Drug Lawyer Santa Rosa CA
If you have been charged with any type of drug-related crime, you will benefit from speaking with an experienced drug lawyer. Call Johann Hall today to schedule your free half-hour consultation to discuss your charges and to get started defending your case right away.
Drug Possession Crimes
Under California law, there are two main categories of drug possession crimes. These categories are broken down into simple possession and possession with intent to sell. You can be charged with simple possession if you have a substance listed under the Health and Safety Code. If you possessed a large amount of the substance that could be considered more than just for your own personal use, you might have been charged with possession with intent to sell. Illegal substances under the Health and Safety Code include illegal drugs as well as prescription medication that is sold or distributed illegally without a prescription.
California’s Proposition 47
In 2014, California voters passed a new law which changed the sentencing structure for simple drug possession. Because of the new law, many charges for simple drug possession are punishable only as misdemeanors. Under this law, individuals who were currently serving time in prison for simple drug possession became able to petition the court for re-sentencing.
Adult Use of Marijuana Act – Proposition 64
In 2016, another new law regarding drug possession was passed in California. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act permitted adults aged 21 and over to purchase, possess, and consume an amount of marijuana up to 28.5 grams and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana legally in their own home or in a designated public establishment licensed for marijuana consumption.
Drug Distribution Crimes
While laws in California have lessened the seriousness of the crime of drug possession, the crime of drug distribution still carries with it serious penalties and consequences. If you have been charged with illegal sale or transport of drugs with an intent to distribute, the prosecutor must be able to prove a difference in your conduct from merely possessing the drugs for personal use. The prosecutor would seek to introduce any evidence that was found that could show you intended to sell or distribute the drugs, such as packaging materials, weapons, scales, or anything else that could help prove you were not in possession of the drug or drugs for your own personal use.
Drug Crimes Involving Minors
If a minor is involved in any way, there may be harsher penalties for the same crime than there would be without any involvement of a minor. The harsher sentences apply whether the charge is for directly selling an illegal substance to a minor, hiring a minor to sell the illegal substance, or whether the alleged sale just happened to occur within 1,000 feet of a school or other designated area for children.
The harsher sentence may result in three to nine years in state prison. If you are four or more years older than the minor involved, you may face a separate and additional one to three years in prison.
Penalties and Sentences for Drug Distribution Crimes
Transporting, transferring, importing, or selling controlled substances can result in felony sentencing for a period of three to five years. This sentence may be increased even further if transport from one county in California to a non-contiguous county is proven.
Defenses to Drug-Related Crimes
Your lawyer will be able to discuss the unique facts of your case with you and help you cultivate a defense for your case to present in court. One of the most common defenses for drug-related selling or distribution crimes in California is the defense that you were only in possession of the drug for personal use. It will be the prosecutor’s responsibility to prove to the court that you intended to sell or distribute the drug, and they may be unable to do so. Another possible defense is entrapment. You may be able to defend your case on the basis that the arresting officer tricked you into committing a crime. Your lawyer will help you decide the best defense or defenses to use in your case.