Drug Possession & California Law
California is one of the many states that treats crimes involving drugs very seriously. If convicted after being arrested on drug charges, you could receive a harsh sentence. According to the laws in California, a drug crime is described as an unlawful act involving an illegal drug, narcotic, or controlled substance.
Drug crimes occurring in California will most often include the following drugs:
- Crystal meth
- Crack cocaine
- Prescription drugs
What Types of Drug Crimes are there in the East Bay?
A person arrested for a drug crime in Alameda or Contra Costa County will likely be charged with one of the following offenses:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession with intent to sell or distribute
- Prescription drug crimes
- Medical marijuana violations
What are the Penalties for Drug Crimes in the East Bay?
If you are charged and convicted of a drug crime in California, your punishment will vary depending on the severity of the crime and the specific facts involved in your case. Drug crimes can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. Relevant facts include the type of drug(s) involved and the quantity at issue. In the East Bay, like other areas in the state, crimes involving marijuana will typically result is less severe penalties than crimes involving cocaine or heroin.
In addition, penalties are typically more severe when the offense involves trafficking, distribution, and/or manufacturing, as opposed to crimes involving simple possession. However, it is important to understand that no matter the offense, a drug charge must be taken seriously.
In some cases, an experienced attorney can assist you with opportunities to keep your record clear of drug related convictions with diversion and treatment programs
Is a California Diversion Program an Option?
Diversion programs were created, in part, to help those who suffer from drug addiction. Many find these programs to be more beneficial than just sentencing the individual to jail. There are a variety of diversion programs available in the Bay Area:
- Proposition 36: Here, non-violent drug offenders and second time simple drug offenders can agree to attend a drug treatment program as part of their probation. After successful completion of the program, charges will be dismissed.
- Drug Court: This program requires random drug testing, daily counseling, progress reports with a judge, and attendance at a 12-step meeting. Charges will be dismissed upon successful completion of this program.
- Penal Code 1000: This program is for those who agree to meet once a week for four months. Charges will be dropped if the individual successfully completes the program and does not get charged with other offenses within the period of diversion.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in the Bay Area
After being arrested for a drug offense, take a moment to contact an experienced and local defense attorney. Just because you have been arrested does not automatically mean you are guilty! Lynn Gorelick has spent more than 30 years defending those who have been charged with a crime in the Bay Area. She has dedicated her legal practice to representing clients in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
Gorelick Law Offices offers a free, initial consultation in order for you to meet Ms. Gorelick and review the facts of your case. Do not hesitate to contact Ms. Gorelick and her associates at 510.785.1444 or 925.847.3006.