Law Offices of Robert M. Bernstein Articles Drug Offenses Under California Law

Drug Offenses Under California Law

By Robert M. Bernstein  Oct. 9, 2010 5:20p

Drug possession laws vary depending on the type of drug and the amount. The state of California is known for having some of the strictest drug possession laws in the Nation. Having an illegal drug in your home, your car or on your person all fall under the category of "possession."

Misdemeanor or Felony?

In the state of California, possession of marijuana or drug related paraphernalia is a misdemeanor. Possession of any other drug outside of marijuana is usually charged as a felony. Being caught with drug related items and paraphernalia are misdemeanors.

Drug possession with intent to sell is a felony for all drugs, including marijuana. Drug trafficking is a felony offense. Even if an individual simply plays a part in the trafficking such as purchasing or selling, they can still be charged with a felony. Manufacturing drugs in any way, whether it is through a methamphetamine lab or growing marijuana plants is a felony offense.

Drug Offense Penalties

The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor drug offense is up to one year in jail and a $1000 fine. Felonies on the other hand come with much harsher sentencing. A California judge will take several factors into consideration when determining a felony sentence such as whether or not an individual was harmed or killed in the matter, whether or not children were present, minimum sentencing for the drug offense and if the accused has a prior criminal record.

Alternative Solutions

In the case of non-violent drug offenses, there are alternatives to lengthy prison sentences. The courts tend to focus on treatment and rehabilitation as opposed to imprisonment. This can avoid a felony on the individual's criminal record. In addition, due to Proposition 36, first and second time drug offenders can participate in a drug treatment program as opposed to serving jail time.

Get Help with Defense

If you or someone you know has been accused of a drug offense, a Los Angeles drug offense attorney at the Law Offices of Robert M. Bernstein can give you priceless insight into the various aspects of your case. We will examine and where necessary, challenge how evidence was obtained and if it was a violation of your fourth amendment rights which protect you from illegal search and seizure. We will also pursue all avenues possible in order to help maximize the chances of alternative treatment as opposed to a prison sentence.

Contact a Los Angeles Drug Offense Lawyer at our office today for a free case evaluation.

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