What are the drug laws in California?
Possession of a controlled substance such as marijuana or cocaine is a crime punishable by up to a year of jail time. If caught with illegal substances with intent to sell, the offender will be charged under California Health and Safety Code 11351.
It’s important to note that your criminal defense attorney does not have to prove you traded drugs. The state may be able to convict you by using drug packaging, weighing scales, drug quantity, or informant remarks as evidence.
Also, drug raids and covert operations are frequently used to charge H&S Code 111352 offenders. California prohibits the sale, transport, and supply of illegal drugs. Manufacturing is the state’s most serious drug offense. Conspiracy to violate health or safety laws carries up to seven (7) years in prison.
Do I need a drug defense attorney to fight my case?
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, you need a California drug defense attorney fighting for your constitutional rights. Those convicted of these federal crimes may face significant prison sentences, loss of government benefits, or job loss.
The state’s case against you may need to be properly probed. An examination is frequently necessary to assess the probable cause for being arrested. A drug charge usually causes constitutional issues like unreasonable search and seizure or the right to remain silent. If you’ve recently been charged with drug possession, don’t speak to the cops. You might be sued for any comments you make regarding your arrest.
Reasons for drug defense against cop accusations
These are common mistakes made by narcotics officers:
- Disregard California’s search and seizure laws.
- Count on phony “private police informants”
- Set up suspects in violation of California entrapment rules
- To get around courts, leave out information while getting search warrants.
- Arrest people without any evidence that the narcotics belonged to them by lying in police reports.
Our drug defense attorneys know where to look for police misbehavior or blunders. We also know how to take advantage of their missteps.
We can frequently urge the criminal court to exclude particular evidence from the jury trial. If the court approves our request, the judge is likely to have the case dismissed.
Penalty for Drug Offenses
In California, possession of drugs for personal use (called simple possession) is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and community service. However, the charge can be elevated to a felony if you were convicted of a serious felony in the past.
In addition, California follows a three-strike program. A second offense raises the fine to $2,000, but a third offense for serious felonies is punishable by 25 years to life in prison.
Drug trafficking and possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell and distribute carry stricter penalties. A felony charge for these acts can lead to imprisonment of at least three to five years, or three to nine years in prison if the crime involved minors.
Being charged with drug offenses is a serious matter. If you or someone you know is facing drug charges, contact our office to speak with a criminal defense attorney today.
What can you expect if you commit a drug offense?
In this state, drug offenses can be categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Additionally, if there are aggravating circumstances surrounding your arrest, you may face federal drug charges.
Penalties for drug offenses vary
If you are convicted, whether or not you will have to serve time in jail or prison will depend on a variety of factors. The type of substance involved, if there are aggravating circumstances in your arrest (murder, robbery, burglary, assault, etc. ), whether you have past drug-related convictions, and other information are some of the considerations utilized in calculating the sentence.
The penalties that may be imposed on you will be determined by the facts of your case. While your arrest may have been comparable to another person’s drug-related arrest, the courts decide on punishment on a case-by-case basis. As a result, you could get:
- Counseling and therapy for drug abuse
- Time spent in jail or in a state prison
- Volunteering in the community
- Asset forfeiture is a term used to describe when a person’s assets are forfeited
What legal options do I have to defend myself against the charges?
To avoid going to jail, there are several defenses that you may use, such as:
- You had a doctor’s prescription to use medicinal marijuana.
- You were “set up” during the search and seizure violation entrapment.
- You were not the owner of the illegal drugs.
At the Law Offices of Andrew Dosa, we deal with a wide range of criminal drug matters, including:
- 11350 HS Controlled Substance Possession
Possession of narcotics such as crack, cocaine, heroin, ketamine, ecstasy, GHB (marijuana), and prescription medicines such as Codeine and Vicodin is a misdemeanor under California Health and Safety Code 11350. Possession of a controlled drug carries a maximum sentence of three (3) years in California state prison. You may be qualified for PC 1000 drug diversion or Proposition 36 options.
Also, Proposition 47 (November 2014) amended HS 11350. This was a felony before. Pre-existing felonies for drug possession may be eligible for re-sentencing as misdemeanors under Prop 47.
- 11351 HS Narcotic Possession for Sale
Possession of illicit substances with intent to sell is a criminal charge under H&S Code 11351. Because it is more serious than possession, it does not qualify for PPC 1000 or Proposition 36 alternatives.
District attorneys and the police will consider numerous variables when determining whether a suspect has narcotics for sale. Having numerous distinct baggies can indicate intent to sell, as can scales, empty baggies, firearms, or “large sums” of cash. As a result, those who simply have drugs for personal use can be charged under HS 11351.
Unreliable sources of blatant falsehoods are frequently used to obtain California search warrants. If our drug crimes defense attorneys can show that your search warrant was acquired improperly, we can have the evidence thrown out and the case dismissed.
- Code 11352 HS Trafficking in a Controlled Substance
Selling, supplying, administering, giving away, transporting, or importing an illicit substance into California is a crime. Drug busts sometimes begin with an undercover sting operation when a fake officer buys drugs. California’s entrapment laws protect the public against bad stings. If a sting violates entrapment regulations, the evidence collected might be thrown out.
Sometimes officers say they saw a narcotics trade through a security camera. So they get arrested for “selling drugs” when they were only buyers or bystanders.
- Code 11364 Paraphernalia Possession
Illegally injecting or smoking a restricted drug is a crime under Health & Safety Code 11364. Necessary items: bongs, pipes, and coke spoons.
A conviction for 11364 HS can result in up to six (6) months in county prison. For this infraction, a PC 1000 diversion program or Prop 36 options may be available. But cops frequently locate these gadgets after unlawful searches. If so, our lawyers can urge the court to dismiss the matter.
- 11379.6 HS Manufacturing Drugs & Narcotics
Manufacturing, processing, or creating restricted drugs is a crime under 11379.6 HS. In California, anyone may run a meth lab or make hashish from marijuana resin. To be charged with this violation, you must have started the production process. Gathering goods and planning to create narcotics does not constitute this felony.
In California, convictions for HS 11379.6 carry severe penalties. The sentence is up to seven (7) years in state prison and the incarceration time increases if substantial amounts of narcotics are involved, someone is killed or wounded, or minors are present nearby.
Intoxicated driving is prohibited under California Vehicle Code 23152(a). You can be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, whether or not they were prescribed to you. This offense is analogous to being under the influence of alcohol. Our attorneys can defend you against DUI charges with marijuana, Ambien, Vicodin, or Lunesta.
- California Marijuana Laws
Marijuana has proven medicinal and other advantages and is a safe drug. Unfortunately, growing, possessing, selling, or using marijuana in California is illegal. Proposition 215 merely added a few exclusions. Modest quantities of marijuana generally result in a small fine. However, marijuana possession is a serious crime in California and may cost you jail time.
Our lawyers have had great success lowering or dismissing marijuana charges. They may often get confiscated marijuana returned to clients if it was taken illegally.
Can An Alameda County Drug Defense Attorney Help Me?
It doesn’t matter what your circumstance is, our Alameda County drug defense attorney will do a case evaluation to determine your situation and defend you. Any decision to sign a plea deal or go to trial will be made after consulting with you beforehand. Plea-bargain can be a good option in some federal cases, but only if it is to your best advantage to do so.
The Law Offices of Andrew Dósa represents people accused of criminal offenses in Alameda County, California. If you are charged with a drug violation, you should contact legal counsel. Please call our California law firm or send us an email to discuss your case with an Alameda County drug defense trial lawyer.