A conviction on drug charges can have far reaching consequences, including fines and possible jail time, irreparable damage to your personal and professional reputation, and a hindrance on your ability to pursue future employment opportunities. Even a misdemeanor conviction for marijuana possession can create headaches for you long after the case is concluded. For all of these reasons, it is important to retain a skilled drug crimes defense lawyer regardless of the severity of the offense. The new effects and ramifications of the newly enacted Proposition 47 can be used to benefit individuals with both prior and present cases.
A Former Prosecutor’s Insight Into Drug Crimes Defense
As a prosecutor for over a decade, I understand how these cases are handled by the prosecution and know how to challenge their strategy and tactics at every turn. This insight, along with aggressively attacking the admissibility of improperly obtained evidence or the credibility of questionable witnesses, can result in dismissals, reduction of drug charges or reduction of the potential penalties. I regularly negotiate for a variety of treatment-based diversion programs, which can make my client eligible to earn a dismissal after successful completion.
I have represented clients throughout Northern California and Nevada facing misdemeanor and felony narcotics charges in both state and federal court, including charges of:
- Drug possession
- Sale of narcotics or other illegal drugs
- Drug distribution
- Operation of a meth lab/methamphetamine production
- Marijuana cultivation
- Drug trafficking of cocaine, crack, heroin, or other illegal drugs
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Illegal prescription drugs
- All other drug offenses
Don’t be fooled by liberalized marijuana laws into thinking there are no consequences for drug crimes. From simple possession to trafficking, if you are prosecuted on a drug-related charge, you could end up in state or federal court. Although some charges, such as possession, are far more likely to stay at the state level, certain activities automatically qualify as federal offenses. For example, drug distribution crimes that involve travel over state lines are handled by federal authorities.
In California, a crime like simple possession is often a misdemeanor charge that carries minimal penalties. By contrast, federal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 are uniformly tough. Whereas a first-time drug possession offender might be charged with a misdemeanor in California, the same crime under federal law is a felony that carries a minimum fine and the possibility of up to one year in prison. In fact, in a series of decisions, federal courts in California have ruled that the federal government still has the right to prosecute marijuana cases in federal court – even when they involve conduct that is perfectly legal according to state law, such as medicinal sales or use.
Federal law also imposes harsh consequences on those who commit violent drug crimes. If you engage in a drug-related crime that involves a violent weapon, you will spend a minimum of 15 years in jail. You might also lose your license and your financial security.
If you have been charged with a state or federal drug offense, it is crucial to obtain the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, a skilled lawyer can get charges reduced or dismissed, which can make all the difference in the world in your case.