Drug charges are very serious. The consequences are drastic and could lead to substantial time in jail or prison. Drug offenses can be minor such as simple possession to more complex such as possession for sale of crack cocaine. Those accused of selling drugs in the past and currently charged with selling drugs face serious penalties.
There has been a revolution in California over the past several years regarding drug charges. Simple possession of drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin is a misdemeanor. And many marijuana charges are no longer on the books, making many marijuana possession acts legal.Dismissal or Reduction of Marijuana Charges in California Under Proposition 46
These new marijuana laws in California allows those previously convicted marijuana crimes to have their cases dismissed or reduced to misdemeanors. Therefore, if you or someone you know has a felony conviction for marijuana, this conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor or dismissed altogether.
A reduction to a misdemeanor under this section may allow that person to restore their firearms rights if they were previously taken away for felony marijuana possession or cultivation in California. Do not rely upon this website for firearms advice. If you are seeking a reduction of your charge in order to restore your firearms rights, please contact an attorney in your jurisdiction regarding firearms restoration.Modesto & Stockton Drug Defense Lawyers Defend
- Possession of Drugs
- Transportation & Sales Of Drug Defense Attorney
- Possession With Intent To Sale (Possession For Sales)
The Bogan Law Firm, A Professional Corporation wants to answer the following questions in every drug case, which aids our efforts in getting the crimes dismissed, reduced or having our clients found not guilty by a jury.Did the Police Violate the Accused 4th Amendment Rights?
In California under California Penal Code § 1538.5 the accused can challenge the search of the police by claiming it violated the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution, i.e. the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The general rule is that the police have to have probable cause and a warrant to effectuate a legal search. However, there are exceptions upon exceptions. Common exceptions are the automobile; search incident to lawful arrest; plain view; consent; stop & frisk; emergency or hot pursuit exception.Was the Substance Taken a Prohibited Drug?
The first thing that the government must prove is that the item claimed to be an illegal drug is actually illegal. Some common illegal drugs are heroin, powder cocaine, crack or rock cocaine, methamphetamine, PCP, ecstasy and psilocybin mushrooms. To prove that the items seized by the police are illegal they must be tested. Generally, they are sent to a laboratory run or contracted by the government such as the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services. Sometimes there are problems with the testing or its equipment that make the test invalid. In addition, sometimes the alleged drug comes back from the laboratory negative.Did the Accused Possess the Prohibited Drug?
Possession is proven by either (1) Actual possession or (2) Constructive Possession. Actual possession is exactly what it sounds like, the drugs were found in the accused pocket, in the hand or on them in some fashion. Constructive is where the accused has control over the drugs. For example, if the drugs are found under the seat of a car that the person was driving, then that MAY be considered constructive possession. However, it is not constructive possession if the driver did not know the drugs were there or otherwise did not have true control over the drugs.Where there Informants Used in the Case?
Cops are rarely just lucky when the find large amounts of drugs on someone. Most likely they received a tip from an informant. An informant commonly called a "snitch" is a non-cop who is working for the police in return for money or favorable treatment in their own court case. Often, the informant was or currently is addicted to narcotics themselves. It is extremely rare to have an informant who is out to help the community.
The identity of the informant is secret and can only be released by court order. The District Attorney does not want to tell you or even the defense attorney who the informant was for obvious reasons. Sometimes, The Bogan Law Firm, A Professional Corporation is successful in filing motions to reveal the informant's identity.Did the Police Use a Sting Operation?
In other cases where no informant is used the police and District Attorney may have problems There are too many various problems that it is difficult to discuss them all on this website. For example, sometimes police conduct sting operations. A sting operation is where there are undercover police or non-cop informants making drug buys. The problem for the DA is getting all the cops on the same page during trial testimony. A sting operation usually nets 20, 30, 40 or more arrestees. Those cases blend together for the police and they get confused. Mr. Bogan and attorneys with The Bogan Law Firm, A Professional Corporation have seen the police make grave errors in their testimony at trial, which always benefits the accused.Were the Drugs for Personal and Not for Sale Use?
Personal use of drugs charges are treated much differently that possession for sale or actual sales. There are not many prosecutions for actual sales of drugs in comparison to straight possession or possession with the intent to sell. Sales of drugs includes the actual sales, but also furnishing and providing drugs to someone, whether paid or not.
Possession for sale is proven by many factors. This includes the amount of the drugs possessed. For example, it is hard to argue that 20 kilograms of cocaine was possessed for personal use. What about 3 grams? 4 grams? 5 grams? The amount alone in the smaller quantity amount cases does not generally dictate whether the person is found guilty of possession for sales. The government would look at things like "buy-owe" sheets, scales, packaging, cash seized, surveillance, admissions as well as anything that would suggest the person was selling the drugs vs. keeping them for his or her personal enjoyment.Fighting a Drug Charge Checklist
- Should the evidence be suppressed?
- Was substance actually an illegal drug?
- Did the accused possess the illegal drug?
- Is there an informant involved in the case?
- Where there any problems with the sting operation?
- Are the police lying?
- Are there other witnesses the can provide important informant information?
You should contact drug defense lawyers with The Bogan Law Firm, A Professional Corporation because we aggressively investigate and defend you. A confidential consultation can be scheduled at 209-565-3425 or you can fill out an intake form from our Contact Page.