still apply!

  • Ordinance Citation

You may be fined for every plant and every Building Code violation. Those fines can add up fast, so try to be in compliance!

  • No 215?

California still requires compliance with Prop 215, which means cultivating cannabis “for profit” or not having a collective or cooperative is still illegal. Also, cops can arrest you for environmental crimes. Don’t do it!

The Ordinance Appeal Proess

*The process after a citation is the same, regardless of how Law Enforcement got onto the property.

  • Appeal

You can appeal your citation, but fines and fees may accrue every day until your hearing if you did not “self-abate.”  It is best to talk to your attorney before filing an appeal!

  • Win Appeal

You can win the appeal if Law Enforcement cited you incorrectly, and sometimes even if they entered your property illegally!

  • Lose Appeal

If you lose your appeal, you may owe a lot of money, but you cannot be arrested!

  • No Appeal

If you don’t file an appeal, then Law Enforcement may come back and abate (either with your consent or with a warrant) if you don’t self-abate. You will owe money for any fines and fees, but you cannot be arrested!

  • No Police Action

Every once in a while, Law Enforcement might not follow up with you. You might make it through to the end of the season, but you will be left wondering what can happen next.  This scenario is extremely rare, so don’t count on it!