A lawyer in Los Angeles, California who specializes in drug possession cases is a legal expert who can provide defense for individuals facing drug possession charges. In California, including Los Angeles, illegal drugs and controlled substances are divided into 5 categories under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. The severity of the penalties for drug crimes depends on how likely the drug is to be abused, and its potential for physical and psychological dependence. The more dangerous the drug, the harsher the punishment for possession, distribution, or intent to sell.
If you’re charged with a drug crime in Los Angeles, the penalty will be influenced by several factors such as the type and quantity of drug involved, whether you had intent to distribute or sell, and your past criminal history. In 2014, California voters approved Prop. 47, a law that downgraded certain controlled substances like Meth, Cocaine, Heroin, and Concentrated Cannabis from felony offenses to misdemeanors.
Drug crimes are a common type of criminal offense in Los Angeles and Southern California, and law enforcement officials often cross legal boundaries in their efforts to prevent drug trafficking. This can result in violations of individual rights. Tabibnia Law has a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles with over 20 years of experience in handling various drug crime cases. With our attorney’s assistance, you can minimize the consequences of your arrest and protect your future.
Types of Drug Crimes in California
In accordance with California law, the possession of a controlled substance is prohibited, whether it be illicit drugs or prescription medication without a valid prescription. While there are numerous prohibited drugs, the majority of drug-related offenses in California typically involve the following substances:
- Possession Of Marijuana – HS 11357
- Possession of Under 28.5 oz of Marijuana (Infraction) – HS 11357(b)
- Possession of Over 28.5 oz of Marijuana (Misdemeanor) – HS 11357(c)
- Possession of Concentrated Cannabis (Misdemeanor or Felony) – HS 11357(a)
- Felony Possession of Cocaine with a Loaded Firearm – HS 11370.1
- Possession Of Cocaine – HS 11350
- Possession Of Heroin – HS 11350
- Possession Of “Meth” – HS 11377
- Possession Of Prescription Drugs Without Prescription – BP 4060
- Possession For Sale Of A Controlled Substance – HSC 11351
In Los Angeles, most personal possession charges, or “simple possession” charges, are now prosecuted as misdemeanor drug crimes. However, even these lesser charges can still result in criminal records, fines, probation, and even jail time. If you are arrested or charged with drug or narcotics possession, it is crucial to seek legal assistance from experienced Los Angeles drug crime lawyer. Some drug diversion programs are available, which can lead to the dismissal of your drug or narcotics charge if completed successfully. However, not all drug crimes are eligible for diversion programs. Felonies such as possession with intent to sell, drug sales, or transportation for sale are considered “straight” felonies in Los Angeles and are not eligible for drug diversion.
Possession for sale, manufacturing, and trafficking are the most severe drug-related offenses, typically classified as felonies. Despite the lack of direct evidence proving the sale, manufacture or trafficking of drugs, the prosecution can still press charges for these crimes. In many cases, the government relies on circumstantial evidence to build a case against the defendant.
For example, If you get caught with drugs in your possession in any of the following situations, the likelihood of being charged with drug distribution increases significantly:
- You possessed a large amount of a single drug
- You possessed multiple types of different drugs
- You were arrested with a lot of cash
- You were arrested with paraphernalia often associated with the sale of narcotics, such as scales or empty baggies
If you make any statements to the police, prosecutors may use them to prove your intent to sell drugs. Drug-related offenses are typically prosecuted in state courts, but if the authorities suspect that you have trafficked drugs across state lines, you could face federal charges.
Penalties For California Drug Possession Crime
The penalties for drug possession in Los Angeles, California, are generally determined by the California Health and Safety Code, as well as other relevant state laws. Here is a general overview of the penalties for drug possession in California:
Misdemeanor Drug Possession:
- Up to one year in county jail
- Fines up to $1,000
Felony Drug Possession:
- Imprisonment in state prison (length varies based on the specific drug and quantity involved)
- Fines (the amount varies)
It’s important to note that California has implemented certain reforms and alternative sentencing options for some drug offenses. These options aim to prioritize treatment and rehabilitation over incarceration. Depending on the circumstances, individuals charged with drug possession may be eligible for diversion programs, drug courts, or probation that includes mandatory drug treatment programs.
Additionally, the penalties for drug possession can be more severe if the possession is linked to intent to sell or distribute drugs, involves certain controlled substances, or if there are aggravating factors such as prior convictions or possession near schools or parks.
Defenses to California Drug Crimes
Being arrested and charged with a drug offense does not automatically mean you are guilty. You are considered innocent until the government can provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to prove otherwise. There are several defenses available to drug crime charges that may lead to the dismissal of the case against you, an acquittal at trial, or a plea bargain with reduced charges.
One of the most prevalent defenses used in drug-related cases in Los Angeles is a motion to suppress physical evidence. This type of motion is submitted before trial and asks the court to exclude certain evidence from the proceedings because it was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights. In drug cases, the most common basis for filing a motion to suppress is unlawful traffic or pedestrian stops. Before a police officer can pull you over or stop you on the street, they must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion. If they cannot justify the stop, any evidence collected as a result may not be presented to the jury. When a motion to suppress is granted, the prosecution is left with no evidence, and they may have no choice but to drop the case.
Call a Los Angeles Drug Crimes Lawyer Today
Regardless of whether you’re charged with minor or major drug possession, it’s important to have the support of a skilled drug possession lawyer in Los Angeles. The attorney possesses extensive knowledge about the laws and regulations surrounding drug possession charges, such as those at Tabibnia Law Firm. Cyrus offer expert legal advice and representation to assist clients in navigating the legal system and reducing the impact of a drug possession charge. With the assistance of Los Angeles drug possession lawyer, clients can develop a robust defense strategy, negotiate plea bargains, or receive legal representation in court.
The skilled Los Angeles drug crimes legal expert at Tabibnia Law Firm is ready to help you fight your criminal drug charge in court and pursue the best possible result on your behalf. Mr. Cyrus has several cases showcasing his results and reviews. Please call him at (866) 713-2159 or contact us online to learn more.
Based on 28 reviews