It’s easy to get caught up in something while you’re trying to enjoy yourself or relax. One thing leads to another, however, and you’re being arrested for a drug crime. This can affect you for the rest of your life, stripping you of your voting rights, putting you in prison, and making it next to impossible to find a decent job.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you escape the life-altering consequences of your charges. Our drug crimes lawyers in Lakewood know what to look for in a case in order to reduce your sentence. In some cases, we may even be able to get your charges dropped entirely.
Is Possession of a Drug a Crime in Lakewood?
In many cases, possession of a drug is a crime in Lakewood. Specifically, the crime is possession of a controlled substance under California Health and Safety Code § 11350(a). In general, possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor in California, which is a less severe crime than a felony.
Physically having a controlled substance on you isn’t the only way that you can be arrested for possession, however. There are three common charges that the authorities can pin on you:
- Actual possession: You physically had the controlled substance in your possession, e.g., in your hand, pocket, or bag.
- Constructive possession: You had the controlled substance somewhere that you could easily access, like your house or your car.
- Joint possession: You and someone else share ownership of a drug and have it somewhere that you both could easily access.
There are certain defenses that a criminal defense attorney can use in a possession case that could get you out of certain repercussions. These could include:
- You were unaware of the drug’s presence
- The drugs were not yours
- You had a prescription for the substance
- Your arrest, search, or seizure was illegal
A skilled drug crimes lawyer in Lakewood will be able to leverage those defenses to your advantage. That way, the court may reduce or even drop your possession charge.
What Counts as a Controlled Substance?
Controlled substances aren’t just the common illegal drugs that come to mind like cocaine and heroin, although those are also controlled. Prescription drugs can also be controlled, and if you don’t have a prescription for the substance, then you can be arrested.
Marijuana also counts as a controlled substance in California, but the state treats it differently than other drugs. According to California’s Proposition 64 (2016), individuals above the age of 21 can possess one ounce of dried marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis, as well as up to six marijuana plants. That’s as long as they don’t intend to sell the marijuana.
If you have been arrested for a marijuana-related offense, a lawyer may be able to get your charge dropped.
For a free legal consultation with a drug crimes lawyer serving Lakewood, call (310) 896-2723
Common Categories of California Drug Crimes
In general, there are four types of drug crimes in California. The first is possession of a controlled substance, which we’ve already described. The other two categories are:
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
In California, it is illegal to possess a device or instrument used for illegally injecting or smoking a controlled substance, according to Health & Safety Code § 11364. This includes spoons meant for using cocaine.
If you’re charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a Lakewood drug crimes attorney can help you. We can argue that you were unaware that the object was paraphernalia or that it did not belong to you.
Possession With Intention to Sell, Manufacture, or Deliver
California Health and Safety Code § 11351 states that it is illegal to possess any controlled substance with the intent to sell it to someone else. It’s also illegal to buy a controlled substance with the intent to sell it. This is commonly known as drug trafficking, and it’s a more serious offense than simple possession.
A criminal defense attorney can argue that you possessed the drug with the intent to use it yourself, which could reduce your charge. Our team could also investigate your arrest and, if your search was unlawful, we may be able to get your charges thrown out altogether.
Lakewood Drug Crimes Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Penalties for Drug Crimes in Lakewood
The different categories of drug crimes in California carry different penalties, like possession, sale, and intent to distribute. Even within the different categories, your penalties could depend on the amount of the substance you had, what kind of drug you had, and any other crimes you were committing with the drugs in your possession.
For example, possession of drug paraphernalia can carry a sentence of up to six months in prison and a maximum $1,000 fine. However, if you were in possession of drugs or using drugs along with your paraphernalia, then you could be charged with other crimes as well.
Similarly, possession of a controlled substance is usually a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in prison. However, if you have any prior convictions, your charge could be increased to a felony depending on the circumstances.
Since possession with intent is a more serious crime, it has more serious repercussions. You can receive up to four years in state prison and the state can seize any possessions, including property, vehicles, and cash, that were associated with the sale of drugs.
Your penalties don’t have to be that harsh, though. A drug crimes attorney in Lakewood can collect evidence and negotiate with the prosecution to convince them that you deserve a reduced sentence. If you’re worried about the consequences that you could be facing, an initial consultation with a lawyer from the Simmrin Law Group can shine some light on your situation.
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Talk to a Lakewood Drug Crimes Attorney for Free
A drug conviction can ruin your job, your relationships, and your rights. With the help of a lawyer, however, you may be able to move on without having your life derailed. Our team has years of experience serving the citizens of California, and we know what to do to get you a reduced or dropped charge.
Lakewood drug crimes lawyers Simmrin Law Group want to represent you. Contact us today to get a free consultation and see what we can do for you.
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