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Long Beach Drug Possession Attorney

California has a reputation for harsh prison sentences that lead to someone landing in jail for numerous years. Drug possession charges are one of the most discussed topics in the state. California laws have very little tolerance for drug offenses, and even minor incidents can have long-standing consequences on one’s life. If you’re dealing with a criminal charge, you need a Long Beach drug possession lawyer to help you with the case.

At Barhoma Law, we have plenty of experience working on criminal cases and have helped secure good outcomes for many of our clients. No one should face the legal system alone, especially when they are facing intense potential penalties for drug crimes.

What Constitutes Possession in Long Beach?

There are many different drug crimes in California, and trying to list them all would be an extensive undertaking. Depending on the quantity of drugs, the type of illicit substance, and where the police find them, law enforcement can charge someone with a felony or misdemeanor.

Having a small quantity of drugs for personal use with no prior record will net you the lowest sentence, while attempting to sell drugs and having prior convictions will make you susceptible to a long prison term. Regardless of the charge, you’ll want to hire a lawyer as soon as you can to fight the charges, as any drug crime on your permanent record will have long-term consequences.

Which Drugs Are Illegal to Possess in California?

California outlines criminal offenses for many different drugs, and not all of them are the same in the eyes of the law. For instance, possession of a drug like marijuana is less severe than cocaine. Some of the drugs that the state prosecutes for possession include:

  • Marijuana (for those under 21 or those over 21 carrying large quantities)
  • Methamphetamines
  • LSD
  • Cocaine
  • PCP
  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
What Are the Possible Penalties After a Guilty Verdict for Drug Possession?

Drug penalties are about as vast as the types of drugs on the market. As such, it is hard to give a good standard answer to the question. You’ll want to speak to your lawyer about your case and see if they can give you a more accurate understanding of the penalties you may face for possession. Judges can use any prior convictions to increase your punishment.

However, it is possible to outline some of the most common sentences for some of the typical drug crimes.

Simple Possession

Simple possession is the least damaging scenario when facing drug charges. Thanks to recent legislation, first-time offenses for simple possession of drugs can only result in a misdemeanor offense. Although this is much better than facing a felony, it’s still a crime with unpleasant penalties. A misdemeanor for simple possession will net the offender a maximum jail time of one year and a $1,000 fine.

A subsequent arrest and conviction for simple possession will usually end up as a felony, which carries more long-term ramifications and sentences. Aside from the restrictions that a felony places on you for gun ownership or finding housing, it also carries the risk of up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Possession With Intent to Sell

If law enforcement finds a sufficient quantity of drugs, they may choose to charge the defendant with possession for sale. This crime is always a felony and carries the risk of four years in jail and a maximum fine of $20,000. The state also punishes possession of cocaine harder than other drugs, with a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Any felony sentence will lead to another strike according to the three strikes law, so you should treat the matter with the utmost respect when making a plan to defend yourself.

What Are Some Legal Defenses Against Drug Possession in California?

It’s never easy to defend against drug crimes, as all levels of government strive to severely prosecute these offenses. Fortunately, Long Beach defense attorneys know a few tactics that can secure a positive outcome. You’ll want to coordinate with your defense attorney and ensure that they have all the relevant facts and evidence to support your case in court.

You Did Not Possess the Drugs

Some of the most common defenses involve claiming that the defendant did not possess the drugs. An attorney can call into question law enforcement’s methods or demonstrate that police were not able to obtain or identify the drugs before the trial.

You Did Not Know That You Had the Drugs

You could also argue that you didn’t know that the drugs were in your possession, such as if someone kept them in your residence without you knowing about them. This is a tough defense to mount, but if you didn’t own the drugs, you shouldn’t have to pay the consequences for unknowingly having them.

You Did Not Intend to Sell the Drugs

Possession with intent to sell is an even more severe crime and will net a longer prison sentence if you’re found guilty. The police often make this case based on the quantity of drugs in your possession, not any evidence of actual sales. You can have your attorney argue that the drugs were exclusively for your personal use and that you had no intention of selling them.

You Were Entrapped

Another common defense is entrapment. Entrapment occurs when police attempt to coerce you into committing a crime that you never had any intention of committing. Truthfully, this is a difficult case to make, and you’ll need the right circumstances and defense attorney to convince a jury that you were entrapped.

Barhoma Law: Experienced Long Beach Drug Possession Lawyer

California takes drug crimes seriously, and running afoul of one can lead to you serving a long prison sentence. You shouldn’t risk the rest of your life by trying to go it alone. You need a Long Beach drug possession lawyer on your side who can help you make your case and fight for your rights.

At Barhoma Law, we represent clients dealing with drug issues and try to give them the information and empathy they need to make it through the case. We can fight for you and make sure you get a fair day in court. Contact us today for a consultation and see how we can help.

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