The war on drugs continues both in California and across the nation. Law enforcement is constantly on the watch for suspected offenders, and local prosecutors pursue these charges aggressively.

If you have been charged with a narcotics offense, we highly recommend speaking with a qualified Los Angeles drug lawyer as soon as possible. Acting quickly is essential in obtaining a favorable outcome in these cases. When our skilled defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Henry become involved early in the process, we can typically have your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. We also have had great success in obtaining alternative sentencing for our clients, such as a drug diversion program, which allows our clients to avoid jail time and a criminal conviction.

Types of Drug Crimes

Even with the passing of Proposition 47, which makes simple drug possession a misdemeanor, the majority of inmates in this state are still serving sentences for drug-related crimes. Some common controlled substance offenses include:

  • Simple drug possession
  • Driving under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Sale of a controlled substance to a minor
  • Possession for sale
  • Manufacturing of a controlled substance
  • Drug Trafficking

Depending on the type of drug offense someone is facing, one of the Los Angeles attorneys at our firm could help them prepare for the legal process.

Simple Possession

Possession of a controlled substance for personal use, commonly referred to as “simple possession,” is charged as a misdemeanor in California. However, it can be charged as a felony if the accused is a registered sex offender or has a previous conviction for certain serious felonies, such as vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, sex offenses involving children, and murder. A misdemeanor simple possession conviction carries penalties of up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. If it is charged as a felony, convictions carry harsher penalties that include up to three years in prison. 

Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance

California Health and Safety Code 11379.8 HS makes it unlawful to manufacture a controlled substance without a license. Manufacturing is broadly defined as processing, preparing, or refining a controlled substance. It is important to note that a substance does not need to be created to be guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance. Only a step in the process needs to be performed for the prosecution to secure a conviction. A conviction carries severe penalties that include up to seven years in prison. If the controlled substance in question was more than one pound of methamphetamine, the penalties increase substantially.

Drug Diversion Programs in Los Angeles

California’s pretrial diversion law, California Penal Code 1000 PC, allows first-time offenders charged with misdemeanor offenses, such as simple possession or possession of drug paraphernalia, to enter a drug diversion program in lieu of a criminal conviction. These programs consist of treatment and education that aim to prevent the defendant from committing future offenses. If the defendant completes the program and all of its requirements, the charges will be dropped, allowing them to avoid a criminal record and jail time. If the defendant does not complete the program or comply with its requirements, they will be convicted of the original charge and receive traditional, court-imposed penalties. Our attorneys in Los Angeles have had great success in helping people accused of a drug crime obtain this diversion program over traditional sentencing.

Legal Defenses to Drug Crimes

The consequences of a drug-related conviction can be life-altering. However, there are several solid arguments our skilled attorneys in Los Angeles could pursue in a drug case. The appropriate defense strategy depends on the circumstances of your case but may include:

  • Having a valid prescription for the substance in question.
  • Being unaware of being in possession of a controlled substance.
  • The substance in question belonged to another individual.
  • The substance was planted by another individual or law enforcement.
  • The substance was discovered as a result of an illegal search and seizure by law enforcement.

Speak with our Los Angeles Drug Attorneys

Our Los Angeles drug lawyers at the Law Offices of Scott Henry are capable and aggressive advocates for individuals who face serious narcotics charges. With over 40 years of combined experience, you can place your trust in our legal team. Contact our offices today for a complimentary case analysis. One of our knowledgeable attorneys could explain the details of your charges, go over all possible legal outcomes, and devise a plan that secures a favorable outcome.

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