Experienced San Diego Drug Possession Attorney – Affordable & Best Charges Defense Law Firm( CA Health & Safety Code 11350 HS)
You need an experienced San Diego Drug Possession Lawyer because Possession of Controlled Substance offenses can be complicated and the penalties can be severe. If you or someone you know has been charged with a possession crime, text or call 619-493-1207 today to speak directly to a San Diego possession attorney at the The San Diego Criminal Defense Pros experienced in the representation of possession of controlled substance crimes.
Possession crimes account for the majority of the violations charged under the Health and Safety Code in California. Possession crimes are generally charged under California Health and Safety code section 11350 and/or California Health and Safety Code section 11377.
There are four basic elements to a possession crime:
1. Exercised control over, or the right to control, the drug in question;
2. had knowledge of its presence;
3. had knowledge of its nature as a controlled substance;
4. the substance was in an amount sufficient to be used as a controlled substance.
Possession may be actual or constructive. Actual possession occurs when the Defendant carries the drug on his or her person. Constructive possession occurs when the Defendant has control or the right to control the drug even if it is not on his person; when the drug is somewhere that is immediately accessible to the Defendant and under his control; or when the drug is in the physical possession of the Defendant’s agent and the Defendant maintains the right to control over it.
However, the fact that the Defendant was in close proximity to the drug, or had access to the place where the drug was stored, is not sufficient to show that he had possession. Though, close proximity to the drug, along with other incriminating evidence is enough to sustain a conviction.
Controlled Substances Possession Penalties Under California Law
Possession for personal use crimes can be either “wobblers” (felonies or misdemeanors) or straight felonies, depending on
the drug involved. Possession of methamphetamine is a “wobbler” and can be sentenced as a misdemeanor (one year in county jail maximum) or as a felony carrying up to three years in state prison.
Possession of cocaine, cocaine base or crack, and heroin for personal use are straight felonies and carry a maximum sentence of up to three years in state prison.
Penalties for marijuana offenses are listed separately on our marijuana offense page. Despite the potential for lengthy state prison sentences in possession cases, there are many alternatives such as Penal Code 1000 Diversion or Prop 36 Sentencing.
Drug Possession Defense
4th Amendment Violations
One of the first things to determine when an individual in San Diego County is charged with a possession offense is how the police came into contact with the Defendant. Possession cases almost always involve 4th amendment search and seizure issues. The questions that can arise in these cases may include, but are not
(1) What was the basis for the initial police contact with the defendant?; (2) Was the detention prolonged?; (3) Did a lawful detention become an unlawful arrest?; (4) Was the arrest lawful?; and (5) Was the search lawful?
If, based on the facts, the 4th amendment is implicated the Defendant, through his attorney, may file a motion to suppress the evidence. If the motion is granted, the case would be dismissed.
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