We Aggressively Defend You Against Drug Charges
If you are facing a drug charge, you may be able to keep a clean record by investigating the details of your arrest. Mistakes occur, and our team knows how to investigate the nature of the arrest. In addition, our team, including a board-certified criminal defense lawyer, will aggressively defend you and your innocence.
Our attorneys at Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, have practiced criminal law for more than 60 years. We utilize our knowledge of how the prosecution works to identify your best possible solutions and create a strategy to obtain them. We represent you as if your legal problems were our own, and you can rely on us to accurately investigate your drug offense charge.
How California Drug Laws Apply To Your Case
California drug laws are complex, and the consequences depend on the type of drug and the amount. In addition, the consequences for marijuana-related charges vary from the consequences for other controlled substances.
One of the most common drug charges that you can face in California is for the possession of a controlled substance. A controlled drug is one that the government regulates, including “street drugs” like heroin and methamphetamines, as well as prescription drugs like fentanyl or morphine.
The type of drug that you are being charged with possessing, the amount of the substance and your criminal background can play a significant factor in the severity of your charges. For example, possession of a small amount of cocaine, under California Health and Safety Code 11350, is generally a misdemeanor, subject to penalties of up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. However, if you have a prior conviction for certain serious felonies, you may face felony charges with penalties, including up to three years in prison.
While possessing drugs is a serious crime, trafficking drugs is even more severe. Trafficking drugs is an attempt to move them from one place to another so they can be sold. Like with drug possession, drug trafficking laws depend on the type of substance and the amount of it that you are charged with trafficking. The more of the substance and the more tightly regulated the substance is, the higher the penalties can be.
Finally, the law also criminalizes selling drugs. Like with possession and trafficking, the amount and the type of drug play a significant factor in the penalties that you can face, should you get convicted on the charges. Even if you have not sold any drugs and are not planning on selling the drugs to anyone, you can be charged with possession with the intent to sell based on the amount of drugs in your possession.
Defending Against Drug Charges
While drug charges are often serious, there are still defenses that can be raised to combat them and win in court. Here are some of the most common.
Illegal Search Or Seizure
When police conduct an investigation, they need to abide by the requirements of the U.S. Constitution and your rights. If they violate these rights, any evidence they find that might have incriminated you on a drug charge may be excluded, which can prevent the prosecutor from proving their case.
The Substance Is Not A Controlled Drug
State chemical labs make mistakes all the time. If they made one while testing the substance that led to the drug charges you are facing, revealing the mistake can get those charges dismissed.
The Drugs Were Not Yours
In some cases, criminals place drugs in a location that could be attributed to belonging to an innocent person. For example, you could give someone a ride who is nervous about getting caught with drugs and stashes them under your seat. Unknowingly, you may get pulled over by the police and charged with a drug crime that you knew nothing about. If you can prove that the drugs were not yours, then it can significantly help your case.
In the context of marijuana, people who are allowed to use the drug for medicinal purposes are allowed to have more of it than others. In some situations, though, police would rather make an arrest for drug possession than go through the process of finding out whether you are a legitimate medical marijuana user. In these cases, you could need a defense attorney to help the prosecutor show that you are allowed to carry the amount that was found on your person.
Since Jan. 1, 2018, California has made it legal to possess not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana for anyone over the age of 21. However, possession of more than the recreational limit, selling marijuana illegally or offering marijuana to anyone under the age of 21 can still result in criminal penalties.
Whether your drug offense is an infraction, a misdemeanor or a felony, you will want professional legal guidance from one of our criminal defense attorneys.
We Offer Free Consultations In Southern California
At Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, we offer a free consultation to begin preparing your aggressive drug crime defense. For more than 60 years, we have practiced criminal law, and we use that knowledge to create a strategy that can result in your best possible outcome. Robert Ernenwein is a former deputy district attorney, so we know the full process of the court system, and we are prepared to fight for you as if the charge were our own.