Drug crimes are among the most highly prosecuted crimes in California. Drug crimes may result in state or federal charges, depending on the crime and the amount of drugs. If you are suspected of a drug offense you will be subject to investigation and interrogation. Law enforcement wants to locate those who are supplying, manufacturing, and distributing illegal drugs or controlled substances.
Some of the most common drug charges include:
- Possession for Sale
- Cultivation or Manufacturing
- Unlawful Prescriptions
Drug crimes may be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. It is a felony to buy or possess illegal drugs that you plan to sell. It doesn’t need to be proven that you actually sold drugs, only that you intended to sell them. In California, drug trafficking includes transporting, importing, and distribution of illegal drugs. Personal use marijuana is designated at less than 28.5 grams. Possession less than this amount will be charged as a misdemeanor.
The penalties for drug crimes can be quite serious. If convicted of drug charges you will be sentenced to prison or jail. In addition, any of your possessions that are linked to your drug crime will be forfeited. This could include your car or your home. You are also subject to losing your driver’s license, paying a fine, and you may be required to register as a narcotics offender.
The type of punishment you receive for a drug crime conviction depends on many factors. Selling drugs will certainly end with a jail sentence if convicted. Manufacturing drugs has very stiff penalties with fines up to $50,000 and up to 7 years in prison. The actual sentence you receive depends on the type of drug crime that was committed, the amount of drugs involved, and your own criminal record.
In addition to the base term sentence for the crime, additional penalties will be applied if you were selling drugs near a school. There is a “Three Strikes” law in California that increases the penalties each time you have another conviction.
Typical sentencing for drug related crimes include:
- Jail Time
- Attend Substance Abuse Program
- Drug Education Classes
If you have been charged with a drug crime, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorney will work to defend you. Drug crime cases can be quite complex and it is in your best interest to choose an attorney to represent you throughout the process.