What Type Of Drug Cases Does Your Firm Typically Handle?

There are two main types of drug offense cases: possession offenses and sales-related offenses. Simple possession can be for personal use and then there’s possession for the purposes of sale. There are charges that are related to being under the influence of certain types of drugs, and those related to other offenses, like driving under the influence. Our firm handles all of these common drug offenses.

General Information:

Whether possession is charged as a personal use offense or sales depends on the circumstances. For instance, the quantity of the drugs found, the presence of other indicia of sale (scales, baggies, etc.), how the controlled substance was packaged, whether the person had large amounts of money on them, and whether or not there were any text messages showing intent to sell. The surrounding circumstances determine whether a possession case is for personal use, a sale-related drug transaction or drug trafficking. Sometimes we also come across manufacturing cases in which a person is caught with materials or chemicals that indicate involvement with the manufacturing of certain drugs.

How Are Drug Offenses Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony Offense?

A drug offense is determined to be either a misdemeanor or a felony offense based on the type of drug involved and whether it was possessed for personal use or for sale. Almost all marijuana charges are misdemeanors because of a voter initiative in 2016. Unless it’s a large quantity of marijuana that is being transported out of the state, most of the time you are going to see it charged as a misdemeanor. If you are getting on a plane and taking a large quantity of marijuana out of the state of California, then you are likely going to be looking at a felony. Most other drug offenses are typically charged as misdemeanors if they are simple possession or under the influence offenses whether it’s cocaine, xanax, methamphetamines, or the like. But if drugs are possessed or transported for sale, then they’re generally felony offenses. As I mentioned before, there is a manufacturing offense involving the use of chemicals and other materials to make certain drugs like methamphetamine, and that is almost always a felony offense.

How Is An Unlawful Controlled Substance Defined In California?

The Food & Drug Administration and state and local agencies have designated various schedules for controlled substances. Most of those controlled substances are available by prescription and can be possessed and used according to a doctor’s recommendation. There are other controlled substances that are simply illegal for all purposes. Generally, those have been shown to have no medical benefit and are subject to abuse. There are controlled substances that have been federally designated as Schedule I controlled substances, and they’ve essentially been copied at the state level almost everywhere. One exception to this is marijuana, which is a Schedule I narcotic at the federal level. Under federal law, marijuana is legally equivalent to heroin or cocaine. But many states, including California, have legalized its cultivation, sale, possession and use for medical and recreational purposes; notwithstanding, it is still illegal under federal law.

What Is The Difference Between Possession, Sale And Intent To Distribute Charges In California?

A possession charge is determined by looking at whether or not somebody had dominion and control over the drugs, which doesn’t mean that they had to have bought and paid for the drugs. It simply means that the drugs were in their presence, whether that means they were hidden in a part of their house or under their car seat.

There are two different types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means possession of drugs on your person. Constructive possession means that the surrounding circumstances indicated that you had or intended to have some control over drugs.

A sale would mean exchanging a drug for something of value, which doesn’t have to be money; it could be a favor or anything of value. In California, there is no differing penalty between sale, distribution and providing a drug to somebody else. They are often bundled into the same law and are dealt with equally. The circumstances just indicate the specific difference between selling, distributing and providing.

Does California Recognize And Address Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking is not officially a legal term. It’s generally used to speak about people who are engaged in sales and distribution operations on a relatively large scale, and who bring drugs in from other countries and distribute them over a wide area. Ultimately, it still boils down to sales and distribution.

For more information on Drug Offenses In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (510) 779-2082 today.