Orange County Drug Crimes Lawyer
Have you been charged or under investigation for a possible drug offense charge in California? Drug convictions can carry severe punishment both in state and federal court consisting of lengthy prison sentences. Even small amounts of illegal drugs can carry life changing consequences. Drug cases are very unique in that there are several different resolutions for every possible case which is why you need an experienced Orange County drug crimes lawyer to minimize the consequences in your case.
Overview of California Drug Charges
California has a history of the toughest drug laws in the United States. However, recent revisions in the law have lowered prison exposure and allowed sentencing judges greater discretion in ordering an appropriate sentence. In many cases, drug treatment programs, probation or conditional sentences are now options. Accordingly, you need an experienced and reputable drug defense attorney handling your matter to ensure you’re not subjected to great punishment than necessary.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Possession with the intent to Sell
- Manufacturing a Controlled Substance – HS 11379.6
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
Drug Charges in Federal Court
Federal crimes are drastically different that charges in California state court. All clients need to understand that the federal government has unlimited resources and when it comes to drug charges the deck is strongly stacked against them. Therefore, it is imperative that you retained an experienced federal crimes attorney to handle your matter. It is not uncommon for the government to charge our client with conspiracy and money laundering thereby expanding the scope of a client’s exposure. Accordingly, you need an attorney that will fully investigate the facts, file the appropriate motions, and expend the time and resources to fully representing your rights.
Federal drug charges ordinarily carry severe consequences because of the mandated mandatory minimum sentences. For instance, possessing cocaine with the intent to sell over 100 grams carries a mandatory minimum of five (5) years in federal prison. High exposure is usually dependent upon the dangerousness of the substance, the amount, and your prior criminal record. Other aggravating circumstances may be relevant that could drastically increase your sentence.
Complexity of Drug Cases
Drug charges are often underestimated especially by attorneys who do not represent client’s accused of drug offenses. Ordinarily, the government utilizes confidential informants in support of obtaining search warrants for home searches and telephone wire taps. This is especially true in cases where there are multiple persons and transactions occurring. Consequently, this requires a very specific analysis to determine whether the warrant contains sufficient probable cause to be issued in the first place. Furthermore, drug sentencing laws are extremely complex. Retaining an attorney who is familiar with the drug sentencing guidelines is essential to ensure you do not receive greater punishment than necessary. Attorneys who are unfamiliar with drug cases may unfortunately be doing a disservice to their clients.
Common 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.
- 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: The government ordinarily 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.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Drug Crimes Lawyer
Being charged with a drug crime can be particularly stressful if you feel you have been wrongly charged or that there are additional circumstances that must be considered. The Law Offices of John D. Rogers is here to help you and mount your defense against the government’s case. We have a proven track record of success in determining the best way to resolve drug cases. Contact us today to speak with a reputable and experienced Orange County drug crimes lawyer to discuss your options and guidance in the best way to move forward. We handle drug cases all throughout southern California including Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.