Drug Possession: A Primer
Being charged with a drug crime is a very common occurrence; it is estimated that nearly half of all prisoners in the United States are serving time for drug-related offenses. The charges you face when caught with drugs on your person range depending on the amount of drugs in your possession, the type of drug you were carrying, and what form the drugs were in.
Regardless, if you have been arrested for a drug-related crime, it is crucial to seek legal counsel right away to ensure that your legal rights are protected from the initial arrest through trial.
Drug Classifications in California
Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous, addictive, and damaging to society according to California law. Schedule I drugs include opiates, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, and other manufactured drugs that generally contain no medical use. Meth and cocaine come in at Schedule II, and Schedules III-V are generally prescription medications. Even possession of schedule V drugs, which are generally narcotics (such as codeine) can lead to severe punishments.
Some people underestimate the severity of possessing prescription medications; however, if the medication has not been prescribed to you, you may be found guilty of possession or distribution and may face misdemeanor or even felony charges.
Marijuana is one of the most common drugs individuals get arrested for possessing or distributing. While mere possession may be charged as a misdemeanor in certain quantities, the sale of marijuana could lead to up to three years in jail and up to $10,000 in associated fines.
Even “minor” possession charges will lead to a criminal record unless you are a first time offender and are eligible for a state diversion or alternative punishment program that, if completed, may result in a dismissal of your charges.
The use of marijuana to treat certain, pre-approved medical ailments is legal in the State of California. However, this does not mean that these drugs can be used for recreational purposes or shared with others.
Sharing your medical marijuana with others that do not possess a valid license may lead to criminal charges for distributing a controlled substance. Likewise, receiving and using medical marijuana you are not prescribed may result in charges being filed against you as well.
Regardless of whether you have been prescribed medical marijuana, codeine, Oxycodone, or Vicodin, you should never share your prescriptions with others, not even family members. Not only is the use of drugs you are not prescribed dangerous, but it can lead to serious criminal charges damaging your future.
Hiring a Los Angeles Drug Crimes Defense Attorney
If you or anyone you know has been charged with a drug crime, it is critical to contact competent criminal defense legal counsel right away. Attorney Ambrosio E. Rodriguez, a former prosecutor, knows how to navigate all drug cases from start to finish.
He knows what mistakes the police can make that may warrant a dismissal of charges, what options are available to first offenders, and what the best course of action is for subsequent offenders. Contact his Los Angeles office to begin your legal defense today.