Facing a conviction for drug possession in California can lead to severe, long-lasting consequences, such as difficulties in securing employment, housing, and educational financial assistance. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s crucial to thoroughly investigate your legal avenues. In certain instances, it may be possible to have your drug possession charges dismissed.
The specifics of each case will dictate the most effective legal approach to take. An experienced criminal defense lawyer like Cyrus Tabibnia can scrutinize your case to ascertain if there’s a possibility for your charges to be dismissed or dropped. To explore your options for dismissing drug possession charges in California, reach out to the Tabibnia Law Firm.
Can Drug Charges Be Dismissed in California?
It depends ! A knowledgeable California criminal defense attorney can assess your case’s particulars to see if there are valid reasons for dismissing your drug charges. However, this isn’t guaranteed. To have your drug charges dismissed, you and your legal counsel must establish that one or more of the following conditions apply to your situation.
Lack of Probable Cause
Probable cause serves as the foundation of any criminal case. Lacking this, any evidence collected could be deemed inadmissible in court. The officer making the arrest must show adequate reason to suspect you of a crime before initiating a stop, search, or arrest. The concept of probable cause is subjective, requiring the court to weigh the specific circumstances surrounding the arrest.
In some situations, the arresting officer may genuinely think they had probable cause, but the court may see it differently. Cyrus Tabibnia, an experienced drug charge defense attorney, can delve into your arrest details to see if insufficient probable cause could lead to your charges being dismissed.
Evidence of Lawful Possession
If you were arrested for having prescription medications without evidence of a prescription, furnishing such proof could lead to charge dismissal. Similarly, if you were transporting a prescription for someone else and got arrested, proving lawful possession could result in charge dismissal.
Violations of Constitutional Rights
In the United States, anyone arrested on suspicion of criminal activity is afforded constitutional protections. If these rights were violated during your arrest, your charges might be dismissed.
Common instances of constitutional rights infringements during drug possession arrests include:
- Failure of the arresting officer to recite the Miranda rights to the accused.
- The accused was not informed that their statements could be used against them in a court of law.
- Denial of the accused’s right to legal representation during questioning.
- Questioning the accused without their lawyer present, after one has been retained.
Unreasonable Searches & Seizures and Motion to Suppress Evidence
As a defense lawyer can review your case to determine if the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search or stop. For instance, if racial profiling rather than probable cause was the basis for your stop, the charges could be dismissed by a judge.
Other Legal Options
If dismissing your drug possession charges isn’t feasible, other avenues may help minimize your penalties.
Drug Diversion Program
California’s Drug Diversion Program, also known as pretrial diversion or PC 1000, allows those charged with minor drug offenses to opt for drug abuse treatment and education instead of incarceration. Most drug possession charges qualify for this program. Successful completion results in charge dismissal and no criminal record.
Eligibility criteria for pretrial diversion in California include:
- Charges must be for personal use possession.
- No convictions for other ineligible controlled substance offenses within the past five years.
- No involvement of violence or violent threats.
Entering a drug diversion program usually requires a guilty plea. Additionally, plea agreements can be employed to reduce drug charges. For example, the prosecutor might agree to downgrade a felony drug charge to a misdemeanor in exchange for a guilty plea.
Consequences If Convicted of Drug Possession in California
In California, being found guilty of drug possession can have far-reaching implications that go beyond just legal penalties. Your freedom could be at stake, along with your reputation and future prospects. The severity of the consequences varies depending on several factors, such as the kind of drug involved, whether you actually had it in your possession, the quantity, and the specific circumstances of the case.
If you’re charged with a felony for possessing hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, you could be looking at a long stint in prison, hefty fines, and a criminal record that will follow you for life.
But the repercussions don’t end there. A criminal record can make it challenging to find a job, secure housing, or even pursue educational opportunities. So, it’s not just about the immediate legal consequences; it’s about how this could affect your entire life trajectory. Understanding the drug offender registry in California is essential if you have been convicted of certain drug offenses.
Can Drug Convictions Be Expunged in California?
In California, both misdemeanor and felony drug possession convictions can be expunged under the Clean Your Record program, provided you meet certain conditions:
- Completion of probation and all court-mandated requirements.
- No state prison sentence for the conviction, or
- If state prison time was served, you would have been sentenced to county jail under Proposition 47
Furthermore, if you were convicted for a cannabis-related offense before its legalization in California, the California Department of Justice will review and seal your record.
Need Legal Help? Call Tabibnia Law Firm
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug possession charges, it may be helpful to enlist the support and guidance of an experienced drug crime defense lawyer who can help you protect your rights. A lawyer will assess every aspect of your legal situation to identify possible reasons for having the charges dismissed against you . If it turns out that your charges cannot be dropped, the attorney can navigate you through the complexities of the judicial process.
Our experienced drug possession lawyer Cyrus Tabibnia is dedicated to helping his clients fight the charges they face. His representation begins from the time of the arrest and may continue throughout the justice process and into appeals, if necessary. For more information about how to get drug possession charges dropped or any other criminal law matter, contact him today for a free consultation. Call (866) 713-2159
Tabibnia Law Firm is serving its clients throughout Southern California including Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Orange County, Beverly Hills, San Fernando Valley, Ventura county, Riverside County, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Monterey Park, La Puente, Van Nuys, Pomona, Manhattan Beach, West Covina, Whittier, Downey, Woodland Hills, Norwalk, Torrance, Redondo Beach, San Bernardino, Walnut Creek, Inglewood, Lancaster, Westlake Village and nearby areas.