San Diego Drug Possession Defense Lawyer
Drug Possession Crimes
Explained by a San Diego Criminal Lawyer
Simple drug possession continues to be America's most prosecuted crime - filling our prison system with non-violent offenders. Even though some states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, California has not, and guidelines are not always clear to the consumer and business owner. Prescription drugs can be charged if you simply did not have the pills in their original container. While most drug possession charges qualify for Prop 36, Prop 47, and PC 1000 diversion programs, possession of a certain amount of drugs can trigger Federal Mandatory Miniumum Sentencing laws.
California Penal Code 1000 PC
Also known as "DEJ" - Deferred Entry of Judgement Program. The court may suspend entry of judgement for a minimum of 18 months to 3 years during which you must seek a minimum of 20 hours of counseling. Potential to be a candidate for diversion is based on your individual criminal history, however many people with criminal records are good candidates for PC 1000 diversion programs.
Prop 47 Explained
Changing Your Record
If you were convicted of felony simple drug possession, that crime is likely now a misdemeanor in California. Prop 47 reduced penalties for certain types of lower level theft and drug possession.
Drug offenses under Prop 47
Three offenses targeting possession of controlled substances for personal use are now only misdemeanors:
Cocaine, Heroin, Morphine, or other Opiates. Health and Safety Code section 11350 HS
Stimulants such as Methamphetamines, or Hallucinogenics(i.e. psilocybin mushrooms), Health and Safety Code section 11377 HS, and
concentrated cannabis (also known as hashish). Health and Safety Code section 11357(a) HS
Proposition 36 Explained
1st and 2nd-time Defendants Qualify
Prop 36 changed California law to requires 1st and 2nd-time defendants to receive up to twelve (12) months of substance abuse treatment in lieu of time in jail or prison. First and second time defendants qualify if they have a non-violent record. Those with prior strikes, misdemeanor or felony convictions are not eligible. If you have previously participated in 2 court-approved drug treatment programs, you are not eligible for Prop 36 diversion.
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines
Minimum Federal Prison Sentencing
Because of the quantity involved, the Government will say that it is not possible that the drugs are for personal consumption and therefore you as possessor had the intent to distribute or traffic the drugs. Ususally the government must demonstrate facts other than quantity, such as the presence of baggies, large amounts of cash, or a scale to impute intent to distribute on a person. However, here, quantity alone is enough.