Los Angeles Drug Possession and Sale Attorneys
California law has two categories for drug possession: simple possession and possession with intent to sell. Charges associated with these two categories range from misdemeanors to felonies.
As a former district attorney, Hart J. Levin has personally handled over 600 drug possession cases.
Los Angeles Drug Possession Charges
The standard maximum penalty in California for simple possession of a controlled substance is one year in county jail, as well as a $1,000 fine. These are classified as misdemeanors. Our attorneys have tremendous experience and expertise in fighting these charges and getting the charges ultimately dismissed completely.
The district attorney may also charge you with possession, possession with intent to sell, or transportation of narcotics, which are types of criminal drug offenses. When considered felony crimes, they carry significantly higher penalties, including jail time, fines, and subsequent probation, on up to prison time and parole.
California Drug Schedule
The California Health and Safety Code classifies intoxicating substances based on their risk level and likelihood to result in addiction. The California Drug Schedule is divided into five sections. The following schedules are:
- Schedule I – Heroin and LSD (while marijuana is also under this section, you will likely be charged under other laws with more lenient penalties. Marijuana offenses are significantly less severe.) Schedule 1 drugs are considered the most severe and bring about the most punishment.
- Schedule II – So-called “uppers” such as cocaine and methamphetamine (or “speed”) as well as prescription amphetamines used for AD(H)D such as Ritalin.
- Schedule III – Less addictive painkillers such as Vicodin and those including codeine.
- Schedule IV – Anti-anxiety medications, including benzodiazepines like Xanax and Ativan, as well as Ambien and Lunesta.
- Schedule V – Newer drugs without a history of causing addiction, such as Lomotil, Lyrica, and others that combat chronic fatigue and pain issues.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Los Angeles
The maximum charge for simple possession is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Many of our clients can avoid a drug charge conviction. We utilize several effective defense strategies to get nearly all of our drug possession cases completely dismissed. In more severe cases there may be a need for rehab or substance abuse classes as part of the dismissal process.
A person may also be charged with possession with intent to sell as well as possession of drug paraphernalia. Our Los Angeles drug crime attorneys team will fight to dismiss paraphernalia charges. We have a tremendous record of success in getting paraphernalia charges completely dismissed and wiped from the record.
Without effective representation, defendants may receive fines up to $20,000 and up to four years in jail and a permanent scar on their background and rap sheet.
Evidence of Possession With Intent to Sell
Drug sales, or the intent to sell drugs, are considered much more severe than mere possession of a drug alone. The penalties for drug sales can be decades in prison. Since intent to sell carries such severe penalties, a Los Angeles drug sales attorney from the Law Offices of Hart J. Levin will aggressively fight the charge and attempt to have it completely dismissed or reduced. To prove that a person intended to sell drugs, the prosecutor must prove that a person:
- Possessed the narcotic;
- Knew that it was illegal; and
- Intended to sell it.
We challenge each aspect of the evidence and police reports to successfully defend these charges and prevent a very serious drug sales conviction from appearing on one’s record.
Drug Possession Defenses
There are two critical types of defenses for drug possession and sales charges: ones that limit the evidence that a district attorney can bring to court and ones where we attempt to reduce the potential penalties.
When it comes to throwing out evidence, we have successfully conducted countless suppression hearings wherein we proved that the arrest was part of an illegal search and seizure (4th Amendment violation by the police). Specifically, to suppress the evidence (also known as a PC 1538.5 motion), we challenge the following:
- The arrest occurred as a result of an illegal search or a traffic stop that did not follow legal guidelines;
- There was no probable cause for you to be under arrest;
- You were not properly advised of your Miranda Rights to remain silent or have an attorney present; or
- You were in possession of drugs due to medical necessity and a prescription issued by a doctor.
We have a great track record of getting drug transportation charges, drug sales and intent to sell charges, dismissed completely. In some cases when the charges cannot be completely dismissed, we arrange for a reduction in charges to simple possession instead of drug sales. That means that the penalties go from severe to very light, and the charges can be erased from your record quickly with an expungement with the help of a Los Angeles expungement lawyer.
Contact Our Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyers Today
The Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers from the Law Offices of Hart J. Levin have incredible experience reducing and dismissing drug possession charges and drug sales charges and mitigating the legal impact of the charges you face.
Get a free consultation with a drug sales and drug possession lawyer who is an expert in the criminal justice system and is ready to aggressively fight on your behalf. Call us today at (310) 935-3100 to learn about how we can help you minimize or avoid lifelong consequences resulting from drug possession charges.
Drug Possession Attorneys in Los Angeles, CA
Highly-Rated Drug Possession Lawyers in LA