Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyer
A California drug possession conviction can result in some serious prison time. Leading the nation in drug offense incarceration, California does not take drug possession lightly. Consequently, California prosecutors are diligent in their pursuit of drug possession convictions and tough when it comes to sentencing, making it imperative that should you be charged with drug possession in California, you find the best defense lawyer you can find to represent you.
Classifications of Drugs Determine the Severity of Drug Possession Penalties for a Conviction of Possession
Drugs are classified by the Federal government by a series of schedules for the purpose of the determination of the seriousness of a drug possession offense and the potential sentence you might serve if convicted of drug possession. The more dangerous the drug involved in your arrest, the harsher the punishment you’ll face if convicted of the crime of possession. Below is a brief description of the various schedules ranging from most dangerous to least dangerous.
Schedule I drugs - The most dangerous drugs which have a high risk of dependency and addiction associated with them and no legitimate medical use. Schedule I Drugs include LSD, marijuana, heroin and mescaline.
Schedule II drugs - These drugs also have a high risk of abuse, but may have some legitimate medical uses. Schedule II drugs include opium, cocaine, methadone, methamphetamines, and amphetamines.
Schedule III drugs - Slightly less dangerous than Schedule II drugs, Schedule III drugs are considered to have a moderate risk of abuse. Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine (special k), and some depressants.
Schedule IV drugs - Drugs that have a slight risk of dependency with acceptable medical uses. Schedule IV drugs include drugs like clonazepam, tranquilizers, and sedatives.
Schedule V drugs - Drugs that have a very low risk of dependency. Schedule V drugs include drugs like Tylenol with Codeine.
Penalties for Possession of Drugs in CaliforniaDepending upon the charge and the classification and amount of drug you are caught with, you could possibly be facing mandatory prison time if convicted of drug possession. California’s enhancement program will add years on to your original sentence for certain conditions such as a prior conviction, possession of a firearm at the time of arrest, and the selling of drugs to children under the age of 21.
Luckily, California provides several alternatives to incarceration for drug possession. Whether or not you are eligible for any of these programs is dependent on your criminal record and the ability of your attorney to provide evidence to the court that you are worthy of a second chance. Some of the alternative penalties you may be eligible for should you be charged with possession in California includes:
- Proposition 36. A one-year drug treatment program. The level of treatment (outpatient, inpatient, halfway house, etc.) is determined by the Department of Health.
- Drug Court. A one-year program requiring participation in counseling, random drug testing, 12 step program, and judicial reviews.
- Deferred Entry of Judgment. A diversion program in which the defendant pleads guilty and goes through six months of drug treatment. Upon remaining arrest-free for an additional 12 months, the case is dismissed.