The possession of most drugs is charged and prosecuted under California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS. While most first-time offenders receive diversionary, or deferred, entry of judgment to avoid a criminal conviction, having an experienced criminal defense attorney is still crucial. Drug crimes are a high priority for prosecutors in this area, so you should have a competent legal team fighting for you. Our experienced Newport Beach drug crimes lawyers could work tirelessly to defend your case and protect your rights.

Common Newport Beach Drug Crimes

There are various charges that someone may receive if they have been accused of a drug crime. Our seasoned local attorneys could help someone build a defense depending on their charges. Some of the charges an individual may face include:

  • Possessing Drug Paraphernalia
  • Possessing a Narcotic
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale
  • Transporting a Controlled Substance
  • Selling or Furnishing a Controlled Substance to a Minor
  • Selling a Substance in Place of a Controlled Substance
  • Transporting a Controlled Substance for Sale

What is Considered Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance?

Possession of a controlled substance is when an alleged offender owns or has control over certain drugs without permission or justification. Under California Code 11350(a) HS, it is illegal to have a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor offense. There are controlled substances that are legally manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and some that are illegally manufactured. Some common controlled substances involved in drug charges are:

  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Benzodiazepines such as Xanax
  • Opiates such as codeine or morphine
  • Opioids such as Oxycontin, hydrocodone, and fentanyl
  • LSD
  • Heroin
  • Vicodin

Drug Trafficking

Drug Trafficking is the sale and transportation of a controlled substance and is prohibited by any means. It is defined as:

  • Selling, furnishing, administering, giving away, transporting for sale, or importing a controlled substance
  • Being aware of the presence of a controlled substance
  • Being aware that the drug is considered a controlled substance
  • A usable amount of the controlled substance is present

If someone is facing these charges, the police are trying to show a connection between possession and one or more of these factors:

  • A large quantity of narcotics
  • A presence of items used to measure or pack drugs (scales, plastic bags, etc.)
  • A presence of a large amount of cash
  • A presence of firearms on the property

Drug trafficking is a felony and the penalties for this offense may involve three to nine years in jail and a fine of up to $20,000. Certain factors may add to the penalties. These may include:

  • Transporting certain quantities of a controlled substance
  • Selling a controlled substance to a minor
  • Drug trafficking near a substance abuse treatment center
  • Selling to someone who is pregnant, has a mental health disorder, or is a convicted felon

Additional punishment for these factors may include three to five years in jail, a fine of up to $20,000, and felony probation.

What are the Penalties for Controlled Substance Offenses?

The penalties someone may face depend on the charges they are facing. Some drug conviction penalties may include:

  • Jail or imprisonment
  • Probation or parole after being released from custody
  • Financial reimbursement to law enforcement for the investigation
  • Mandatory counseling
  • Local drug offender registration
  • Revoked driver’s license

The punishment for possession, or simple possession, is up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. In some situations, charges that can hold life sentences in prison can be pled down to simple possession charges. Additionally, some offenders may be eligible for a drug diversion program instead of jail time. Our lawyers in Newport Beach could examine the specifics of a drug offense case to determine the best course of action. It is important to note that if someone has been convicted of a previous drug crime, this is typically taken into consideration in any future sentencing of other cases. That is why it is essential to have an attorney who has extensive knowledge of these investigations.

Handling the Issuance of a Search Warrant

Often, police officers file false warrant affidavits in narcotics investigations. Our attorneys know how to expose any unlawful police conduct. Our diligent team could thoroughly examine a case because, in some instances, law enforcement executes search warrants without proper cause. Our attorneys in the area may be able to bring this evidence to the prosecutor and request that the drug charges against the defendant be significantly reduced or dismissed.

Speak with a Newport Beach Drug Crimes Attorney

Please contact our Newport Beach drug crimes lawyers right away if you have been arrested or charged with a narcotics offense. Our law firm has experience in fighting these cases, and we know precisely which motions to file and how to fight your case effectively. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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