Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyer

Los Angeles drug possession lawyer

Are you on the wrong side of the law by being charged with drug possession? Possession of illegal drugs in California is a serious crime carrying heavy punishments. If you are caught or under investigation and facing a drug possession charge, do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles drug possession lawyer.

Whether you are facing misdemeanor marijuana possession, felony cocaine possession, or another kind of controlled substance, our criminal defense law firm can provide you with the quality representation you need. Our goal is to protect your rights and freedom while increasing your prospects of success at trial. Call us at (213) 999-8380 to schedule a free consultation.

Trusted Legal Assistance From an Experienced Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyer

Trusted legal assistance from an experienced drug possession lawyer

It is the mission of Olen Firm Criminal Defense Lawyers to defend the rights of those accused of the Los Angeles illegal drugs charge. We have represented clients who have faced charges—ranging from marijuana possession to drug trafficking. With over 11 years of experience as a Los Angeles drug possession lawyer, we have obtained favorable verdicts, dismissals, and settlements in many cases where people thought there was no defense.

At Olen Firm Criminal Defense Lawyers, we offer free consultations to discuss your rights, defenses, and options under the law. We can provide sound legal advice based on years of experience handling criminal cases like yours. With our help, you can get your well-deserved justice.

Understanding Drug Possession Charges According to California Drug Laws

Drug crime charges are serious. Understanding how drug possession charges work in California is crucial to avoid these. When you have a good idea of what to expect, you can work more effectively to defend yourself against these charges.

Marijuana Possession

Marijuana possession

Health and Safety Code 11357 is Los Angeles, California's most widely mentioned drug offense. Recently Proposition 64 modified the prohibition and punishment of marijuana-related activities.

To avoid being charged with marijuana possession, you must be at least 21 years or older and possess less than 28.5 grams.

The amount of marijuana reported, the defendant's age, and the facts surrounding the alleged possession all go into the punishment for illegal marijuana possession.

Illegal marijuana sales and transportation are crimes according to California Health and Safety Code 11360.

Every marijuana possession case is fact-specific, so building the strongest defense will take a close look at the specifics of your situation. Call us to discuss your case with one of our skilled Los Angeles drug criminal attorneys.

Possession of Cocaine

Possession of cocaine

Before Prop. 47, having a small amount of cocaine in Los Angeles is a crime. Today, possessing cocaine for personal use is a misdemeanor. Still, aggravating conditions like a severe past felony conviction or being a registered sex offender can increase the penalty to a felony.

Cocaine is one of the most addicting restricted narcotics, and if you get caught with it with a gun in Los Angeles, you'll get a harsher penalty. Despite a Los Angeles drug crimes attorney's ability to negotiate drug diversion, simple possession of cocaine carries the following sentences:

  • Up to 3 years in California State Prison (felony) or up to 1 year in the L.A. County Jail (misdemeanor).
  • A punishment of up to $1,000 (for a first offense) or $2,000 (2nd offense).
  • Formal or summary probation.
  • Labor/community service.
  • The court mandates drug education programs.
  • A criminal record.

Possession of cocaine with a loaded gun is a felony (HS 11370.1).

  • Up to 4 years in state prison in California.
  • Probation in writing.
  • Labor/community service.
  • The court mandates drug education programs.
  • Loss of ownership rights to firearms.
  • A criminal record.

Possession of Heroin

Possession of heroin

The California Uniform Controlled Substances Act classifies heroin as a Schedule 1 narcotic because of its severe misuse and dependence potential. Thus, heroin drug charges in Los Angeles, specifically HS 11351 possession or for sale, are aggressively prosecuted. Although in most instances, Prop. 47 lowered simple heroin possession from a felony narcotics crime to a misdemeanor. If you have a past aggravated felony or are a registered sex offender, prosecutors may still choose to prosecute you with a felony drug violation. Furthermore, as smoking accessories or hypodermic needles are frequently found alongside the controlled narcotic, many cases of heroin possession also involve a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia under HS 11364(a).

Fortunately, your criminal defense attorney can negotiate a drug diversion deal on your behalf. Sparing you from jail time and a criminal record, provided you meet the standards. Possession of heroin and paraphernalia are eligible for diversion in Los Angeles, California. But, possessing heroin with the intent to sell or distribute is not. If you are found guilty of simple heroin possession, you will suffer the following consequences:

  • Up to 3 years in California State Prison (felony) or up to 1 year in the L.A. County Jail (misdemeanor).
  • A punishment of up to $1,000 (for a first offense) or $2,000 (2nd offense).
  • Formal or summary probation.
  • Labor/community service.
  • The court mandates drug education programs.
  • A criminal record.

Possession of Meth

Possession of meth

Drug charges using Methamphetamine or "Meth" constitute a significant component of the narcotic offenses in Los Angeles. Methamphetamine is a Schedule 2 drug with a high potential for misuse and psychological and physical dependence. Meth possession is a "wobbler" drug violation that can either be a felony or a misdemeanor.

