Because of our government’s “War on Drugs,” a large number of the cases filed each year involve the possession of narcotics. As a result, a large part of the firm’s practice involves the defense of those accused of possessing or dealing in illegal drugs.
Most drug offenses in the State of California are now felonies. It is still a low grade misdemeanor to possess a small amount of marijuana. However, possession of even the smallest amount of cocaine is a felony crime. Penalties for drug offenses increase based on the activity involved as well as the quantity of drug involved. In other words, it is more serious if you are charged with possessing, say, methamphetamine with the intent to sell the drug than if you are merely charged with possessing the meth for personal use.
Manufacturing, (labs) possession of drug precursors, and transportation or other trafficking charges are very serious, and can result in lengthy prison sentences.
Government agents have sometimes been known to shade the truth or lie to get results in narcotics cases. Sometimes aggressive defense tactics must be used to reveal such conduct, or attack a search warrant.
Often there is only one viable defense to an accusation of drug possession or trafficking – a motion to suppress evidence, based on the 4th Amendment, arguing that the search that led to the discovery of the drugs was illegal.
Drug Diversion programs, commonly called “1000 PC” for the penal code section that defines the law, may be available to first offenders. This results in the eventual dismissal of charges after an education program, and does not result in a criminal conviction.
Residential drug treatment programs can, in certain cases, be substituted for jail. Drug cases of all types are serious, and a creative approach to them is beneficial to clients.
Sometimes an arrest can be the start of real rehabilitation for those with chemical dependency problems; we have often turned a negative contact with the criminal system into a positive new beginning for our clients