Serious felony drug charges such as possession and trafficking can result from all kinds of police abuses: invasions of privacy, planted evidence and coerced confessions, just to name a few.
If this has happened to you — if you were the victim of overzealous law enforcement in Riverside County and the Inland Empire, and await trial for drug offense — our experienced Temecula criminal defense law firm can aggressively protect your rights.
We are the dedicated, knowledgeable attorneys of Davis & Wojcik, a Professional Law Corporation.
For more than 50 years, our skilled defense lawyers have successfully safeguarded the interests of a broad range of criminal defendants, including those accused of drug crimes such as:
- Possession of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, illegally obtained prescription drugs and "party drugs"
- Sale and delivery
- Conspiracy to commit a drug crime
- Driving while impaired by drugs
- Drug paraphernalia
Possession crimes account for the bulk of the violations charged in California. The elements of the crime of possession for personal use are that the defendant: (1) exercised control over, or the right to control, the drug in question; (2) had knowledge of its presence; (3) had knowledge of its nature as a controlled substance; and (4) the substance was in an amount sufficient to be used as a controlled substance. Health and Safety Code §§ 11350, 11377.
A defendant's “mere proximity to the drug, presence on the property where it is located, or association with the person who controls the drug is insufficient to support conviction for possession.” U.S. v. Jose Luis L., 978 F.2d 543, 545 (9th Cir. 1992)
The elements of possession for sale or purchase for sale are identical to those of simple possession with the addition of (1) the substance must be in an amount sufficient to be used for sale or sufficient to produce a narcotic effect and (2) the person must have possessed and/or purchased the controlled substance with the specific intent to sell it.
The penalties for possession for sale are more severe than the penalties for personal use crimes. Proposition 36 mandates probation and drug treatment instead of incarceration for some offenses but excludes possession for sale crimes.
In 2016, marijuana was largely decriminalized for purposes of California law by the electorate's approval of Proposition 64. Health and Safety Code § 11362.1(a) (making marijuana lawful only for purposes of “state and local law”). However, possession of even small amounts of marijuana in California remain illegal under federal law. In addition, Proposition 64 did not eliminate some offenses involving marijuana, including unauthorized possession for sale and sale of marijuana.
The law also permits enhanced sentences depending on the type and amount of the controlled substance. Firearm enhancements are also common charges that maybe added to drug possession charges.
Anyone who feels that a Fourth Amendment violation by police led to their drug charges is invited to contact us for an initial consultation. We know how to investigate and negotiate with prosecutors in ways that get charges reduced and dismissed. Don't risk your future to the possibility of harsh punishments. Call today: (951) 587-2222. We welcome your email message and respond to it promptly.