Protecting Your Record From Drug Charges
While California may have legalized marijuana, the state still takes drug crimes seriously. The legal and incidental consequences of charges related to drugs like meth, prescription drugs, cocaine and heroin can follow someone for a lifetime. With so much at stake in these cases, you should do everything possible to keep your criminal record clear of drug charges.
I am criminal defense attorney Action Lavitch, and at my office of Action Defense Law, APLC, I am proud to fight against all manner of criminal charges for the people of Los Angeles and Orange County. As a former public defender, I know what a conviction can mean for someone, which is why I do everything possible to protect my clients.
Seek Answers To These California Drug Crime FAQs
Facing drug crimes in California can be scary. You may have many questions about your charge, how to proceed and other factors. Here are some of the questions we hear the most from our clients:
What does the government need to prove drug possession?
Numerous factors state prosecutors will need to address to prove you guilty of drug possession. In California, a prosecutor typically needs to prove that:
- The substance you possess is illegal.
- You know it’s illegal but possess it anyways.
- You had intentions of taking the illegal substance.
- You possessed an illegal amount of the substance.
How prosecutors can prove, this can depend on a lot of factors. We understand that your circumstances are unique to you, as well as the charges you face. We can help you evaluate your situation and help you create a tailored defense strategy that keeps your best interests in mind.
What are the categories of drug possession?
In California, there are two categories of drug possession charges you can face, those include:
- Simple possession: When an individual has an illegal substance but does not intend to sell or distribute it.
- Possession with the intent to sell: When an individual has a drug and intends to sell it for profit or exchange it for services.
Both of these types of drug charges can come with stringent penalties if you’re found guilty. We can help you understand the consequences of these charges and vigorously fight for your rights.
What is a controlled substance?
A controlled substance is a drug that is heavily regulated. Some controlled substances are illegal, while others are not. Some controlled substances may require a prescription to obtain. While they are legal to have in your possession, selling them to someone else is illegal.
What are the controlled substance schedules?
There are two schedules of controlled substances: Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. Here is a breakdown of what they include:
- Schedule 1 controlled substances: Crack/cocaine, heroin, PCP, LSD, meth, marijuana
- Schedule 2 controlled substances: Stimulants, morphine, codeine, oxycodone
Most Schedule 1 controlled substances are illegal, but not all Schedule 2 controlled substances are.
What is drug trafficking?
Drug trafficking is selling, moving, distributing or importing illegal substances. It’s a federal crime and is subject to federal penalties, which can be much stricter than those in California.
When does a drug crime become a federal crime?
Any time that drugs cross the state line, your drug charge can become a federal crime. That includes buying, selling, distributing or trading drugs.
What A Conviction Can Do To You
There are differences between felony and misdemeanor charges. When a crime crosses state lines, such as by transporting drugs to a different state, or the amount of drugs someone has in their passion exceeds a specific amount (which varies depending on the drug), the charges will escalate from a misdemeanor to a felony.
A felony conviction can mean going to prison instead of jail time, remaining incarcerated for a longer amount of time, higher fines, and even loss of rights such as the right to vote or own a gun.
When you come to my office for help, I will take the time to help you by reviewing the specific details of your case and exploring opportunities for defenses such as:
- Police error
- The drugs belonged to someone else
- Lack of sufficient evidence
- Proving the substance in question is not an illegal drug
Every case is unique, which is why I do not provide my clients with a “cookie cutter” representation strategy. I am as committed to seeing you beat your charges as you are, and I am prepared to craft a strategy based on your needs.
Start Building Your Defense Today
If you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges, now is the time to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Call me at 213-723-1556 or email me here to schedule your initial consultation and take the first step in protecting your future.