Both legal and illegal drugs cause problems across the entire country. In addition, many state laws are designed to punish not drug dealers, but users, penalizing the people who most need our help. In California, a number of changes have been made to laws regarding drug legality, possession, and other aspects, leading to considerable confusion for residents of the state. If you are facing drug or narcotics-related charges, it is important that you find experienced legal counsel.
California took a huge leap forward in 2014 with the passage of Prop. 47. However, while that legislation did a great deal to decriminalize many previous drug offenses, it did create considerable confusion in regard to drug possession, particularly to marijuana, which is decriminalized for recreational use.
For instance, while marijuana might be legal for recreational use, it is still illegal to smoke it while driving a vehicle. It is also illegal to smoke it in any public place, or where smoking tobacco is prohibited. It is also illegal to even possess marijuana in a daycare center, school, or other facility while children are present.
Possession charges for other drugs have also changed, with many previous felonies now being treated as misdemeanors. Today, California takes two distinct routes with drug and narcotic-related offenses. The first is simple possession. This is a misdemeanor that applies to possessing a small amount of a controlled substance listed on the Health and Safety Code. However, if the prosecutor believes that you intended to sell those drugs, it is possible that you might face charges of possession for sale or purchase for the purpose of sale.
With an initial offense and a simple possession charge, you may face up to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail, as well as community service. A second offense may require you to pay up to $2,000 in fines and serve up to two years in jail. A charge of intent to sell is actually a felony, and carries with it very strict penalties. You could face up to five years in prison, as well as very steep fines. If the drugs are transported between counties, it can add additional prison time to your sentence.
If you have been charged with a drug crime give us a call for a complimentary consultation. We will work hard to represent your rights and get you the right outcome.
We serve the communities of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and the greater state of California including, but not limited to the cities of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard, Westlake Village, Santa Maria, Camarillo, Goleta, Thousand Oaks, Santa Ynez, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Newbury Park, Ojai and Carpinteria. We are a general practice focusing on estate planning and probate, family law and business law. These areas of law include, but are not limited to, trusts, wills, divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, spousal support, prenuptial agreements, business formation, governance and litigation. This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with Seige Law through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising.