Drug Offenses in California

Serving Clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Surrounding Areas

In California, it’s illegal to possess, manufacture, or sell illegal drugs or controlled substances. If you’re arrested for possession of illegal or prescription drugs, you could be facing harsh penalties that can have a long-term impact on your life.

Navigating the complexities of drug offenses requires expert guidance. Attorney of Counsel Melissa Fair with The Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel provides knowledge and support to individuals when facing drug-related allegations. With a focus on protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome, Attorney Fair is here to guide you through every step of the legal process.

Overview Of Drug Offenses In California

Drug charges in California may be classified as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the situation. Further, you could face charges in both state and federal courts if you’re charged with trafficking drugs or moving them across state lines.

Depending on several factors, you could face a misdemeanor or felony charge. The type of substance (from the state’s controlled substance schedule), quantity, whether law enforcement believes you intended to sell the drugs, and whether you were engaged in any other criminal activities can impact how the possession charge will be classified.

Types Of Drug Crimes

In California, drug charges typically fall into one of three categories: possession, possession with intent to sell, or manufacture and transportation (trafficking). One of the most common drug crimes is actual possession, meaning having drugs for personal use.

Other types of possession include:

  • Constructive Possession: Drugs are in an easily accessible location (not on your person), such as in a vehicle, in your home, or in a locker.   
  • Joint Possession: This occurs when drugs are in a shared space where multiple parties have access.

To get a conviction for drug possession, the state must prove that you had control over the substance, you knew about the substance, you knew the drug was illegal, and that you had enough quantity of the drug to use. More severe convictions like intent to sell or trafficking require even more evidence.

California Drug Laws And Penalties

California’s drug laws are comprehensive and address various aspects of drug offenses. Understanding the controlled substance schedules, sentencing guidelines, and potential penalties upon conviction is crucial.

Penalties for drug convictions can include fines, jail time, and a permanent criminal record. These can continue to impact you for the rest of your life, which is why it’s so important to consult with an attorney if you’re facing charges.

The type of drug has a significant impact on the penalties. For example, a simple possession of marijuana (under one ounce) is typically a misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine. California has five “schedules” of controlled substances, and each carries its own penalties.

Controlled Substance ScheduleExample Substances
Schedule IOpiates, cocaine, heroin, LSD
Schedule IIMorphine, raw opium, Vicodin, amphetamines
Schedule IIIKetamine, anabolic steroids
Schedule IVXanax, valium, diazepam, phentermine
Schedule VLomotil, codeine

Fight Drug Charges With A Skilled California Criminal Defense Attorney

In drug offense cases, the importance of legal representation cannot be overstated. A skilled criminal defense attorney is pivotal in guiding individuals through the legal process, building a robust defense, and advocating for the best possible outcome. Whether it involves negotiating plea deals, challenging evidence, or presenting compelling defenses in court, having an experienced attorney can significantly impact the trajectory of a drug case.

If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, contact Attorney of Counsel Melissa Fair at The Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel to discuss your case and start building your defense. Don’t leave your future up to chance.

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Drug Offenses in California
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