Any person found in possession of controlled substances may be charged with drug offenses. A good defense attorney is necessary to navigate through the legal system and can help clients get the best possible outcome.
California health and safety code 11350 states that any person found in possession of a narcotic drug listed in sections B or C or the statute shall be subject to criminal prosecution unless that drug was prescribed by a doctor, dentist, podiatrist, or a veterinarian licensed to practice in the state.
Penalties for Possession of Drugs
For the state to sentence a person for possession of a controlled substance, they must prove that the person unlawfully possessed it without a medical prescription; that they knew it was a controlled substance; and they had enough of it to use. They should also be aware that the substance was present.
The Law Office Of Troy P. Owens, Jr warns that possession of drugs is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison or parole with mandatory drugs screening.
If a larger quantity of drug is found, they may be charged with possession with intent to sell (drug dealing). This is a felony and punishable by 16 months to four years imprisonment and a fine of up to $20,000.
Defenses for Drug Charges
The possible defenses a drug attorney could use include:
- The person had a valid prescription and was taking drugs for medicinal purposes
- The drugs belonged to someone else
- They didn’t know the drugs were there
- Someone else planted the drugs there
- The evidence against them was falsified
- A warrant was not obtained to search the property, making it an illegal search
- The drugs were purchased in a small amount for personal use (depending on the type of drug used)
- The drugs were only possessed momentarily
A drug defense lawyer can work with clients to establish their circumstances and build the best defense strategy possible to have them acquitted or to receive the lowest possible penalty.