Los Angeles Drug Crime Attorney
Using or carrying illegal drugs is a severe offense in both state law and federal law. Depending on the nature of the drug charges, the penalty for a drug offense can be serious.
Laws surrounding illegal drugs can also be applied for prescription drugs if not used properly.
The state of California established several laws for controlled substances. Facing criminal charges against a drug crime can be detrimental to a victim’s life.
If you are facing an alleged drug crime conviction, you would need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Our law firm has proven success in representing drug crime victims.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CALIFORNIA’S DRUG LAWS
In California, multiple laws govern the illegal movement of controlled substances. Drug trafficking or the illicit selling and possession of illegal drugs such as opiates and cocaine is a felony conviction in California. A convicted felon could face charges of up to $20,000 and up to four years jail time.
Illegal possession and selling of marijuana is also a punishable crime in California. Convicts caught trafficking illegal marijuana can face a jail time of up to three years in Los Angeles county jail.
Depending on the nature of the crime, drug possession charges are often considered a misdemeanor. An outlaw can face a one-year jail time in county jail and $1,000 charges.
The State of California also has drug diversion programs for non-violent drug charges. Under Penal Code 1000, outlaws convicted only for illegal drug possession charges can enter the drug diversion program.
These drug diversion programs are made to educate and treat violators instead of sending them to prison. An eligible convict will instead spend his dedicated jail time in the diversion program. A drug diversion program is also known as a pretrial diversion program.
MOST COMMON DRUG CRIME CASES IN LOS ANGELES
As mentioned above, there are different laws set for each drug crime. Listed below are the different regulations established by California to oversee the movement of illegal drugs.
California Health and Safety Code 11357 | Possession of Marijuana
California Health and Safety Code 11357 forbids the illegal possession of marijuana. The law states that adults aged 21 and over can have one pack or 28.5 grams of dried marijuana. These adults are also allowed to have 8 grams of concentrated cannabis or hashish.
However, this law does not allow minors below 18 years of age to possess marijuana. Possessing over the allowed 28.5 grams of dried marijuana is punishable by the law.
Punishments If Convicted of Possession of Marijuana
Marijuana possession case varies depending on the type of offense. The penalties for offenders aged below 18 years old are drug counseling and community service.
Offenders aged 21 and above have varying punishments depending on the nature of their drug crimes. Possession of more than the allowed 28.5 grams of dried marijuana or concentrated cannabis is punishable by up to six months jail time in county jail and a $500 fine. If the defendant is between 18 to 20 years old, they are charged with a $100 fine.
Drug offenders aged 18 and above caught possessing marijuana in a K-12 school are charged with a $250 fine for first-time offenders.
California Health and Safety Code 11350(a) | Possession of a Controlled Substance
California Health and Safety Code 11350(a) states that simple possession or possession of an illegal drug for personal use is a misdemeanor offense in California. Illicit possession of controlled drugs such as cocaine and heroin is punishable for up to one year in Los Angeles county jail. Defendants will also face penalty charges of up to $1,000.
Simple possession charges can lead to felony convictions if the offender has previous sex crime convictions or any existing felony drug charges. A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years jail time in county jail.
California Health and Safety Code 11351 | Drug Possession For Sale
California Health and Safety Code 11351 states that the distribution of controlled substances is punishable as a felony crime. The distribution or selling of controlled substances is a serious drug charge in the state.
This law covers the following street drugs and prescription drugs:
Illegal distribution and trafficking of controlled substances are punishable by up to three or four years by imprisonment in Los Angeles county jail. An outlaw may even have to pay the maximum fine of $20,000 depending on the severity of drug offenses.
California Health and Safety Code 11364 | Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
California Health and Safety Code 11364 makes it illegal to own or distribute tools to administer an illegal drug. Devices such as hypodermic needles and cocaine spoons are some of the most commonly used drug paraphernalia.
Violation of Health and Safety Code 11364 is considered a misdemeanor in California. This violation is punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a fine no lower than $1,000. Licensed professionals who are caught distributing or possessing drug paraphernalia can get their license revoked or suspended.
California Health and Safety Code 11358 | Cultivation of Marijuana
Health and Safety Code 11358 makes it illegal to cultivate marijuana if they do meet the minimum requirements. Under the law, marijuana cultivators should be aged 21 or older. They are only limited to growing six marijuana plants at most.
The six plant limitation is applicable for single private residences and shared residences. The grower must keep his plant indoors, invisible from the public’s eye. Unless there are local ordinances for marijuana cultivation, the grower must follow these rules.
Punishment for improper cultivation of marijuana differs for each case. If the grower is aged 18 to 20 years old, they are charged with infarction and will face a $100 fine. If a valid adult grows more than the allowed six plants, they are accused of a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges are punishable by imprisonment for six months and a $500 fine.
The law can impose felony charges for specific situations. Suppose the outlaw grows more than six plants in their private place and has existing felony charges or sex crimes. In that case, their violation can progress to a felony. A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000.
However, the law for medical marijuana cultivation is a bit different. People who use medical marijuana as a medicinal treatment with a doctor’s approval can legally grow the plant. Cultivators can grow six mature plants and 12 immature plants or as prescribed by the doctor.
California Health and Safety Code 11360 | Sale Or Transport of Marijuana
Health and Safety Code 11360 criminalizes selling and importing marijuana. California requires a valid license to control selling and importing marijuana in allowed amounts.
An unlicensed individual caught selling marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges have a punishment of six months maximum imprisonment and a $500 fine.
