Orange County Drug Possession Attorney
Possession of a Controlled Substance in CA
According to California Health and Safety Code 11350, a person can be charged
for the possession of a controlled substance in any one of three ways:
actual possession, constructive possession, or joint possession. If you
are questioning the validity of the possession charges that were made
against you, it is important to speak with an
Orange County criminal defense attorney from our firm. Upon review of your case, we can determine whether or not
the criminal charges currently being held against you are warranted, and
how to defend you in court if a valid case exists.
To help you better understand why you might be facing drug possession charges,
we explain each of the three types of possession offenses below:
Actual Possession: Actual possession of a controlled substance implies that you are in direct
physical control of the substance. Charges of this nature are most often
made when the drug is found on your person, but actual possession charges
can also be made if it is inarguably obvious that you were in possession
of the drug immediately before law enforcement officers reported to the scene.
Constructive Possession: Constructive possession pertains to situations in which drug possession
charges are issued to a person who was not found in physical possession
of drugs, but instead at a location over which said person has control.
Joint Possession: Joint possession is indicative of dual possession between two or more
people. Joint possession can involve actual possession or constructive
possession. Oftentimes, joint possession charges are issued to roommates,
one of whom the drug belongs to and the other of whom knowingly allowed
the drug possession to continue.
Possible Penalties for Drug Possession
In the state of California, the possession of a controlled substance is
usually charged as a felony and convicted accordingly. That being said,
defendants who are found guilty of drug possession could be sentenced
with up to a year in county jail and probation following the jail time
OR 16 months to 3 years spent in a California state prison.
Penalties are subject to adjustment, however, depending on the circumstances
involved in your case. More specifically, if your attorney can prove that
the drug(s) found on your possession fall into a small category of depressants,
the offense could be sentenced as a misdemeanor instead. Situations of
this nature are referred to as "wobblers." Whether your offense
is ultimately charged as a misdemeanor or a felony will come down to the
facts involved in the case and the criminal history of the defendant.
Drug possession offenses that are convicted as a misdemeanor can land a
person in the county jail for up to a year. Individuals convicted of a
misdemeanor drug possession crime will also be subject to up to $1,000
in fines. Additional consequences could be in store based on the unique
facets of your case. For example, non-citizens of the U.S. who are convicted
of drug possession could be deported or even denied re-entry or the ability
to complete the naturalization process.
Building an Effective Defense for Your Drug Possession Case
If you've been accused of drug possession, there is no argument as
to your need for aggressive defense. In fact, to forego your constitutional
right to an attorney could significantly jeopardize your chances of escaping
conviction. There are a number of defense methods that can be utilized
on your behalf, but none of these can be employed before an attorney investigates
the specific circumstances involved in your case.
Among the defense methods that might be applicable to your case are the
- Arguing that you didn't actually possess the controlled substance
- Arguing that your possession of the controlled substance was only temporary
- Arguing that you held a valid prescription for the controlled substance
found in your position
- Arguing that illegal search and seizure methods were utilized in the process
of making an arrest for possession
- Arguing that you had a lack of knowledge (either of the possession in general
or of the illegality of the substance in your possession)
The defenses listed above are some of the most commonly used methods of
defense in cases of drug possession charges; however, this is not to say
that they are the only methods that can be utilized. Much of your defense
will come down to the specific aspects of your case, which makes it vital
to obtain a criminal defense attorney as early on in the legal process
You Need a Reliable Defense From a Lawyer With Experience
When you contact the
Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, you will have access to our firm's arsenal of defenses that can be
used to avoid conviction for your
drug crime. You can also benefit from our plea bargaining skills which can be used
as a means of lessening the consequences issued to you if a conviction
is ultimately made.
Our OC drug crime defense team stands ready to defend you both in and out
of the courtroom for any type of drug crime offense that you might be
facing, so don't wait to
contact us today.