Orange County Drug Crime FAQ

Facing drug charges for the first time?

Being arrested or accused of a drug crime can be a life-changing event. From the moment that you are suspected of a drug crime, everything you say and do will be watched and documented by investigators, law enforcement agents and prosecutors. You can't afford to be in the dark about your rights and your criminal charges during this critical time; you need a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer on your side who can protect you. Without the help of a qualified attorney, you will be powerless against the prosecution and vulnerable to harsh penalties such as jail time and costly fines.

Here at the Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, we can provide a free case evaluation to discuss your situation in a confidential and non-judgmental environment. We understand that drug crime charges can be confusing and complicated matters because we have been handling these cases for 20 years and we are prepared to help you today. Below, our Orange County drug crime attorney answers some of the most commonly asked questions that our clients have had over the years.

If I am caught with an illegal drug that I did not actually use, can I still be charged with a crime?
Yes. If you are caught in the possession of a controlled substance, you can be charged with the crime of possession whether or not you actually used the drug. You will not automatically go to jail for this crime, and you may be able to avoid going to jail altogether by completing drug rehabilitation or treatment instead.

If I am caught with a legal prescription medication, can I be charged with drug possession?
Many people are surprised to learn that the answer to this question is yes. You can be charged with possession if you are caught with certain medications such as Vicodin, codeine or others without a valid prescription. Even if those drugs are meant for personal use and you don't intend to sell them, you may still find yourself facing serious charges.

What does DEJ stand for?
DEJ stands for "Deferred Entry of Judgment," which is a program that allows first-time drug offenders to be dismissed for drug possession cases without having to plead guilty. If you have been accused of drug possession for the very first time, you may be able to qualify for DEJ if you agree to complete a drug program and if you do not pick up any new charges for a certain period of time. Once that time has passed, your case will be dismissed.

What is Proposition 36?
In 2000, California passed Proposition 36 to help drug offenders receive education and treatment instead of jail. If you qualify for Proposition 36, you may be able to plead guilty and then complete a drug program so that your case will be eligible for dismissal. If you are not eligible for the DEJ program, this is a good option for you.

Will I be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia for having legal household items?
Unfortunately, yes. There are certain household items that are also classified as drug paraphernalia, such as flashlights, highlighters, and pagers, and you will be charged with possession if the prosecution can prove that the items in question were used for illegal drug consumption.

What are some of the defense strategies for a possession charge?
At our firm, we know how to scrutinize your case to identify areas where the police made mistakes or acted inappropriately. For example, law enforcement officers will often ignore the California rules of search and seizure when investigating the activities of suspects. In other situations, we may be able to prove that your arrest was the result of bogus "confidential police informants" or that you were set-up in a way that violated California's entrapment laws.

Will a drug arrest affect my immigration case?
If you are a non-citizen and are arrested for a drug crime in California, you may face deportation, exclusion, or loss of a visa or green card status, regardless of whether or not you are convicted. You need a lawyer who understands both criminal and immigration law if you are in this situation. The right attorney can fight to keep from being deported from the United States and can keep you from losing your opportunity to gain citizenship.

Contact an Orange County Drug Crime Defense Attorney

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, we are able to provide our clients with the highest quality of legal defense and representation. Regardless of your history or the nature of your current charges, we will meet you where you're at and will help you protect your future. Drug crimes can range from misdemeanor offenses to serious felony crimes, and the penalties can also vary from a night in jail to many years in a state prison. The laws for certain drugs, such as marijuana, are continually changing and many people have a difficult time keeping up.

When you call our firm for a free consultation, you can discuss your concerns and your charges with Attorney Goodman. Unlike other firms in Orange County, our office is dedicated solely to criminal defense. This enables us to provide every client with highly focused and knowledgeable defense, and we fight tirelessly to achieve the best results possible for you.

Attorney Goodman is one of the few attorneys admitted to arguecases before the United States Supreme Court, so call today to enlist her help in your case!