Beverly Hills Drug Crime Attorney
Drug Possession in California
The state of California incarcerates more individuals for drug offenses than almost any other state. If you were accused of drug possession, then you may be facing serious penalties. The severity of the consequences will depend on the amount and type of drug that you were charged with possessing.
The government considers Schedule I drugs like LSD and heroin to be most dangerous and therefore impose the harshest penalties for possession of these. Schedule II drugs are also high risk, but may be used for medical reasons, so they are not considered to be as dangerous. This classification includes drugs like opium, meth, and cocaine. Schedule III includes drugs with a moderate risk of abuse, such as steroids, ketamine, and depressants. Schedule IV has some risks, but are often used for medical purposes. Schedule V has the lowest associated risks and includes over-the-counter drugs with codeine.
If you have been caught with an illegal substance, then a Beverly Hills criminal defense lawyer from The Law Office of Peter Berlin is ready to defend you! We have successfully represented many different types of drug crime cases, resulting in the reduction or dismissal of the charges against our clients.
Charges and Penalties for Drug Possession
Usually, drug possession is charged as a felony, unless the drug is low risk. In that case, the drug could be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, which is known as a wobbler offense. A prosecution may decide the charges by your past criminal history and the evidence against you.
A misdemeanor may be punishable by a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Those charged with a felony may face up to three years in jail or probation. It is important to note that for non-citizens, a drug conviction could mean risk of deportation or denial of naturalization. A competent lawyer may be able to secure an alternative to incarceration. These include the following:
Drug Court: a drug diversion program for first-time offenders that aims to reduce recurring drug use by rehabilitating offenders instead of sending them to jail. Participants go through a 12 step program that includes counseling, drug education, attending court sessions, and random drug testing.
Proposition 36: an initiative that allows drug offenders to go through rehabilitation instead of incarceration. Once participants successfully complete drug rehab, then they may petition the court to dismiss their drug conviction.
To enter into one of these programs, the state of California has put out specific eligibility requirements. Talk to a member of our legal team to see if your case qualifies for an alternative sentencing.
Our lawyers can defend you!
If you have been charged with drug possession, then realize that you have options! Our Beverly Hills drug crime lawyers have a number of effective legal strategies that we can use for your advantage. We may be able to show that you had a valid reason for possessing the drugs, such as a prescription. Our legal team may also be able to prove that you didn’t knowingly possess the substance, but it belonged to someone else. If the police did not have a warrant to search your property, then our lawyers can attempt to suppress the evidence by citing an illegal search and seizure.
Contact our firm as soon as you can to get your free case evaluation! We are available 24/7.