But, following Prop. 47's passing, most meth possession cases have been classified as misdemeanor drug crimes. Individuals with prior severe felonies or who are obliged to register as sex offenders can only be charged with felony meth possession. If you get detained for simple possession of meth for the first time, you qualify for a drug diversion program. It would spare you from jail time and a criminal record if completed successfully. If authorities found you in possession of meth, you could be subject to the following penalties:

  • Up to 3 years in California State Prison(felony) or up to 1 year in the L.A. County Jail (misdemeanor).
  • $1,000 maximum fine.
  • Formal or summary probation.
  • Labor/community service.
  • The court mandates drug education programs.
  • A criminal record.

Illegal Possession of Prescription drugs

Illegal possession of prescription drugs

The number of prescribed drugs that people abuse has increased. You could be charged with drug possession if you have any medication in your possession without a valid prescription. You'll most likely get charged with a misdemeanor for this violation. But, you can be charged with a felony if you've ever been convicted of a felony or if you're a registered sex offender. Possession of prescription drugs without a prescription carries the following penalties:

  • County jail time of one year for a misdemeanor. State jail sentence of up to three years for felonies.
  • $1,000 in maximum fines.
  • Community service.
  • Drug education programs mandated by the court.
  • Formal probation.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of drug paraphernalia

Possession of any paraphernalia, including pipes, bongs, cocaine spoons, and hypodermic needles, used for injecting or inhaling an illegal narcotic is a misdemeanor offense under California Health and Safety Code 11364.

A conviction carries a maximum term of 6 months in county jail, but it may be eligible for a sentence reduction under Proposition 36 or Penal Code 1000. The following are the elements of the offense of possessing drug paraphernalia:

  1. You had possession of the paraphernalia/device;
  2. You were aware of the paraphernalia/device; and
  3. You were aware that it was for illegal substances.

Possession of drug paraphernalia cases is contested by contesting the drug offense's essential elements. Our attorneys can contend that the item, although it appeared to be drug paraphernalia, actually wasn't and served a different purpose. Our attorneys might be able to make the case that the drug paraphernalia wasn't yours.

Drug Diversion Program in California for Drug Crimes

Drug diversion program

Some people detained and accused of drug possession may be dealing with addiction or substance abuse problems. These people receive help from the drug court system by being admitted to a diversion program. Instead of serving a jail sentence, a criminal can enroll in a program, and if they complete it, their charges will be dropped.

In California, there are 4 types of drug courts:

  • Pre-plea drug court model: The defendant may enroll in a court-mandated drug treatment program before pleading guilty to drug possession charges.
  • Post-plea drug court model: Following a guilty plea, the offender receives court-ordered and monitoring treatment. The program's duration ranges from 9 months to 3 years.
  • Post-adjudication drug court model: Instead of going to jail, a person who has committed several drug possession charges may enroll in a court-sanctioned drug treatment program.
  • Civil model: Usually used while resolving custody disputes. They can enroll in the program to regain or keep custody of their child.

Proven Defenses When Dealing With a Drug Possession Case

Proven defenses when dealing with a drug possession case

We typically use 6 defenses.

  1. Temporary possession: If you have the drug in your possession for a brief period. For instance, you received the substance from someone else to avoid being caught or discovered narcotics in your house after hosting a party.
  2. Unjustified search and seizure. This situation occurs when an officer searches your car without a warrant and takes everything he could use against you as evidence.
  3. No control or possession: At the time of your arrest, you lacked either power or possession of the substance. An illustration would be if the cops pull you over and your companion hides their drugs under the seat.
  4. Valid prescription: You have a valid prescription for the drug you were carrying when you got arrested. But, even with a legitimate prescription, you may still be charged with possession with the intent to sell if you have more than usual.
  5. Lack of awareness: Like the defense of no control or possession, except in this scenario, you were unaware that the substance was present. You may claim ignorance of its content. For example, if you were traveling with a friend and carrying their drug-filled suitcase for them.
  6. Absence of sale intent: You had no desire to distribute the narcotics. Instead, you held them for your benefit.

What if none of the above defenses apply?

In some instances, we will try our best to assist you in taking advantage of a drug diversion program or a deferred entry of judgment program. The program is open to most first-time misdemeanor possession offenders. Your charges will be dropped if you successfully finish the program. That indicates that you won't go to jail and won't have a criminal record.

Additionally, we can assist with serious felony matters. Schedule a consultation with our experienced criminal defense lawyer today.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Criminal defense lawyer

At the Olen Firm Criminal Defense Lawyers, we do more than save our clients from criminal charges and jail time. We are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients in and out of the courtroom. If you have been arrested for drug possession or have questions about any drug-related offense, contact us at (213) 999-8380 or use our chat box at the lower right of our website. We offer a free consultation with our Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyer. Schedule yours today!

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