It is very important that you hire a California drug defense attorney is you are arrested for a drug related offense including drug possession, drug transportation, drug manufacturing or drug distribution. A conviction on these charges could result in a lengthy prison sentence or collateral consequences—e.g. trouble finding safe and decent housing, termination of government provided benefits, or loss of employment. These types of cases will require a thorough investigation into the state’s case against you.
Usually an evaluation will need to be conducted to learn why law enforcement officers believed they had probable cause to arrest you. Further, a drug related charge will often trigger constitutional issues such as your rights against unreasonable search and seizures or your right against self-incrimination. If you have been recently charged with a drug offense, contact our attorneys today before making a statement to the police. Any statements you may have made surrounding your arresting circumstances could be held against you in court.
What Are California Drug Laws?
In California, the most serious drug related offenses include drug possession, drug possession for sale, drug manufacturing and drug trafficking. Under 11350 of the Health and Safety Code, it is illegal to possess a controlled substance such as cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, meth, prescription painkillers without an authorized prescription, and others.
Further, under 11351 of the Health and Safety Code, it is a felony offense if you are found guilty of possessing illegal drugs for the purpose of selling. If you have been charged with this drug crime, you need to be aware that the prosecutor does not need to prove that there was an exchange between you and another person. You could be convicted if the state can prove that you had the intent to sell an illegal drug by attempting to introduce as evidence the packaging contents of the drug, weighing scales, quantity of drugs, or statements of informants.
Moreover, drug raids and undercover operations are usually conducted in order to charge individuals for violating 111352 of the Health and Safety Code. Under this law, it is illegal to sell, transport, or furnish an illegal drug in California. The most serious of all of the drug crimes in this state is the manufacturing of drugs and narcotics. A conviction of this crime which is codified at 11379 of the Health and Safety Code could result in a prison sentence of up to 7 years.
What Are The Possible Punishments For A Drug Crime?
Drug charges can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony in this state. Also, you could also face federal drug charges if you have aggravating circumstances involved in your arrest.
Generally, whether or not you will have to spend time in jail or prison if you are convicted will depend upon a number of circumstances. Some of the factors which are used in determining punishment include: the type of drug involved, whether there are aggravating circumstances involved in your arrest (Murder, robbery, burglary, assault, etc.), if you have prior drug related convictions, and similar details.
The type of penalties that could be imposed upon you will depend upon the circumstances involved in your case. While your arresting incident may be similar to another person’s drug related arrest, the courts determine punishment on a case by case basis. So you could receive:
- Drug counseling and treatment
- Jail or state prison time
- Community Service
- Forfeiture of assets
What Defenses Can I Assert To Fight The Charges?
There are many possible defenses available to you to keep you from going to jail, among the most common defenses are:
- You had an amount of drugs that was only for personal use, not for sales
- Search and Seizure Violation
- The drugs did not belong to you