In California, drug charges are typical within the court system. Unfortunately, anyone can fall victim to being arrested for an unnecessary drug charge subjecting them to potential jail time. The charges stem from all sorts of incidences from a bag of cocaine left in your car, to being arrested in the street with a bag of marijuana in your pocket, or you inadvertently arrested after being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
With California’s passing of Proposition 47, all simple possession drug offenses are misdemeanor offenses. Consequently, if one is convicted of possession of a controlled substance, they face a maximum sentence of one year in the county jail, along with probation supervision, and fines.
However, certain drug offenses other than simple possession can carry substantial consequences. For instance, a conviction for possession of a controlled substance requires a minimum term of 16 months in state prison.
Drug offenses can be more complex than one would think. Often times, police gain a search warrant to search a home and discover narcotics. In that instance, the validity of the search warrant must be carefully analyzed to determine if the judge properly issued it or the police officer deliberately lied to the court to gain the search warrant. In addition, search warrants are usually supported with an affidavit from a confidential informant which also requires careful examination to determine if the informant was credible enough with their statements to police officers.
Los Angeles Drugs Crimes Attorney John Rogers has extensive experience with drug crimes all over Southern California. Mr. Rogers has successfully represented clients accused of numerous degrees of drugs crimes achieve successful results. Mr. Rogers has developed rare, unique, and extensive experience in his analysis of search and seizure issues. He understands the impact a drug conviction can have on an individual’s life and strives to achieve the best possible result for each client. The best approach to defeating a drug charge is early intervening by a criminal defense attorney. Contact John Rogers immediately. Mr. Rogers is available 7 days per week.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale
- Transportation of a Controlled Substance
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
- Manufacturing a Controlled Substance
Legal Defenses to Drug Charges
- Unlawful Search & Seizure: You have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures from the police. In the event the Police violated your Fourth Amendment right, your attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence – i.e., substance. If the court grants the suppression motion, the substance cannot be used as evidence and the prosecutor will be unable to proceed with the case against you.
- Useable Amount: In order for someone to be found guilty of a drug possession or sales charge, the substance must be a useable quantity. Mere residue will not suffice.
- “Possession”: Establishing possession can be more burdensome than some would think. There are two types of “possession” – actual and constructive possession. The challenge of prosecuting someone if the substance was not discovered on their person becomes burdensome because the prosecutor must find additional evidence to connect the accused to the drugs. For instance, cocaine was found within a drawer in a shared bedroom.
- Lack of Knowledge: If someone does not know they’re in possession of a substance or paraphernalia, then they are not guilty of a drug offense. For instance, a friend left a cocaine in the backseat of your vehicle without your knowledge that the cocaine was even their and or your friend was even carrying cocaine in the first place.
- Lack of Sales: Often times prosecutors attempt justify sales charges when in reality the amount was consistent with personal use. If one is arrested without any evidence of pay-owe sheets or scales, the burden of proving possession with the intent to sell is more burdensome for a prosecutor.
- Police Officers Lying / Planting Evidence: Unfortunately there are instances where police officers fabricate evidence by planting drugs in an effort to help them in a separate unrelated crime. Additionally, a police officers may lie in regards to “consent” to search your persons, vehicle, or home. There are a number of remedies available to a person to assist in exposing the police officers in their fabrications.
- Miranda Rights Violation: Although police officers need not always read a suspect their Miranda rights, at times they must if 1) you are “in custody” and 2) you are being interrogated. If you give incriminating statements to police officers, your attorney can move to suppress the statement from being admissible against you.
Common Types of Controlled Substances
- Concentrated Cannabis
- Psilocybin Mushrooms
Don’t Talk to Police Officers
One should avoid talk with police officers at all costs. Most of the time, police officers attempt to look friendly and on your side, however that is never the case. If you are under investigation, police officers do not attempt to “help” you but rather engage in a fishing expedition to get you to make incriminating statements to prove possession or sales. For example, if you were detained for possession of cocaine and the police officer asks, “Just be honest with me, what are you doing with this cocaine?” If you respond “I sell to my close friends sometimes,” the simple misdemeanor possession now becomes a straight felony sales case requiring you to post bail and face time in state prison.
In November 2014, California’s Proposition 47 passed degrading certain drug offenses to misdemeanors. The decision was retroactive allowing any individuals to seek reduction or resentencing unless they have a prior sex offense or were convicted of a “super strike” offense. In sum, simple possession of a controlled substance is now a misdemeanor but Proposition 47 is not applicable to any sales conviction. The Law Offices of John D. Rogers works with clients to reduce their prior convictions to misdemeanors allowing them to restore most of their civic rights.
Free Los Angeles Drug Crimes Attorney Consultation
If you have been arrested, charged, or under investigation for any drug charges, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney John Rogers at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers immediately. Mr. Rogers is located at 1801 Century Park East, 24th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067. Call 877-888-9820 for a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.