Get Your Drug Possession Charges Dismissed In California

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

What to do to get your drug possession charges dismissed?

If you want to have drug possession charges dismissed in California here are some steps you can consider:

  1. It’s important to hire a defense attorney who specializes in drug possession charges.
  2. Take the time to discuss the circumstances of your drug possession charges and the evidence against you with your attorney. This will help identify any procedural errors that may have occurred.
  3. California offers diversion programs such as drug treatment or education as alternatives to prosecution for drug possession charges. Take the opportunity to explore these programs.
  4. Engage in negotiation with the prosecution, which may lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges. This can often be achieved through plea bargaining or by completing a diversion program.
  5. If necessary, contest the drug possession charges in court by challenging aspects such as the evidence presented, the legality of the police search and seizure, or even questioning witness credibility.
  6. In situations where evidence for drug possession charges was obtained illegally, file a motion to suppress that evidence.
  7. Another possible avenue is seeking dismissal based on violations like lack of cause for arrest.

Remember that each case is unique, so it’s crucial to seek advice from a California criminal defense lawyer in San Diego knowledgeable about California’s drug laws.

Is it possible for errors related to drug quantity or type to lead to dismissed charges in California?

Yes, drug quantity or type errors can result in dismissed drug possession charges, within California. Here’s how you can get the drug possession charges dismissed:

  1. Casting Doubt on the Evidence: If the amount or type of drugs listed in the charge differs from what was found by the police your defense attorney can question the accuracy of the evidence.
  2. Impact on Case Severity: In California drug possession charges are penalized based on factors like the type and quantity of drugs involved. Any misidentification can potentially affect how severe the charges are.
  3. Challenging Lab Analysis: Occasionally errors may occur during lab testing that leads to identification of substances. Your attorney has the option to request a retest or challenge the validity of the drug test.
  4. Errors: If there were mistakes made by law enforcement or prosecution in handling the drug possession charges that resulted in discrepancies it could be grounds for dismissal.
  5. Negotiating Plea Bargains: Even if complete dismissal isn’t possible inconsistencies in evidence can still strengthen your position during plea bargain negotiations.
  6. Filing a Motion to Dismiss: Your attorney can file a motion to dismiss based on these errors for drug possession charges, arguing that there isn’t support for the drug possession charges against you.
  7. Suppression of Evidence: If these errors reveal issues with how police conducted their investigation, it might lead to evidence being suppressed, weakening the prosecution’s case.

Every situation is unique. The outcomes depend on the circumstances of your drug possession charges and the expertise of your defense attorney. It is crucial to seek guidance from a familiar professional with California drug laws.

How does California law distinguish between possessing drugs for use and possessing them for sale?

California law makes this distinction based on the following factors:

  1. Quantity of Drugs: If you have a large quantity of drugs, it may suggest an intention to sell, whereas smaller amounts might indicate use.
  2. Packaging: If the drugs are packaged in containers, it often indicates an intention to sell, whereas if they are in a single container, it might imply personal use.
  3. Presence of Sales Paraphernalia: The presence of items like scales, baggies or ledgers can be seen as an indication of intent to sell.
  4. Location: Possessing drugs in an area known for drug trafficking could imply an intention to sell.
  5. Personal Use Indicators: The presence of drug paraphernalia used for consumption, such as pipes or syringes, might suggest use.
  6. Behavior: Statements made to the police or observed behaviors can provide insight into the intent behind the possession.
  7. Convictions: If you have convictions related to drug sales it may lead to an assumption that you intended to sell.

If there are no signs of drug use, such as drug residue or related items, it can indicate an intention to sell than for consumption. In California, the law treats possession with intent to sell severely than possession for use. It’s important to have representation if you are facing these charges.

What options are available in court for a person facing drug possession charges?

  1. Plea Bargaining: Negotiating with the prosecution for reduced charges or a severe sentence.
  2. Diversion Programs: Qualifying for programs like Proposition 36 or Drug Court which often involve rehabilitation of sentencing.
  3. Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ): Completing a drug treatment program and probation may lead to the dismissal of charges.
  4. Contesting the Charges: Pleading not guilty and challenging the evidence or legality of police procedures during the trial.
  5. Constitutional Challenges: Arguing for dismissal based on violations of rights such, as search and seizure.

What do you stand to lose if convicted of drug possession in California?

If you find yourself facing a drug possession charge in California, it’s important to understand the repercussions. Here are some possible outcomes:

  1. Criminal Record: A conviction could lead to the creation of a record, which may have negative implications for future employment prospects, educational opportunities and housing options.
  2. Prison Time: Depending on the specifics of your case and the severity of the charge there is a possibility of being sentenced to jail or prison time.
  3. Financial Consequences: Convictions often come with fines and court fees that can significantly impact your situation.
  4. Probation: It is common for individuals convicted of drug possession to be placed on probation as an alternative to incarceration. However, probation typically comes with conditions that may limit freedoms or require participation in drug treatment programs.
  5. Employment Impact: A drug conviction can have ramifications on your employment status, potentially leading to job loss and making it challenging to secure employment, particularly in certain industries.
  6. Housing Challenges: Finding housing can become quite difficult as many landlords conduct background checks, which may adversely impact your chances of securing a place to live.
  7. Educational Consequences: If you are a student a drug conviction can result in actions such as suspension or expulsion from school or college. Additionally, it may also render you ineligible for aid.
  8. Professional Licenses: Having a drug conviction on your record can have implications for obtaining or maintaining licenses and certifications.
  9. Immigration Status: Noncitizens who have been convicted of drug offenses may face consequences including deportation, visa denial, or even being deemed ineligible for naturalization.
  10. Voting Rights: Felony drug convictions can curtail your voting rights. Restrict your ability to participate fully in the process.
  11. Social Stigma: The stigma associated with a drug conviction can significantly impact both professional relationships, creating barriers and challenges in aspects of life.
  12. Travel Restrictions: It’s worth noting that some countries impose entry restrictions on individuals with drug convictions, which could limit your ability to travel freely.

It’s important to seek legal advice to thoroughly understand the potential consequences in your case.

Can my drug possession charge conviction be expunged?

Sure, if you find yourself in California, there’s a possibility that you can have a drug possession charge conviction expunged under the circumstances. Expungement eligibility varies. Generally, most misdemeanors and some felonies qualify for expungement. However, serious drug offenses involving sales or trafficking may not be eligible.

  1. Completion of Sentence: It’s important to have fulfilled your sentence, including any time spent in jail, probation requirements, and payment of fines.
  2. No Pending Charges: You should not be facing any criminal charges at the time of applying for expungement.
  3. Probation Compliance: If you were on probation, it’s necessary to have followed all the terms and conditions set by the court.
  4. Eligibility: Expungement is typically applicable to misdemeanors and some felonies; however, serious drug offenses involving sales or trafficking may not qualify.
  5. Filing a Petition: To initiate the expungement process you must file a petition with the court where your conviction took place.
  6. Waiting Period: Keep in mind that certain convictions require a waiting period after completing your sentence before you can apply for expungement.
  7. Court Discretion: The court has power when deciding whether to grant an expungement request. Factors such as your record and behavior since a conviction will be taken into consideration.
  8. Assistance: Seeking guidance is advisable to navigate through the complexities of the expungement process effectively.

Remember that expungement doesn’t erase the conviction entirely but can help alleviate some of its consequences especially when it comes to employment opportunities. It is crucial to seek advice from a professional to gain clarity on how the process of expungement applies to your circumstances.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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