Drug crimes in California involve the possession, manufacturing, sale, transporting, money laundering, drug trafficking, and distributing an unlawful narcotic. Drug offenses are the unlawful use or possession of the following narcotics: marijuana, cocaine in its base form (crack), methamphetamine (speed), heroin, LSD, cocaine, PCP, ecstasy, as well as unauthorized use, possession or sale of prescription drugs such as Vicodin or OxyContin.
California leads the United States with drug prosecutions. Drug possession can be an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony depending on the type and amount of drugs that you possess whether the drug is possessed for personal use or for sale, and the past criminal record of the accused. When possession is tied with the sale or cultivation of drugs or other criminal intentions (possession with intent to distribute), the penalties are much harsher and are categorized as felony drug crimes. If a person is convicted of a crime, drug crimes will be used to enhance future sentencing.
The penalties of a conviction can lead to the following:
Possession of a Controlled Substance – It is illegal to possess a controlled substance without a valid prescription. The list of controlled substances includes, but is not limited to, opiates, heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs.
To be convicted of a possession of a controlled substance it must proven that you:
Possession of Cocaine and Heroin – It is a felony to possess controlled drugs such as cocaine and heroin with intent to sell them. There is a significant difference between simple possession and possession with the intent to sell.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer, like those at The Law Men, may be able to get the court to reduce the charge to simple possession. If successful, then you could be eligible for a drug diversion program. Successful completion of this program can lead to a dismissal of all charges and no criminal record. However, if you are prosecuted and convicted of this crime, you are not legally eligible for any drug diversion program and would face jail time.
Possession of Marijuana – This could lead to either a misdemeanor conviction or felony depending on the amount of the possession and it there was intent to sell the marijuana. A number of people use marijuana for pain management and other medical purposes.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – It is illegal to possess any device, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance.
The term “paraphernalia” refers to any object or device used to inhale, smoke, ingest, inject, or consume a controlled substance. Items such as pipes or spoons can be considered paraphernalia if they are used for illegal drug use. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor.
Possession of Methamphetamine – A person can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug crime, depending on prior criminal history and the amount of meth found.
Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance – It is illegal to sell, administer, give away, or transport a controlled substance in the state of California.
Punishment can increase dramatically if you:
Nonviolent, first-time drug offenders charged with simple possession may be eligible for drug diversion programs as an alternative to jail time. Under a Deferred Entry of Judgment, a defendant pleads guilty to a simple drug possession charge. The drug crime sentencing will be delayed pending the defendant’s completion of the drug treatment program. If the treatment program is successfully completed, the charge will be dismissed. However, if the defendant fails to complete the program, the defendant will be sentenced on the drug possession charge and face a jail sentence.
Drug crimes are serious offenses in California. A drug crime conviction can have a negative impact on your employment, finances, and personal life. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced attorney who will fight for your rights. The Law Men will provide you with a vigorous and caring defense.