The law defines drug possession as a criminal offense in which a person has one or more illegal narcotics in their possession for use, distribution, or sale. Southern California law enforcement, and prosecutorial agencies, pursue countless arrests for drug-related offenses and classify drug possession as either a misdemeanor or felony charge. The penalties for these cases can include payment of fines, probation, participation in a drug programs, community service, and/or a significant amount of jail or prison time. Sentences for narcotics offenses can include only a few of these consequences, or all of them depending on factors such as the severity of the offense, the criminal history of the defendant, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances about the defendant, or the crime committed.
The difference in consequences for a drug conviction can affect the rest of your life and often depend simply on how the court and prosecutor categorize the offense. Typical factors which the court and prosecutor consider include:
- the classification and quantity of drug possesse
- the intent of possession (evidence of sale or vs. personal use)
- the person's criminal background, including prior drug convictions
THE RIGHT ATTORNEY TO FIT THE CRIME
Anyone fighting a drug conviction needs to trust their defense. This means having an attorney with the experience and the knowledge to fight for you in court, combined with the compassion and individualized attention you need in order to be successful in your case. White Goldstein will provide you with such a defense.
Whether you are fighting the gray area (no “s)” of the law such as the intent elements involved in many drug allegations, or transportation and distribution charges, or whether you are dealing with the bold reality of narcotics or prescription addiction that may appear to be “legally” indefensible, you need an aggressive California criminal defense attorney to strategize a winning defense. Many people are wrongfully prosecuted, or receive unjust sentences because they were unable to fight for themselves, and/or their attorney's lacked the knowledge, or necessary skill and passion, to obtain the best possible outcome for their clients. Every client charged with a drug crime is as unique as the facts of and every case. At White Goldstein we cater our defense and our strategy to the specific needs of our clients, in addition to their cases.
The best defense for your case starts with a thorough investigation into all aspects of the arrest which means looking for any violations of constitutional rights, including unlawful search and seizure issues, obtaining statements without reading you your rights in violation of Miranda, lack of probable cause to stop or arrest you, and many other possible grounds for obtaining a dismissal.
California's criminal justice system prosecutes all drug crimes, including Cocaine, Methamphetamines, Ecstasy, Heroin, Hashish, LSD or Marijuana, and all other illegal drugs by unduly harsh standards. These alleged drug offenses and must be just as rigorously defended by a solid criminal defense team such as White Goldstein.
POINTS OF COMMON CONCERN IN DRUG CASES
In California, one cannot be convicted of a drug charges without establishing the person's awareness of the illegal substance in his or her possession. Possession may refer to not only what a person knowingly has in his or her “actual” physical possession but also to constructive possession based on a person's control over the area where the drug was found.
Drug charges are generally prosecuted in one of three ways: straight possession of narcotics, possession with intent to sell narcotics, and/or sales or transportation of narcotics. The prosecution tends to “overcharge” cases by including felony charges for sales of narcotics and for possession with intent to sell narcotics, even when the evidence does not support more than mere misdemeanor possession for personal use.
This is why it is so crucial to have an aggressive, experienced defense team who will fight to prevent the prosecution from getting away with such injustices and violations of your rights, and to make sure that all the charges which cannot be supported by the facts, or which were obtained unlawfully, are dismissed.
Two related issues which frequently arise in the context of drug cases are: (1) why a case may be charged as a felony instead of a misdemeanor; and (2) what defines an “intent to sell.” There is no simple answer to either of these questions. However, factors which the prosecutor considers in determining how to charge a case include: drug quantity, presence of other drug-related paraphernalia such as baggies, scale, pay-owe sheet, multiple cell phones, the location in which the arrest occurred, and the defendant's criminal history or lack thereof. The experienced attorneys at White Goldstein know how to strategize with you to address these common issues and to aggressively fight your case against any biased, or unjust law enforcement and/or prosecutor.
If you are facing drug charges then you need an experienced, and highly qualified attorney to fight for you. At White Goldstein we have successfully defended against countless drug allegations. Contact us at (877) 779-3946 so we can start building your defense today.