Have You Been Charged For Possession Of Controlled Substance In California?
While some drugs are legalized in California, other drugs are prohibited and illegal. One of the most common drug charges in California has been the possession of a controlled substance. Anyone caught in possession of a controlled substance can either be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. But this depends on each case’s circumstances. It’s also illegal to be found in possession of instruments associated with drug use, such as cocaine pipes or syringes, even without any actual possession of drugs.
What Involves a Controlled Substance?
A drug becomes legal or illegal, depending on its use. Most of the controlled substance is used to treat ailments. However, their use must be prescribed to minimize danger to the individual and the community as a whole. That’s the reason why there are drug laws and drug crimes to govern how these drugs may be manufactured, used, and sold. Controlled substance cases may stem from:
- Manufacturing: If you are caught cultivating or manufacturing a controlled substance either in a lab or through any other process, you may be charged for the illegal creation of controlled substances. The punishment for manufacturing is challenging; a defendant may be subjected to five or even seven years in state prison. To be convicted of manufacturing, the prosecutor must be forced to prove the element of both possessing and intent to manufacture.
- Selling: Many cases involve people trying to sell these drugs to undercover officers. A defendant may be sentenced to three-year imprisonment or be subjected to steep fines in more severe offenses. Charges related to distribution or sale of controlled substance depends with:
- The type of drug and the amount being sold
- The defendant criminal history
- The location of distribution: If minor reside where the sale was happening, there may be additional fine.
- Possession: Possession may include simple possession or possession for personal use. If you are caught in possession without any valid prescription, you may be imprisoned for not more than a year in county jail. To be convicted, the court must prove that you:
- Knew and had an intention of possessing a controlled substance
- You were in possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription.
- The quantity in question was sufficient for business or personal use: If you were caught in possession of a smaller amount of drugs, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. The case may amount to felony where there is the possession of large amounts.
The charges related to controlled substances depend on the schedule for each drug. Typically there are five schedules that affect your case and determine the fines or penalties you can face for any conviction. If you have been arrested for possessing controlled substances, you can choose to hire San Diego’s criminal attorney to understand your situation and protect your legal rights.
It’s worth noting that you can be convicted even if you never had actual possession of the drugs. For instance, if the drugs were found in your car during a traffic stop, this is enough evidence. If you are a first offender, you may have your charges dismissed. Again, you may have your drug case reduced to a misdemeanor crime with the use of Proposition 47.
If you have been charged with simple possession of drugs, you may be subjected to a diversionary period, and when this period is over, your case will be dismissed. You can go with a clean record as if you have never been convicted of any crime. Also, you can also be subjected to probation, which may last up to 1 year or more to serve your sentence out of jail, and later have your records expunged.
How Do I Fight Possession Of A Controlled Substance Charge?
With legal help, the below defenses can help you contest your drug charge:
- A valid prescription for the controlled substance: For instance, if you were arrested in possession of Marijuana, you can claim that you used the drug for medication. But just because it has been legalized, employers are not supposed to accommodate medical or recreational use of marijuana. Therefore, if you were arrest due to a controlled substance in an employment context, you will face adverse legal action.
- Illegal search and seizure: Any search and seizure must be with probable cause. Every person is entitled to a right to privacy. Evidence related to possession of drug from unlawful search cannot be introduced in court.
- Entrapment: You may argue that you were forced to manufacture or sell a controlled substance by an officer. Such an act can be considered as an entrapment.
For any charge to start, it must involve possession. You will have an opportunity to defend your case. But the success will determine how well you provide evidence.
Getting Legal Help
As a defendant, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced criminal attorney who can explain the laws applicable to your case. Drug crimes in California are the most severe criminal offenses with which one can be charged. But you can protect your rights with the right legal representation.