Drug Possession Attorney in Atascadero, California
Being charged with drug possession in the United States can be stressful and overwhelming for you and your family. Police are aggressive in pursuing drug crime arrests, and prosecutors push for the harshest possible penalties. Drug possession comes with significant consequences, and if you are unaware of your rights and what is going on, this can be challenging to handle by yourself.
Because of the seriousness of these charges, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a credible California criminal defense attorney at 805 Law Group who can help you understand the charges, the available defenses, the possible plea bargains, and what to expect if you are convicted. Our legal team will closely examine your case to determine your legal options and then aggressively defend your rights to obtain the best possible outcome. We can help you to win your case. Call our law office now and schedule an initial consultation.
Why Do I Need a Drug Possession Lawyer in California?
In California, drug crimes are the most frequently prosecuted crimes on both state and federal levels. You could face years in jail, hefty fines, and a criminal record. Whether you face misdemeanor or felony drug charges, our reliable Atascadero drug crime lawyers at 805 Law Group are prepared to fight for your rights.
- Our law group handles a broad range of drug crime defense cases, including charges of drug possession, drug distribution, and drug trafficking.
- California prosecutors are motivated to secure convictions in drug crime cases. Our drug possession attorneys fight aggressively for your rights in the courtroom. We do not settle for guilty pleas.
- We have extensive trial experience and a record of success on both sides of state and federal drug cases.
- We pride ourselves on taking an assertive approach to protecting our clients’ rights.
- We have successfully represented clients arrested and accused of drug charges in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles, and the surrounding communities across San Luis Obispo County.
If you face drug possession charges in California, we are here to protect your freedom and your future. Contact our criminal defense law firm now to receive professional legal advice about your case.
What is Drug Possession?
Drug possession is the crime of willfully and knowingly possessing illegal substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. This is considered the most common drug-related offense in California. An individual can be charged with drug possession if they are found to have an illicit substance in their possession for personal use, distribution, sale, or another reason. California courts have held that a person can have either actual or constructive drug possession.
Actual possession means having the illegal drug in their physical possession or control at the time of discovery. An example of actual drug possession would be having the controlled substance directly in one hand or pocket.
Constructive drug possession means that the individual has access to and control over the drugs, even if they may not be holding onto them at the time of the arrest. The theory of constructive possession is often used when illegal drugs are found in a car during a traffic stop or when a man keeps drugs in a cabinet in his home.
If you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with a drug crime like possession of a controlled substance, it is crucial to consult our skilled Atascadero CA drug possession attorney, who can help you understand the nature of your charges.
What are the Forms of Drug Possession Charges?
Drug possession charges generally fall into two main categories – simple possession (for personal use) and possession with intent to distribute. Charges for drug possession are grave and can be made even more severe if determined that there was an intent to sell them. A knowledgeable Atascadero drug possession lawyer can help you know the differences between these charges.
Simple possession means knowingly holding, carrying, or knowing the location of a controlled substance. In this case, it is assumed the drugs are intended for personal use.
Possession with Intent to Distribute
Possession with intent to distribute can be charged if the defendant is proven to have the intent to sell, transfer, deliver, or distribute the controlled substance in their possession. This drug charge is usually based on the number of drugs possessed—generally when the amount is too large for personal use. Although the intent to sell could be hard to prove, intent must be proven by circumstantial evidence.
What are the Possible Penalties for Drug Possession in California?
Drug possession charges are subject to an incredibly vast range of penalties. In California, the possession of a controlled substance is usually charged as a felony and convicted accordingly. Penalties for these charges often vary depending on the specific type of drug involved, how much they have on them at the time of the arrest, and the criminal history of the person possessing the drugs. If you are facing drug possession charges, you must work with a qualified Atascadero drug possession lawyer who can help you fight and avoid the harshest penalties.
Most drug possession convictions result in hefty fines. These can range from minor fines of $100 or less to significant fines of $100,000 or more.
A person convicted of drug possession can be punished with jail time. The length of the prison sentence may vary depending on the state laws, the nature of the charges, and the type of drugs involved. In most cases, it ranges from a few days, weeks, or up to 10 years or more.
Probation is an alternative to serving time in jail for a criminal charge. However, the probationer must comply with all of the probation conditions. Probation sentences may be given in drug possession cases and be included with other penalties such as fines, jail time, and rehabilitation.
Similar to probation, diversion programs are regularly used in first-offender drug possession cases. With diversion, the drug offender will be allowed to enter into behavior modification and counseling programs, which require the offender to strictly follow specific terms for a certain period. The prosecutor might agree to drop the drug charges if the diversion program was completed.
In most states, the courts are allowed to sentence a drug offender to a drug treatment program or rehabilitation instead of a prison sentence. Rehabilitation is sometimes required in probation sentences.
What are the Potential Defenses Against Drug Possession Charges in California?
Building a successful defense against state and federal drug possession charges requires specialized knowledge and skills. If you’ve been charged with possession of illegal drugs, there are several ways that our trusted Atascadero drug possession lawyer will be able to help you fight the charges. Here are some common defenses for drug possession.
Drugs Belong to Someone Else
One of the common defenses against a drug possession charge is to argue that the drugs found do not belong to you. For instance, if a police officer pulled you over and found drugs in your car that belonged to your friend or another person, you may argue that you did not know the drugs were there.
Illegal Search and Seizure
Your charges will likely be dismissed if the drugs were seized and searched for illegally. If authorities find evidence through illegal means obtained in violation of your rights, the court will exclude that evidence at trial, thus weakening the prosecutor’s case against you.
Crime Lab Analysis
Just because it looks like cocaine does not mean it necessarily is. The prosecution must prove that a seized controlled substance is an illicit drug by sending the evidence to a crime lab for analysis. The defense can require the crime lab analyst to testify at trial if there are issues.
Entrapment occurs when authorities induce a suspect to commit a crime they otherwise would not have committed. When law enforcement officials go so far as to harass or threaten you into committing a drug crime, entrapment might be a possible defense.
Call Our Competent Atascadero Drug Possession Lawyer Now!
Facing drug possession charges in California can be a frightening experience for anyone. A conviction can carry grave penalties and negatively impact your future. If you’re caught in possession of a controlled substance, consulting an experienced Atascadero drug possession attorney at 805 Law Group can help you better understand what to expect from your case and prepare an effective defense to fight the charges.
Our criminal defense law firm can help you deal with your drug-related charges, providing sound legal advice and strategic defense to your case. We will do everything in our power to get your charges reduced or dropped. You can depend on us to help you get through your case and protect your rights. Contact us now, and schedule an initial consultation to learn more about your legal options.