Simple possession of just about any drug, including all hard drugs, is now a misdemeanor in California. However, drug convictions can have serious lifelong consequences if not handled properly. Long Beach criminal lawyer, Matthew Kaestner, has over 30 years experience handling drug cases from simple possession to major drug trafficking organizations and cultivation. Call Mr. Kaestner directly at (562) 437-0200 for answers to any questions about drug cases.
Drug crimes in California break down into two categories. First is the simple possession of a drug and the second is something more than simple possession such as transportation, sales, possession for sale, manufacturing or cultivation of drugs.
If the charge is simple possession of virtually any drug, including hard drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin, California has two methods by which persons with "simple possession" charges can avoid jail. The definition of simple possession is that a person has a "useable quantity" of drugs in their possession for personal use. Under certain circumstances a first offender can obtain what is called "Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ)" on a simple possession charge. This allows the person to complete a drug education program and earn a dismissal of the charge.
A second way an offender with a simple possession charge can avoid a jail sentence, even if they have prior felony convictions or prior drug convictions is to complete what is called "Proposition 36." Proposition 36 was a law passed by the voters of California that allows persons with drug charges who don’t qualify for DEJ to obtain treatment and earn a dismissal of the charges.
Other drug crimes include the transportation of drugs, the possession for sale of drugs, the manufacturing of drugs or even cultivation. These charges can carry mandatory prison sentences and require specialized attention from an experienced criminal law attorney.
Since most drug charges begin by the police finding drugs on a person, in their car, or in their home, the legality of the search and seizure is critical to the validity of the charge. An expert criminal law attorney, familiar with the ins and outs of search and seizure law can make a "Motion to Suppress" drugs that were seized by the police in violation of the United States Constitution. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches by the police. The Fourth Amendment protects all citizens in California from unlawful searches. Even searches with a search warrant can be found to be unlawful. If a judge can be convinced that a search was illegal he must dismiss the case.
A drug conviction can have life changing consequences. A drug conviction can lead to jail and even prison. It can prevent the convicted person from obtaining employment or result in the deportation of non-citizens.
If you or a loved one are arrested on a drug charge, don’t delay. Call a criminal law attorney immediately. For more information about drug law or the legal process regarding a drug arrest, contact Long Beach Criminal Law Specialist Matthew G. Kaestner directly at (562) 437-0200.
Matt Kaestner Attorney. This website is designed for informational use only and the information presented on this website should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.
For more information about the Law Office of Matthew Kaestner visit his site at www.lbcrimlaw.com.