In California, various regulations control how drug offenses are prosecuted and punished.
Possessing prohibited substances like cocaine, heroin, Vicodin, Oxycontin, or Xanax to sell them to others is a felony. Possession of prohibited drugs with the intent to sell carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a fine of $20,000.
If you are convicted of possession with the intent to sell, unlike possession laws, you are not eligible for drug diversion programs. Instead, you are automatically penalized with jail time.
Possessing marijuana to sell it to others is likewise illegal. You might face up to three years in county jail if convicted of this offense.
Prosecutors must prove that you had the intent to sell by demonstrating that you had “indicia of sale,” which includes:
- A large amount of cash (especially bills in small denominations)
- Small bags for packing the drugs
- Evidence that a lot of people were visiting you but only staying for a few minutes
- Vast quantities of the controlled substance that one person could not possibly consume,
However, in California, possession with the intent to sell is not the only drug felony that may be prosecuted. Possession of drugs is prohibited in California, even if you don’t intend to sell them.
In California, it is prohibited to have controlled substances in your possession, which is referred to as a felony. Controlled substances include illicit drugs and narcotics like LSD, heroin, and cocaine, as well as prescription medicines like Xanax, Valium, Oxycontin, and Vicodin that you unlawfully possess.
Possession of a controlled drug is usually considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county prison and a $1,000 fine. Instead of being sentenced to jail, you may be offered a drug diversion program, but this is not a certainty.
Although a restricted drug statute does not include methamphetamines, possessing them is prohibited. Any anabolic steroid, GHB, PCP, ketamine, and other stimulants are considered methamphetamines.
Simple possession of methamphetamines, defined as having the narcotics without the intent to sell them, is usually a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county prison and a fine of up to $1,000. If the narcotics were purely for your use, you might be qualified for a drug diversion program instead of jail time, but this isn’t a certainty.
Marijuana possession is likewise banned in California unless you are lawfully allowed to use it for therapeutic purposes. If you are caught with 28.5 grams or less of marijuana, you will be charged with an infraction and might face a fine of $100. If you have more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to six months in county jail as well as a $500 fine.
Possession of concentrated cannabis is either a crime or a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of having concentrated cannabis as a misdemeanor, you might face up to one year in county prison and a fine of $500. There is no fine if you are convicted of felony concentrated cannabis possession, but you might face up to three years in prison.
This is not a complete list of California’s drug laws. There are other more drug prohibitions in California, all of which have severe penalties that might affect you for the rest of your life. If you’ve been charged with a drug felony, you should speak with a professional drug possession attorney as soon as possible.
What is a Drug Possession Charge in California?
The quantity and weight of the substance in a person’s possession may impact the severity of a drug possession prosecution. It includes whether it is in amounts suggestive of sales or exceeds any regulatory limitations. Scales, baggies, ledgers, and accounting for drug transactions are other items that would be considered part of drug distribution.
The severity of a charge is also determined by the drugs a person has. Methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and even some pharmaceuticals held without a valid prescription or sold for unlawful reasons are frequently included in the most severe accusations.
Even though marijuana is technically legal in California at the state level, some marijuana-related activities might result in significant repercussions, such as attempting to transfer substantial quantities outside of the state.
What Are the Potential Penalties Upon Drug Possession Conviction?
In California, getting caught with illicit narcotics carries harsh consequences. Hefty penalties may be imposed in addition to jail time. Additional consequences restrict where an individual may travel, who they can see, and what kinds of drugs they can have in their possession.
Other probation terms and conditions, including search and seizure provisions and forfeiture of any money or byproducts from the illegal selling of drugs, may be attached to it. A drug possession conviction may significantly influence a person’s life. Simple drug possession is a misdemeanor, typically associated with fears and stigmas surrounding drug addiction and misuse.
Possession with intent to sell transforms a self-inflicted crime into an offense which impacts the entire community. Felony convictions can make it challenging to get work, and some can result in deportation, rejection of citizenship, and denial of readmission.
For persons charged with drug possession for the first time, diversion or alternative sentencing programs are available. The majority of drug offenses have diversion programs outlined in the law. Drug treatment programs, continuous counseling, and ongoing drug testing are standard collaborative efforts for drug offenders.
Many of them, if successful, result in the charges being dropped and the arrest for drug possession being sealed. A skilled drug possession attorney in California from Dosa Law may be able to help you reduce your drug possession charges.
What Are the Common Defenses for a Drug Possession Charge in California?
It’s a severe thing to be charged with drug possession. A skilled drug possession attorney, on the other hand, can assist you in determining a compelling defense that relates to your situation. A seasoned drug possession attorney from Dosa Law can employ the following typical defenses.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
If you were charged with unlawfully searching for drugs, your charges would most likely be dropped. For example, if a cop pulled you over for a traffic infraction opened your trunk without your consent, and discovered drugs, the evidence can’t be utilized.
Entrapment occurs when a police officer persuades a suspect to commit a crime they would not otherwise have committed. It is also considered entrapment when a police officer convinces someone to deliver drugs to someone else during a party.
Drugs Did Not Belong to Me
A drug possession attorney might utilize this as a defense if the drugs detected do not belong to you. For example, if a cop pulls you over and discovers narcotics in your car that belong to a buddy, you may claim that you had no idea they were there.
Drugs Were Planted
Unfortunately, police officers have been accused of planting drugs on people and then arresting them. If you feel this has occurred to you, your drug possession attorney can obtain a copy of the officer’s complaint file and interview the persons who have filed complaints accusing them of drug planting. However, remember that this defense may be challenging to establish because a police officer’s testimony carries a lot of weight.
Faulty Lab Analysis
When drugs are examined in a lab, every piece of equipment must be in working order. You may be able to question the correctness of the testing if there are any equipment failures.