Drug Charges

Simple possession of a controlled substance is outlawed by the Health and Safety Code sections 11350 and 11377. In order to prove possession of a controlled substance, the prosecution must show: 1) Defendant exercised control over a controlled substance, 2) Defendant knew of its presence, 3) Defendant knew that it was a controlled substance, 4) The substance was in a usable amount.

Because possession of a controlled substance is a specific intent crime, requiring prosecutors to prove the contents of a defendant’s mind, there are a considerable number of defenses available to the accused. If the prosecution fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew of both the substance’s presence and its character, you will be acquitted. Raising the specter of a reasonable doubt with respect to a specific intent crime is the job of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

If convicted of possession, you are facing the potential of three years in state prison. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate deferred entry of judgment pursuant to Penal Code section 1000 or a drug treatment probationary sentence pursuant to proposition 36.

A defendant is not eligible for deferred entry of judgment or prop 36 where he is charged with Health and Safety Code section 11351 Possession for Sale, or Cultivation under section 11358 or Manufacture under section 11379.6. These crimes, however, often result after overreaching police officers skirt constitutionally required procedures. In many cases, a good defense attorney may be able to suppress evidence illegally seized through a traverse or PC 1538.5 motion, and thereby get a charge dismissed. In the case of cultivation of marijuana under section 11358, the Compassionate Use Act provides a complete defense where a primary caregiver cultivates up to 6 mature or 12 immature plants for the medical need of a patient with a physician’s recommendation. In spite of the fact that this is a right of California citizens, many law enforcement agencies continue to arrest and charge caregivers with marijuana related crimes. If you are a caregiver who has been charged with marijuana cultivation, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately in order to assert your rights.

The information contained on this website represents opinion only and is not intended to, nor should be relied on as legal advice of any kind. Should you wish to consult with an attorney, contact an attorney at the Law Office of Jesse Terrell at (323) 638-4712.
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