What Is the Most Likely Outcome of a Drug Possession Conviction in California?

by Ambrosio Rodriguez | Mar 25, 2023 | Drug Crimes
What Is the Most Likely Outcome of a Drug Possession Conviction in California?

Depending on a variety of factors, such as type of drug, quantity, and any prior convictions, the potential consequences of your drug possession case in California can vary greatly. If you’re fortunate, you could end up with the option of drug court rather than a conviction, probation, or jail sentence.

Possible Outcomes of Drug Possession

Depending on the type and amount of drugs found in an individual’s possession, the consequences can be severe. Some of the most common outcomes include:


One of the most common penalties for drug possession in California is probation. This is a period of supervision during which you are required to follow certain rules set by the court, such as refraining from engaging in any criminal activity or maintaining regular employment.


In addition to probation, another possible penalty for drug possession in California is a fine. The amount will vary depending on the type and amount of drugs found in your possession, as well as any prior convictions or aggravating factors associated with your case.

Jail Time

The most serious penalty for drug possession in California can be jail time. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could face years in jail.

Drug Possession Can Lead to Drug Court in California

Another common outcome of drug possession is drug court. Drug court typically involves attending mandatory treatment programs or meetings along with frequent court appearances before a judge. This allows the offender to obtain a resolution to their case outside of the criminal justice system.

These specialized court systems combine monitoring, close supervision, and treatment of addiction in order to address the root causes behind criminal behavior associated with drugs and alcohol.

This type of sentencing option may allow individuals who suffer from addiction-related issues to avoid more serious punishments, such as jail time, while still receiving much-needed treatment and support throughout their recovery process.

California has multiple types of drug court programs following an arrest for drug possession, including:

Pre-Plea Programs

The first type of drug court is called a pre-plea program. This type of program allows offenders to pursue court-supervised treatment before their case goes to trial.

Participants plead not guilty and agree to participate in treatment and comply with any other conditions set by the judge. Upon successful completion of treatment, the charges are dismissed, and the participant’s record is expunged.

Post-Plea Programs

Post-plea programs require offenders to enter a guilty plea before entering treatment. These programs typically last six months to one year, depending on the severity of the offense and other factors such as criminal history and severity of the substance use disorder.

Successful completion of treatment leads to the dismissal of all charges against the offender, and no conviction will be on their record.

Post-Adjudication Programs

The final category of drug court is called a post-adjudication program. This type of program permits repeat offenders or those facing serious consequences due to their offense to enter into treatment instead.

Those who demonstrate compliance with their program requirements can substitute successful completion of their treatment for jail or prison time; those who fail can be incarcerated.

Even when successful, participants still have the conviction on their record until it is eligible for expungement.

The Benefits of Drug Court Programs

One primary benefit of drug courts is that they provide individuals with an opportunity to receive treatment rather than punishment for their crimes. Participants who adhere to their requirements can avoid the potentially harsher penalties assessed by a criminal court.

By providing access to counseling, classes on addiction recovery skills, medical care, job training, housing assistance, and more, drug courts give individuals the support they need in order to truly overcome their addictions and lead productive lives.

Additionally, drug court participants can work towards regaining custody rights or expunging criminal records with the help of an experienced lawyer.

Contact an Experienced Drug Possession Attorney for Legal Help

If you have been charged with drug possession in California, contact The Rodriguez Law Group today to schedule a free consultation. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can make the difference in securing a favorable outcome for your charges.

For more information please contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense law firm of The Rodriguez Law Group for a free consultation, give us a call at (213) 995-6767 or visit our convenient location:

The Rodriguez Law Group – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
626 Wilshire Blvd Suite 460, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States