Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyer
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our team of dedicated Los Angeles drug possession lawyers is committed to providing knowledgeable, experienced, and solution-focused legal advocacy to our clients. We understand that a drug possession conviction in California can have far-reaching consequences, potentially costing you your freedom and affecting your future prospects. That’s why you need the best criminal defense representation to individuals and their families facing drug possession charges. For a completely confidential case review with a top California drug possession defense attorney, please do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles law office today.
What to Do If You Are Arrested on Drug Possession Charges in Los Angeles
A drug possession charge is no minor matter. In California, drug possession could potentially be charged as a felony offense. By taking the right steps during and immediately after the arrest, you will be in the best possible position to secure your future. Here are four key things that you should do if you are arrested and charged with drug possession in Los Angeles:
- Never Attempt to Resist an Arrest: If you are arrested on drug possession charges in Los Angeles, it is important to comply with the officer’s instructions and not resist arrest. Attempting to resist arrest will only escalate the situation and can lead to additional charges being filed against you. Remain calm. Regardless of the nature of the allegations, a Los Angeles drug possession lawyer will help you determine the best course of action.
- Do Not Admit Guilt or Otherwise Make a Statement to the Police: Under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, every person in Los Angeles has the right to remain silent. You should exercise this right if you have been arrested. You should not make any statements regarding the alleged drug possession or any other information that might incriminate you. This includes saying things like “I didn’t know it was illegal” or “it’s not mine.” These statements could potentially be used against you in court.
- Do Not Consent to a Search of Your Person, Vehicle, or Home: You have the right to refuse a search of your person, vehicle, or home without a warrant. If the officer asks to search you, your vehicle, or your home, you should politely decline and tell the officer that you do not consent to the search. It’s important to remember that if the officer finds drugs as a result of a search that you consented to, it will be much harder for your lawyer to fight the validity of the search under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- Consult With a Los Angeles Drug Possession Defense Lawyer: Once you are arrested, it is important to contact a Los Angeles drug possession defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner that you have a highly-qualified legal advocate in your corner, the better position that you will be in to protect your rights and secure your future.
An Overview of Drug Possession Charges in California
Drug possession is broadly defined as the known and willful possession of an illegal narcotic. There are two different types of drug possession: actual and constructive. With actual possession, the defendant is accused of having a controlled substance on their person. With constructive possession, the defendant is accused of having dominion and control over the controlled substance even though it is not technically on their person. It could be in their vehicle or their home. The severity of a drug possession charge depends on the classification of the controlled substance and the amount in question. There are different schedules of drugs in California (California Health & Safety Code §11350). Here is an overview:
- Schedule I Drugs: Opiates, cocaine, etc.
- Schedule II Drugs: Raw opium, morphine, etc.
- Schedule III Drugs: Pentobarbital, anabolic steroids, etc.
- Schedule IV Drugs: Many prescription drugs
- Schedule V Drugs: More lightly controlled prescription drugs.
Schedule I drugs are the most highly controlled substances under California law. On the other end of the spectrum, Schedule V drugs are the least highly regulated. Criminal penalties are the most severe for the most highly controlled drugs, such as opiates and cocaine. To convict a person of drug possession in California, prosecutors must prove the following:
- The substance in question is actually a controlled substance;
- The defendant was in possession of that substance (actual or constructive);
- The defendant’s possession was unlawful—meaning they did not have a valid prescription or other authority to have the substance; and
- The defendant knew about the controlled substance.
Note on Marijuana: While California has legalized the recreational possession of marijuana, it is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. A person could be arrested and charged with a federal drug possession crime for marijuana in certain circumstances.
Drug Distribution vs. Drug Possession: Understanding the Difference
It’s crucial to differentiate between drug distribution and drug possession charges in California. While drug possession relates to the known and willful possession of illegal narcotics, drug distribution involves the sale, transportation, or intent to sell controlled substances. Drug distribution is a significantly more serious offense, carrying more severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines. If you or a loved one is facing drug distribution or possession charges, seeking immediate legal representation is essential to understand the unique circumstances of your case and mount a robust defense strategy tailored to the specific charges.
How Our Los Angeles Drug Possession Attorney Can Help
Were you arrested and charged with drug possession? If so, it is normal to feel extremely stressed out and overwhelmed. Your freedom and future could be at stake. You need the best criminal defense representation. At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, we fight proactively for the best interests of our clients. Among other things, our Los Angeles drug possession defense attorneys are ready to:
- Conduct a comprehensive review of the drug possession charges;
- Investigate the arrest and charges, gathering the evidence needed to build a defense;
- Help you evaluate all options for a plea agreement, including rehabilitation/treatment; and
- Take your case as far as needed to help you get justice and the very best outcome.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Drug Possession Lawyer in Los Angeles
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our drug possession attorneys in Los Angeles are tireless, experienced advocates for our clients. If you or someone you know was arrested on drug possession charges, we are here ready to help. Contact us today to set up a completely confidential consultation with a top-rated defense lawyer. With an office in Los Angeles, we defend drug possession charges in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
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