Being caught with drugs in your possession is no small matter. Even the most minor drug charge can result in fines and jail time, and the record of your conviction can follow you around for the rest of your life. However, a drug possession lawyer in Tustin can work to reduce your charge or even get it dismissed altogether.
The criminal defense attorneys at Simmrin Law Group understand your situation and want to help. Our team has years of experience with California drug laws, and we know how to negotiate a better deal for you.
Drug Possession Laws in California
In California, the technical name for drug possession is “possession of a controlled substance.” According to California Health & Safety Code (CHSC) § 13350(a), possessing a controlled substance is a misdemeanor. Controlled substances can include illicit drugs as well as unprescribed medications.
Controlled substances are usually broken up by “schedules,” and the schedule of drugs you are in possession of could affect your sentencing. The different schedules of drugs in the U.S. are:
- Schedule I: Drugs with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, such as heroin, marijuana, cocaine, or ecstasy.
- Schedule II: Drugs with a high potential for abuse, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Adderall, or fentanyl.
- Schedule III: Drugs with a moderate potential for abuse and dependence, such as testosterone, medications with low levels of codeine, or ketamine.
- Schedule IV: Drugs with a low potential for abuse and dependence, such as Xanax, Ambien, or Valium.
- Schedule V: Drugs with very low potential for abuse that have limited quantities of narcotics, such as Robitussin, Motofen, or Lyrica.
In addition to possessing the drug, the prosecution also has to prove that you were aware that you were in possession, you were aware that it is a controlled substance, and that it was a usable amount. If any of these are not true in your case, you are not guilty of drug possession.
For a free legal consultation with a drug possession lawyer serving Tustin, call (310) 896-2723
Can You Be Arrested for Marijuana in Tustin?
Marijuana makes California drug laws a little more complicated because of CHSC § 11357, which sets the drug apart from other controlled substances. According to the statute, people over the age of 21 can have up to 28.5 grams of dried marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis (hashish).
That doesn’t mean marijuana is totally legal. Your employer can still keep you from bringing it to work, and you can’t smoke it in public or while driving. If you’ve been arrested for a marijuana-related offense in California, one of our Tustin drug possession attorneys could be able to get your charges reduced or dropped.
Tustin Drug Possession Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
What Is the Difference Between Possession and Possession for Sale in California?
Drug possession with intent to sell is a more serious crime than simple possession, and it carries harsher penalties. However, it’s often hard to distinguish the two, as someone who has a drug with the intent to use it versus sell it often looks exactly the same. Prosecutors must have indisputable evidence that you intended to sell if they want to pin you with the charge.
A drug possession lawyer in Tustin could be able to argue your charge down from possession with intent to sell to simple drug possession. We can defend you and make sure you don’t get charged with something that you don’t deserve.
Penalties for Drug Possession in California
The penalties that you face for drug possession in California depend on the schedule of the drug, as well as how much of it you were in possession of. In a simple possession case, you could face harsh penalties such as:
- Up to a year of jail time
- Fines of up to $1,000
These punishments can create huge problems for you and those close to you. In addition to the fines and jail time, your drug charge will stay on your criminal record. When you apply for a job or a loan, people can see that you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, which makes them less likely to give you a chance.
If you’ve been charged with a serious felony or a sex crime, there’s a chance that your drug possession charge could be elevated to a felony. In that case, you could face much higher penalties, including up to three years in prison. If that happens, a criminal defense lawyer could be able to reduce your charge back down to a misdemeanor.
Drug Diversion Programs
A common penalty – or, rather, an alternative sentencing – of a drug possession charge is taking a drug diversion program. These are programs assigned by drug courts to people arrested for nonviolent drug offenses. Drug diversion programs are often used to help offenders avoid jail time.
Our criminal defense team will go through any avenue possible to help you avoid harsh penalties for your minor drug crime, including diversion programs in Orange County. At your initial consultation with our team, we will tell you if you’re likely to qualify for one of these programs.
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How a Drug Possession Lawyer in Tustin Can Resolve Your Case
There are certain defenses that your drug possession lawyer may use to get your charges reduced or even convince the court to dismiss your case. Common defenses for drug possession include:
- You were not aware that you had controlled substances in your possession
- You were not aware that the substances were illegal drugs
- The drugs in your possession were somebody else’s
- You did not have a usable amount of drugs in your possession
- You were prescribed the substances in your possession
- The search and seizure of your substances were illegal
Your Tustin drug possession attorney may also negotiate with the prosecution to lower your sentence so that you don’t have to face jail time or high fines. Our team knows how to leverage everything at our disposal to convince the court that you don’t deserve the penalties that you’re facing.
Talk to a Tustin Drug Possession Attorney for Free
Even if your drug possession charge seems minor, you could still face consequences that affect you for the rest of your life. It’s better to pay lawyer fees than have to deal with exorbitant fines, prison time, and the burden of having a drug charge on your criminal record.
Tustin drug possession lawyers Simmrin Law Group want to help you move past your conviction. Contact us today to get a free consultation with a California criminal defense attorney.