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Drug Possession in California

Representation by a Downey Drug Crime Lawyer

According to California Health and Safety Code 11350, an individual cannot possess a "controlled substance without a valid prescription". Controlled substances are any drugs or narcotics that are government regulated, such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and opiates. If you have been arrested for possessing an illegal substance, then you need to obtain counsel from a Downey criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of James Mendez. California takes drug crime very seriously, even more so than most other states, so don't hesitate to invest in a tough legal representative!

Your charges may depend on the type and amount of drug that you were accused of having. The government considers Schedule I drugs to be most dangerous and therefore, dole out the harshest punishment for possession of these drugs. There are five schedules in all. If you have been charged will illegally possessing a drug of any schedule, then Attorney Mendez can defend you. He has over 15 years of experience in criminal law, so you can trust that he has the knowledge you need behind you.

Drug Possession Charges and Penalties

When accused of drug possession, you may be charged with actual possession, constructive possession, or joint possession. Actual possession means that you had direct control over the drug. It may have been on your person or in a bag that you were carrying. This type of possession is most difficult to defend against.

Constructive possession occurs when drugs were found in a place over which you had control, such as in your house. Joint possession, on the other hand, is when you and another person share control over an illegal substance. To convict you of constructive or joint possession over an illegal substance, the prosecution must show that you knew of the illegal substance.

In most cases, drug possession will be charged as a felony, yet in some situations, it may be charged as a misdemeanor. Because possession can be charged as both, it is known as a wobbler offense. Drug possession may be elevated if you have a past history of drugs or there is strong evidence against you.

A misdemeanor may be punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and a maximum of a year in jail. A felony may incur penalties of up to three years in jail or three years of probation. If you are not a citizen of the United States, felony charges could mean deportation.

Contact a Drug Defense Lawyer

When you come to Law Office of James Mendez, you can rest assured knowing that Attorney Mendez will do everything in his power to get your drug charges dropped or reduced. He may also be able to find alternative penalties, such as drug court. Drug court is a program that allows first-time offenders to go through treatment for one year. The court orders that participants go to counseling, test for drug use, appear in court, and attend drug education courses. If they stick to the program, then charges can be dropped. The drug courts were created to help rehabilitate drug users, instead of sending them to jail.

To find out more about what Downey drug crime lawyer, James Mendez, can do for you, call his firm. He makes himself available to answer your calls at any time of the day or night. As a former prosecutor, you can be confident in his abilities to skillfully defend against evidence that the prosecution brings. He knows their tactics and is prepared to refute them. Don't wait until it's too late! His firm offers a free consultation for those who are interested in retaining his services in both Spanish and English.

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Law Office of James Mendez - Downey Criminal Defense Lawyer
Located at 8301 Florence Avenue, Suite 200 Downey, CA 90240 View Map
Phone: (562) 923-4946