Drug Possession, Sale, & Transport
Drug Possession (Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Marijuana)
In 2014, the state of California signed into law Proposition 47 (Prop47), which made significant changes to the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. The aim of Prop 47 was to relax some laws, including drug possession laws, by declassifying some felony charges to misdemeanors. This inherently also decriminalized “simple possession” of controlled substances. Currently, drug charges are classified as infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies.
Controlled substances are listed under the California Health and Safety Code 11350, and possession of any of the following categories of drugs for personal use is considered a misdemeanor:
- Opium and Opium derivatives – Vicodin, methadone, heroin, e.t.c
- Hallucinogenic substances – Cocaine, cocaine base, mescaline, marijuana, e.t.c
- Stimulants – Amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA, ecstasy, “molly”, e.t.c
- Depressants – Amobarbita, PCP, lysergic acid, e.t.c
- Steroids – Ketamine, testosterone, nandrolone, dihydromesterone e.t.c
In order for courts to make a conviction of simple possession, the prosecution must prove the following:
- You had control of the controlled substance
- You were aware of its presence
- You knew of the effects the substance illicit from use
- The controlled substance was a useable amount
With the advent of Prop 47, possession of controlled substances charges, also called “simple possession”, is currently a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in county jail, a maximum of $10,000 in fines or community service.
When facing such allegations, it is essential that you have adequate representation. Our clients at Saros Law APC benefit from a legal team with the experience and determination to help you fight your charges. Alison Saros will take your case personally, so clients know they will get the best representation in Los Angeles. Reach out to us through our contact form, or call (310) 341-3466 anytime to speak with Alison Saros about your case today.
Drug Possession for Sale
Saros Law APC, we have overseen and defended many cases that began as “simple possession” but then escalated to a more serious charge of “intent to sell”. According to the California Health and Safety Code 11351, it is illegal to sell and distribute certain controlled substances and other narcotic substances. Possession for sale is an automatic felony conviction under California law which carries heavy penalties like fines of up to $20,000 and 2 – 4 years in state prison.
Prosecutors know that a simple possession charge is trivial in the eyes of the law, which is why they will try to convince the court to look at the minor offense as a supposedly covert operation to sell drugs illegally.
Some cases offer up a greater opportunity for the prosecution to pursue intention to sell charges, but generally, here are some common instances a prosecutor can take advantage of:
- If the amount in possession appears to be much larger than what a single person would use
- If the defendant was also found with weighing scales
- If large sums of money were found at the scene together with the drugs
- If the defendant was in possession of several smaller bags of distinct size
Despite these supposed breadcrumbs, there is no exact illegal amount or weight of a controlled substance that would prove intent to sell. This usually makes it hard to prove an intent to sell charge, so the burden lies on the arresting officer to show that the defendant was in possession of a “large quantity” which he/she intended to sell. Furthermore, suppose the prosecutor is able to prove that you intended to make more than one sale. In that case, you may also receive additional penalties for each sale.
Our powerful criminal defense attorneys at Saros Law APC can provide an extensively detailed defense solution to help you bypass a criminal conviction. With Alison Saros by your side, you can rest assured that she will fight for you with determination and empathy. To find out more about California’s drug laws, you can schedule a call at (310) 341-3466.
Sale or Transportation of Drugs
Many people find themselves facing an additional charge for transportation on top of their possession charges. Still, they aren’t really sure what it means. California drug transportation charges are highlighted in sections 11352 and 11379 of the California Health and Safety Code. Specifically, 11352 states that “…every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport… shall be punished by imprisonment….”
Simply put, you can be convicted of transportation if you’re found moving an illegal controlled substance from one place to another. This charge would still apply to you on any means of transportation, including by foot, bus, car, or bicycle, and no matter the distance. There have been instances where courts have upheld convictions in which a driver drove only 20 feet with illegal drugs in the car. Transportation charges are also far easier to prove because the prosecution only needs to prove that you moved from one location to another.
Violating Section 11352 is a felony that is punishable by either a maximum of 1 year in county jail, 3 – 5 years in state prison, a maximum fine of $20,000, or probation. Similarly, violating Section 11379 on the sale and transportation of methamphetamine is also a felony, and offenders can get up to 2 – 4 years in state prison or pay a maximum of $10,000 in criminal fines.
Additionally, if a court finds you guilty of transporting illegal substances for sale across two county lines, you risk getting a longer prison sentence of 3 – 9 years in state prison.
If you are currently facing charges for transportation, you should speak to a skilled and experienced drug attorney in Los Angeles. Alison Saros is a skilled defense attorney who can sit down with you and go over the intricacies of your case. Saros Law APC has a strong track record of resolving drug cases, and we will work to defend your rights as well. Call us today at (310) 341-3466 or reach us through our contact form.