However, if the seller has past charges with sex or drug crimes, they can be indicted with felony convictions. A felony conviction is punishable by two, three, or four years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
California Health and Safety Code 11377(a) | Possession of Meth
Health and Safety Code 1137 section (a) governs the ruling about the illegal possession of methamphetamine. In most meth possession cases, the violator is charged with simple possession.
As stated above, simple possession crimes are charged with a misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to one-year imprisonment and a fine reaching $1,000.
If the outlaw has serious drug charges or sex crimes, their simple possession could progress to a felony. Felony crimes are punishable by one, two, or three years imprisonment.
Possession Of Prescription Drugs Without Prescription | BP 4060
Business and Professional Code 4060 oversees the rule about the illegal possession of prescription drugs. Due to the ease of access, prescription medicines are commonly abused. Anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Adderall are some of the most frequently misused drugs.
BP4060 makes it illegal to possess and use a prescription drug without a valid prescription issued by a healthcare provider. In most prescription drug cases, the illicit user can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony.
A misdemeanor charge is punishable by a maximum of one year in county jail and a $1000 fine. On the other hand, a felony charge is punishable by three years imprisonment in California State prison.
Other California Health and Safety Codes
Aside from the ones mentioned above, there are several laws established to target and manage drug crimes. The following laws are some of the regulations created by the state to target illegal drug sales and other drug offenses:
- Health and Safety Code 11370.9. This law covers money laundering involvement in drug sales. This law criminalizes the individual who changes the origin of money obtained from selling drugs.
- Health and Safety Code 11361. This law states that it is illegal to involve a minor in the illicit movement of drugs. This law also indicates that the state can punish adults who sell drugs to minors.
- Health and Safety Code 11379.6. This law prohibits the manufacturing of controlled substances. An individual or manufacturer of controlled substances can be charged with a felony conviction unless the law allows.
- Health and Safety Code 11173. This law illegalizes prescription fraud. Forging prescriptions to purchase restricted medications is punishable by state law.
WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF A DRUG CRIME?
Drug charges in California fall under two categories: misdemeanors and felonies.
Even if you are innocent, you may be charged with a misdemeanor if your case is not presented clearly. Misdemeanors result in jail time of up to a year, fines, and other consequences. They also can affect your child custody rights. You need to hire a criminal defense lawyer with the knowledge and understanding of your constitutional rights to assure you are not cornered into accepting a plea deal.
If you are guilty, it’s essential to present a strong case for exactly your intent and nothing more. Communicating the situation surrounding your charge clearly and credibly could be the difference between a dismissal and a conviction. With a felony, you could be required to serve several years in jail, pay thousands in fines, and disclose your conviction on work and housing applications in the future.
If you’re charged with a drug crime, the evidence against you may not even be valid in court; however, without a skilled attorney, you may never know, and your case may end with a drug conviction. With an experienced lawyer, you can investigate whether the search and seizure of the drugs were done according to state and constitutional law. Evidence not lawfully obtained by the police should not be admissible in your case. This is especially important if you are wrongfully accused of a drug crime; our Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will examine to see what “evidence” was presented and help you navigate the complex legal process.
Presenting your case clearly in court and fighting the constitutional grounds could be the difference between a felony resulting in a dismissal or a reduction to a misdemeanor. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you may be able to secure a dismissal, and you may even be able to have it removed from your public record several years from now – so that it would not affect your employment in the future.
When you’re seeking to be represented fairly for a drug crime accusation, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will help you present your case with strength and aggressiveness to assure the best result possible is obtained. Contact Hurwitz Law Group, Inc for more information on our LA defense lawyer and our services for those charged with drug crimes.
MOST COMMON DEFENSES AGAINST DRUG CRIME CHARGES
To prove a drug case valid, the opposing party must prove that the defendant is guilty of a drug crime. In turn, the defendant will need to defend his side to prevent criminal charges. Listed below are the best possible defense to use in a drug case.
- Lack of intent. Basically, an intention to use, own, or sell an illicit drug must be present. Lack of purpose or accidental possession of the prohibited drug is not a valid criminal act.
- They were improperly identified. In some cases, defendants are charged for hearsay. In this case, a charge is dropped if the prosecutor cannot correctly identify the defendant as an offender. This may be due to a lack of evidence or a vague description of the drug offender.
- Threatened to sell drugs. When a defendant is threatened to partake in the selling and possession of drugs, the court cannot immediately incriminate him. The doctrine of duress states that the defendant is not liable for any actions done due to imminent threat.
These are only examples of what a defendant can use when he is wrongly accused of drug crimes. Still, the best way to face this situation is by consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Skilled criminal defense lawyers will know the best defense strategy appropriate for your case.
WHY CHOOSE HURWITZ LAW GROUP FOR YOUR DRUG CRIME CHARGES
Drug crime charges will go down in your criminal history. You should seek the help of a reputable criminal defense law firm if you are improperly accused of drug crimes.
At Hurwitz Law, we have a long-standing background of successful client representation. Our Los Angeles drug crimes lawyer successfully minimized drug crime punishment to a diversion program or altogether dropped charges.
Our legal team offers top-notch quality service and representation. We fight for our clients because we believe in their rights and freedom.
TALK TO A LOS ANGELES DRUG CRIME LAWYER FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
Overcoming drug crimes is not an easy task for anyone. Our law firm understands the challenges you are going through, and we are always ready to help you in any possible way. All you need to do now is call us at (323) 287-9849 for a free initial consultation. Alternatively, you may also fill out this form.