Northern California Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
Criminal charges for drug crimes, such as possession of illegal drugs and drug distribution make up a large portion of criminal cases. When you were a child, drug education programs in school and public service announcements and Saturday morning cartoons on TV made drugs sound scary, but what is even scarier is the way that a conviction for a drug offense can mess with your life for years to come, even after you have served your sentence, and even if your sentence did not involve jail or prison.
What Happens if You Get a Felony Drug Conviction?
Many drug crimes are felonies. While simple possession is a misdemeanor, possession with intent to sell is a felony. If you have a felony conviction on your record, these are some of the consequences you can face:
- Having your felony conviction show up on pre-employment background checks
- Potential loss of your professional license in careers such as nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, dentistry, teaching, medicine, real estate, and social work
- Losing the right to vote
- Temporary disqualification from employment with financial institutions, insurance companies, and federal defense contractors
- Losing the right to own a firearm
Tehama County Drug Crimes Lawyer
You can face these serious consequences if you are found guilty of possessing a controlled substance as defined by the federal Controlled Substances Act. Not all of the substances for which you can get criminal charges are what most people think of as hard drugs. Most controlled substances have at least one legal medical use; some of them are natural substances not known to be addictive.
California has a reputation for being open-minded about substances. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana and the fifth to legalize recreational cannabis for adults ages 21 and older. The law is not always so open-minded, though. Even if you firmly believe that the substance is harmless, you could still face serious legal trouble.
Drug Crimes are Non-Violent Offenses
Criminal justice reform efforts in recent years have led to more compassionate treatment of people charged with drug offenses. Drug possession is not a violent crime, and many people charged with it have never acted violently toward another person. Many times, drug possession or transport, and other non-violent crimes such as petty theft, are simply symptoms of substance use disorder, and punishing people charged with them to the full extent that the law allows helps no one.
California now offers diversion programs to some defendants charged with drug crimes. These programs connect defendants to treatment for substance use disorder and offer them support to help them live healthy and productive lives.
Gregg Cohen Fights for Your Legal Rights
At traffic stops and drug busts, police often try to intimidate you, but remember that being in a house or car where a K9 alerts an officer to the presence of a large stash of drugs does not mean you are guilty of a felony. You cannot be found guilty unless the police were within your rights to search you and unless the substance is actually what the prosecution says it is. Gregg Cohen is a Red Bluff, California criminal defense lawyer who previously worked as a district attorney. He knows all about drug crimes cases and will spare no effort in helping you exercise your legal rights as a defendant.