Los Angeles Drug Crimes Attorney Near You

Facing drug charges in Los Angeles can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. The legal system can be complex and intimidating, leaving you feeling anxious and unsure about your future. Whether you’ve been charged with possession, distribution, or any other drug-related offense, you have rights and options. During this challenging time, having a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles drug crimes attorney by your side can make all the difference.

Los Angeles Drug Crimes Lawyer

A skilled drug crimes defense lawyer understands the intricacies of California’s drug laws and the local court system. They can provide you with the guidance, support, and representation you need to navigate the legal process effectively. Your attorney will work tirelessly to protect your rights, investigate the circumstances surrounding your case, and develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique situation. That means fighting for reduced charges, exploring alternative sentencing options, or advocating for your acquittal.

If you have been charged with a drug crime in the Los Angeles area, you should take those charges extremely seriously. Remember, you don’t have to face this difficult time alone – a compassionate and experienced attorney is here to stand by you every step of the way.

Why Should I Hire The Rodriguez Law Group?

While a jail sentence and fines are bad, they could be only the tip of the iceberg as far as long-term consequences.

A Los Angeles drug crime conviction on your record can lead to difficulty obtaining employment, a professional license, or a government student loan, and can even prohibit you from renting an apartment or house. Further, a conviction can wreck your personal life and your finances.

An experienced Los Angeles criminal lawyer can help you secure the best possible outcome for your case. Ambrosio Rodriguez is a former prosecutor with over 18 years of experience in criminal law.

When you hire our team of drug defense attorneys, we will review every detail of your case, negotiate with the prosecution, and advise you on how to best proceed to protect your future. Don’t hesitate! Call an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Rodriguez Law Group today.

California’s Classification System of Controlled Substances

  • Schedule I Drugs: drugs like opiates, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana
  • Schedule II Drugs: drugs like raw opium and morphine
  • Schedule III Drugs: drugs like phenobarbital and steroids
  • Schedule IV Drugs: drugs like diazepam
  • Schedule V Drugs: drugs like low doses of codeine

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Drug Crimes

Under the California Health and Safety Code 11350(a), it is not legal to possess a controlled substance unless you have a valid prescription. Controlled substances can include illegal drugs as well as legal prescription drugs. You cannot be convicted of possession of a controlled substance unless the state can definitively show you:

  • illegally possessed a controlled substance,
  • were aware of the presence of the controlled substance,
  • knew the drug was considered a controlled substance, and
  • you possessed enough of the substance to equal a useable amount

Violation of HS 11350(a) could result in your being charged with:

  • Misdemeanor
    • Up to a year in jail
    • Probation
    • Random drug searches/testing
  • Felony
    • Up to three years in a state prison

Possession of Heroin, Cocaine, and Similar Drugs with Intent to Sell

Under the California Health and Safety Code 11351, you may have been charged with possession of heroin or cocaine. Actual possession means you had “direct and immediate” control of the drug, meaning it was likely on your person. Constructive possession means the drugs were found somewhere you exercised control over, such as your home or your car.

Possession with Intent to Sell involves possessing drugs to sell them, which carries harsher penalties than simple possession. Should you be convicted of selling cocaine or heroin, you could face serious penalties and consequences, including:

  • Sentenced to prison for two to five years
  • Fines as high as $20,000.

To prove intent to sell, you must have also had enough of the drug to sell and had the intent to sell. If the heroin or cocaine was divided into small bags, or if you were in possession of significant amounts of cash in smaller denominations, it will be easier for the prosecutor to show you intended to sell the drugs to others. It will also make the prosecutor’s job easier if you had scales in your possession or if your neighbors can say you have frequent visitors to your home, who only stay for a short time.

Possession and Sale of Marijuana

While California has legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults 21 and over (Health and Safety Code 11362.1), possessing cannabis products without proper licensing or above the legal limit can still result in criminal charges.

Under California Health and Safety Code 11359, you may be charged with the crime of possession and sale of marijuana, if you unlawfully possessed the drug, were aware of the drug, knew the drug was a controlled substance, and possessed enough marijuana to show intent to sell.

Should you be convicted for selling marijuana, you could face:

  • Up to three years in jail
  • Maximum of $10,000 in fines

Simple possession of marijuana could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, however, the sale of marijuana will always be charged as a felony offense.

A conviction for possession of concentrated cannabis could subject you to up to a year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $500.

  • Possession of 28.5 grams of marijuana or less will be charged as an infraction, punishable by a maximum fine of $100.
  • Possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana is charged as a misdemeanor and could lead to up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $500 should you be convicted.

THC Products

Under the California Health and Safety law, it is illegal to possess or sell products containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) outside of the state’s regulated cannabis market.

The sale of cannabis products, including those containing THC, is only legal when conducted by licensed retailers in compliance with state regulations (Business and Professions Code 26000 et seq.). Selling THC products without a proper license or outside of the regulated market is a criminal offense.

Penalties for illegal possession or sale of THC products depend on the specific circumstances of the case, such as the quantity involved and the defendant’s criminal history. Those in violation of the law may face misdemeanor or felony drug charges, carrying potential jail time and significant fines.

