California has enacted strict drug crime laws. The number of years of incarceration and specific penalties you may face for a conviction of drug charges can be serious depending on the type of drug, the amount, the specific crime, and other aggravating factors.
If you are facing drug crime charges, it is imperative that you immediately hire an aggressive and skilled Fresno criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights and help you avoid a conviction and its resulting harsh consequences.
Types of California Drug Crimes
Below are some of the most common types of drug crime charges you can face under California state law:
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Possession for sale of narcotics
- Sale / transportation of controlled substance
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession of methamphetamine
- Manufacturing of narcotics
- Under the influence of a controlled substance
Even though the Golden State has legalized marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana (or any other type of drugs) is a serious charge.
4 Defenses to Use Against a Drug Possession Charge
You should not panic if you are facing drug possession charges. Just because you have been accused of possession of drugs does not mean there is no escape from a conviction. Drug possession is not a cut-and-dry accusation. It is often based on assumptions which a skilled Fresno criminal defense attorney can poke holes in to create doubt in the prosecutor’s case.
If you are facing drug possession charges, you may be able to use these effective defenses in court to avoid a conviction:
- Unwitting possession. If you did not know that you were in possession of the drugs, you can plead “unwitting possession”. Intent is a big part of the charges. So, if you can show the drugs were not yours, you should not be penalized for carrying them.
- Lack of possession. To convict you of drug possession charges, the prosecutor must prove you had the drugs in the first place. It’s easy for the police to assume you are the owner or possessor. You cannot be charged with the crime if you can successfully argue a lack of possession, which means that even if the drugs were in your direct vicinity, they did not belong to you.
- Operating under duress. Coercion, or operation under duress, is an effective defense against drug possession charges.
- Improper police tactics. The police often make mistakes during the process of an arrest. This, in addition to other improper tactics, can be used as a successful defense strategy. Other examples of improper tactics include:
- Forcing a confession
- Illegal surveillance
- Searching private items such as cellphones without permission or a warrant
Call an Experienced Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has a warrant out for their arrest, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you learn about your legal rights and options.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Fresno criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.