What Are The Common Drug Offenses That Your Firm Typically Handles?
My firm typically handles a variety of different common drug offenses. The lowest level offense is typically a charge called Under the Influence of “simple possession”. It is typically when someone possesses a small amount of an illegal drug one would utilize for personal use. The charges begin to escalate from there, and a common felony drug charge includes “possession for sale”. This is when someone possesses a larger amount of illegal drugs by either the sheer amount itself or the amount combined with other items that the police find such as scales, packaging, pay and owe sheets and large amounts of cash. These are items that indicate that drug sales are taking place. Along with drug sales, another felony drug charge would be “transportation” of drugs. Anyone who is caught driving with large amount of drugs can be charged with transportation. It is charged when larger amounts of drugs are being transported, usually in a motor vehicle.
All of those charges I just described are typically state charges handled in state court. The most serious of drug cases are those that are prosecuted in federal court. Generally, those involve very large amounts of illegal drugs that cross the international border, either from Mexico or Canada, or any other country for that matter. Drug “conspiracy” charges are also common in federal court. These are many times complex cases where numerous people are involved in terms of the distribution, purchase and re-sale of narcotics. These are very serious and many times involve a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison up to life in prison.
How Is A Drug Charge Determined To Either Be Considered A Misdemeanor Or A Felony Charge?
A drug charge is determined to either be considered a misdemeanor or a felony based on the specific charge. In California, simple possession, versus possession for sale, is now treated as a misdemeanor. Up until about a year ago, that charge was treated as a felony. It is a recent change in the law where simple possession of just about any type of narcotic, whether it is prescription drug or any illegal narcotic, is treated as a misdemeanor. Many times, we are able to get our clients enrolled in programs. Upon successful completion of the program, most time we can keep conviction off their record altogether. Charges involving possession for sale or for distribution or conspiracy are charged exclusively as felonies. With any felony in California presents the possibility of going to state prison.
What Is An Unlawful Controlled Substance Under Your State Laws?
The types of drugs that are determined to be illegal are defined by state and federal statute. They can include illegal narcotics, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and heroin, along with prescription drugs. Illegal prescription drugs typically consist of narcotic painkillers or certain drugs used to treat mental illness, like psychotropic drugs. These are all drugs that are regulated by the FDA and by federal law. The ones that are illegal to possess without a prescription are also listed in the statute and code sections themselves.
What Is Considered Possession, Sale Or Distribution And Intent To Distribute Unlawful Drugs?
Once again, the determination as to whether the appropriate case would be charged as possession for sales or for distribution depends upon the specific facts of an individual case. As I mentioned, some of the factors that will determine that someone is selling would be if other items are found along with the drugs. They find scales, packaging, baggies, and pay and owe sheets. “Pay and owe” sheets typically handwritten records or accountings of customers whom owe money for prior purchases of the drugs. A significant amount of cash being found is also a major indictor as to proving someone is selling drugs versus simply possessing them for their own personal use.
What Is Considered Drug Trafficking Under Your State Law?
Drug trafficking is a term that is typically used in federal cases. Most of the time trafficking relates to drugs that are being smuggled across international borders. It also would include transporting or selling drugs across or within state lines. Trafficking often involves more than one individual in order to be considered trafficking, which commonly leads to the conspiracy type of charges. When you see a case that is drug-trafficking, more often than not it is charged as a conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs.
For more information on Handling Drug Offenses In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (619) 383-2931 today.