Other Potential Drug Crime Charges

In addition to drug possession charges, other drug offenses may result in criminal drug charges according to the California Health and Safety Code. Under California law, some of the most common drug offenses include:

  • Drug Sales and Transportation (Health and Safety Code 11352): It is illegal to sell, transport, or distribute controlled substances in California.
  • Manufacturing Drugs (Health and Safety Code 11379.6): Manufacturing, producing, or processing controlled substances is a serious offense under California law.
  • Prescription Fraud (Business and Professions Code 4324): Obtaining prescription drugs through fraudulent means, such as forging prescriptions or doctor shopping, is illegal.
  • Cultivation of Marijuana (Health and Safety Code 11358): Growing marijuana without proper legal authorization is a crime in California.
  • Operating a Drug House (Health and Safety Code 11366): It is illegal to maintain a place where drugs are sold, manufactured, or used.
  • Drug Trafficking (Health and Safety Code 11370.4): This offense involves the sale, transportation, or importation of large quantities of controlled substances and carries severe penalties.
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (Vehicle Code 23152(f)): Driving while impaired by drugs, including prescription medications and marijuana, is a criminal offense.
  • Drug Paraphernalia Possession – (Health and Safety Code 11364): Drug paraphernalia refers to any equipment, product, or material that is used for or intended to be used for consuming, manufacturing, or distributing controlled substances.

The specific penalties for these drug crimes vary depending on factors such as the type and quantity of the drug involved, the defendant’s criminal history, and the circumstances of the case.

Potential Defenses for Your Charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance

Los Angeles drug crimes attorney near you

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest there are a number of defenses your attorney may be able to use in your defense.

  • Unreasonable Search & Seizure: The police may have conducted an unreasonable search and seizure if they lacked probable cause to stop you or search your vehicle. Any evidence in your case which was illegally obtained could be thrown out, making it very difficult for the prosecutor to pursue the case against you.
  • Momentary Possession: You may have only had momentary possession of the controlled substance; perhaps another person handed the illegal drug to you to keep from getting charged with a crime. Or, perhaps you found the drug in your home during or after a party and were about to dispose of it when you were arrested. If you also did not intend to prevent law enforcement from obtaining the controlled substance, then your attorney may be able to show you only had momentary possession of the drug.
  • No Control or Possession: You may have had no control or possession of the drug when you were arrested. As an example, you are going to the movies with your friends when stopped by the police. One of your friends stashes his drugs under the seat and the police find them. Your attorney can argue you were not in possession of the drugs, and had no control over them. Simply being near drugs at the time they are found, in and of itself, is not sufficient to prove possession, even if you were aware your friend had the drugs.
  • Lack of knowledge or awareness: lack of knowledge of the drug is similar to no control or possession, however in this instance, you had no knowledge of the existence of the drugs. As an example, you are flying out with your girlfriend on vacation. You are carrying her suitcases when you are stopped and searched, and drugs are found in the suitcase. If you truly had no knowledge of the drugs’ existence, your attorney can argue this to the prosecutor.
  • Valid Prescription: If you were arrested for possession of a prescription drug, but it is later found you had a valid prescription for the drug, then you cannot be convicted for possession of a controlled substance. If, however, you possess significantly more of the controlled substance than normal—even with a valid prescription—you could still be charged with intent to sell.
  • Lacked Intent to Sell: The final defense that could be applicable in your case is that you simply lacked the intent to sell the controlled substance, and rather possessed it only for your use. 

Los Angeles Drug Diversion Programs

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

If you are deemed a nonviolent drug offender, you could potentially qualify for a California drug diversion program as an alternative to jail time. Under California Penal Code §1000, you could be allowed to enter a drug treatment program instead of going to jail.

To be eligible for a drug diversion program, you must be a first-time offender and have no other controlled substance offenses on your record. The charged offense must involve no violence, your record must have no revocations of parole or probation, and you must have no felony convictions within five years of your latest charged offense.

You must plead guilty to your drug charges; however, sentencing will be delayed until you have completed the program. It includes a series of classes that focus on drug treatment. The classes will last for 18 months.

Speak with an Experienced Los Angeles Drug Crimes Lawyer Near You Today

When facing a drug charge or drug-related crime, having an experienced Los Angeles drug attorney by your side from start to finish can help you obtain a more positive outcome. Choosing a qualified criminal lawyer is an important and difficult decision.

Attorney Ambrosio E. Rodriguez is a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor who understands that every client’s case is unique. Mr. Rodriguez will negotiate with the prosecution, file motions on your behalf, and determine how to effectively argue your case before a judge or jury. Moreover, Mr. Rodriguez will review your case to determine if you eligible for California’s new Proposition 47 law which could reduce your charges from a felony to a misdemeanor or resentencing of past convictions.

Contact The Rodriguez Law Group today for a free consultation (213) 995-6767. Our experienced Los Angeles drug crimes lawyers can help you get your life back on track.

The Rodriguez Law Group
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
626 Wilshire Blvd #900,
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 995-6767

Our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm also provides:

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Los Angeles Drug Crimes Attorney Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Overall I had a great experience with The Rodriguez Law Group. They were responsive and professional. The staff in the office were friendly and respectful. Great customer service. A special thank you to attorney Eduardo Osorio. Truly caring, honest, and diligent in his work. Ask for him when you call. If you can get him to be your representation you will not be let down. Words cannot express my gratitude. It was a pleasure watching him work and be successful in the outcome of my case. THANK YOU A MILLION EDUARDO OSORIO!

– Joshua B. on Google

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