Los Angeles Drug Crime Lawyer
California takes drug offenses seriously, and drug crimes are among the most common cases before the court. A Los Angeles drug conviction can carry significant penalties, including jail time, steep fines, and trouble finding housing or a stable job due to your criminal record.
When you work with Los Angeles drug crime lawyer Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, you can trust that your rights and your future are always the top priority. Mr. Davis will listen carefully to all the specifics of your case and help you understand all options available to you. He promises to communicate openly and honestly with you at all times, so you can face the reality of your situation and move forward in the best way possible. Call Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, at (909) 861-8075 to set up a free legal consultation.
Understanding Drug Laws and Charges in Los Angeles, CA
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, there are a wide array of penalties that you could face for drug charges in Los Angeles. For the most part, the possession of controlled substances, such as narcotics or prescription drugs that are illegally in your possession, is considered a misdemeanor and carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. In some cases, you may participate in a drug diversion program in lieu of your jail sentence.
Many times, prosecutors will try to charge you with possession with the intent to sell, which carries more severe penalties. Possessing controlled substances, including cocaine, heroin, Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Xanax, with the intention to sell them is considered a felony and is punishable by a $20,000 fine and up to four years in prison. Prosecutors will try to find additional evidence that you intended to sell these drugs, such as the large quantity of the controlled substance found in your possession, any drug paraphernalia in your possession, or large quantities of cash. No matter the circumstances of your arrest, Los Angeles drug crime lawyer Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, will fight aggressively on your behalf to have the charges reduced or dismissed. Call our Los Angeles drug crime lawyer today to schedule your free consultation.
Searches and Seizures Related to Drug Crimes in Los Angeles
To be charged with a drug crime, there must of course be evidence of drugs in your possession or control. This usually means the police either found drugs on your person incident to a lawful arrest or they executed a search warrant on your home. In either case, the police must follow very specific procedures to ensure your rights are not violated.
If drugs were seized as a result of an unlawful search, we can argue that they should be excluded from your trial. Only evidence that is lawfully obtained may be introduced at trial. This rule acts as an incentive for the police and prosecutors to respect your constitutional rights against unreasonable or unlawful searches and seizures.
If the police want a search warrant for your home, they will need probable cause to support the warrant. If the warrant did not have sufficient probable cause or the probable cause was unreliable or fabricated, the entire warrant is invalidated. Any evidence obtained under an invalid warrant may be excluded from your trial.
The same can be said for evidence obtained as a result of an arrest. When you are arrested, the police can search you to make sure you do not have any weapons or contraband. For the evidence to be used at trial, the underlying arrest must be lawful. If it was not, the evidence is kept out. Call our Los Angeles drug crime lawyer to discuss your case and how evidence may be suppressed.
Drug Crimes Involving Marijuana in Los Angeles
In 2018, California legalized marijuana for adults. Now, adults at least 21 years old can have up to one ounce of dried marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis. You can even grow up to six marijuana plants for your own personal use. However, this new law did not create a free-for-all on marijuana and pot. There are still some restrictions and regulations that could land you in trouble.
With California’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, most adult felony marijuana offenses have been reclassified as misdemeanors. For instance, a conviction of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute (without a license) now carries a reduced punishment of up to six months in jail. However, possession with the intent to sell is only a crime if you lack the proper license to sell. You can actually legally sell marijuana if you have a license to do so from the state.
Although California and several other states legalized marijuana, it is still a federal crime to possess marijuana. In the past, under President Obama, there was a policy of leaving people alone who are in compliance with state marijuana laws. However, this policy may not be effective anymore, and state prosecutors can target people for marijuana violations even if they are in compliance with state law.
If you have questions about charges or convictions involving marijuana, contact Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, to learn more about how our Los Angeles drug crime attorney can help you.
Drug Court Diversion Programs for Drug Crimes in Los Angeles
Some defendants charged with drug-related offenses may be eligible for diversion programs. In Los Angeles and the surrounding counties, defendants may qualify for drug court. The program is designed to help rehabilitate drug offenders while also allowing them to avoid prison or jail time. If all goes well, your drug charges could be dropped.
Drug court is typically available to defendants who have been charged with a non-violent, felony drug offense. Defendants charged with smaller crimes like possession of marijuana would not be eligible. The program lasts for about six to nine months and occurs in three phases. During the first phase, the defendant must make a court appearance every week and participate in individual and group therapy sessions several days per week. During the second and third phases, the defendant’s court appearances are reduced to once every six weeks or so and the number of required meetings is also reduced. The defendant will also be introduced to programs that involve job training and education courses.
If the defendant successfully completes all the requirements of drug court, the judge will dismiss the charges against them. Participants in drug court are not only required to attend regular meetings and job and education training but also stay drug and crime-free throughout their time in drug court. Being kicked out of the program means facing the penalties for their criminal charges, including possible prison time. Call our Los Angeles drug crime attorney for more information about diversion programs and whether you could be eligible.
Other Drug Programs for Drug Crime Defendants in Los Angeles
If you are not eligible for the drug court program, there is still hope. Some defendants may qualify for the Sentenced Offender Drug Court (SODC) program in Los Angeles. This program is also meant for defendants with non-violent felony drug charges. The difference is the defendants in this program usually have much more serious drug dependency problems and are considered higher risk. Also, the program does not allow defendants to avoid their charges, but it can help them avoid prison. The program is similar to drug court, but it is completed partially while in custody and then continued post-release. To enter the program, the defendant must plead guilty to their charges.
Other alternatives include a program referred to as Prop 36. This is a mandatory drug program for a defendant who meets the eligibility requirements. While other programs, like drug court, are voluntary, if you meet the requirements for Prop 36 you will automatically be enrolled. The program lasts for no more than two years and is a bit stricter than ordinary drug court as you are placed on formal probation.
A defendant may also participate in DEJ, which stands for deferred entry of judgment. This program is not automatic but is instead decided by the judge. If the judge does not think you are a good fit for this program, you will not be eligible. It operates similarly to other programs in that treatment and rehabilitation are the key goals. Call our Los Angeles drug crime lawyer for more information about diversion programs for drug-related offenses.
Our Skilled Los Angeles Drug Crime Attorney Can Defend Your Rights
Experienced Los Angeles drug crime defense attorney Eric D. Davis dedicates himself to examining the circumstances of each of his clients’ arrests. There are many instances when the drugs were unlawfully seized or officials failed to secure a warrant, resulting in a clear violation of your rights. As we help you prepare your defense, we will go over the details of your arrest and build you the strongest defense possible. We strongly believe in protecting your rights at every turn.
If you have drug-related charges, you need aggressive and effective legal representation as soon as possible. Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, will fight vehemently on your behalf to ensure your rights are upheld. We have proudly served clients in the Los Angeles County area for nearly two decades, so we have a proud track record you can trust. Call Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, at (909) 861-8075 to set up a free legal consultation.