Tehama County Drug Court Defense Lawyer
Having a conviction for drug possession on your criminal record can complicate your life in many ways for years to come. Even though Proposition 47 made drug possession for personal use a misdemeanor in 2014, you can still get probation, you are still walking on eggshells to avoid violating the terms of your probation and getting sentenced to a longer probation, or even to incarceration. Even though simple possession is a misdemeanor, other drug crimes, such as drug trafficking, are still felonies. Just one felony conviction could cost you your voting rights, your professional license, or the right to own a gun. It is possible to get criminal convictions expunged from your record and to get arrest records sealed, but it is a long and stressful process. The best way to keep criminal convictions of your record is not to plead guilty or face a jury at all. Tehama County Adult Drug Court and Drug Dependency Court make it possible for people charged with drug crimes to get their charges dropped if they successfully complete court-ordered drug treatment programs and attend drug court hearings as required by the judge.
Can You Walk Away From Drug Charges Without a Criminal Record?
If it is a first-time offense, you just might be able to walk away as if the incident never happened. If you have never been convicted of a crime before, the court is much more likely to treat it as a mistake to be learned from than if you have a record of convictions for similar activity. In October 2020, Tehama County expanded the opportunities that it gives people charged with first-offense misdemeanors to walk away with a clean slate. Many defendants charged with non-violent misdemeanors have the opportunity to get their charges dropped if they complete court-ordered online education courses and, if applicable, pay restitution. (Restitution is where you pay compensation to the person harmed by your actions, such as if you repay money you stole or pay to replace property that you vandalized.)
Drug possession is a perfect example of a non-violent crime, but it is often a sign of a deeper problem, namely substance use disorder. Criminal penalties like jail or probation for drug possession are counterproductive and cost billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money. California drug courts connect people to the medical treatment, counseling, and social support they need to help them manage substance use disorder and stay healthy.
Northern California Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer Helps You Stay Out of the Criminal Justice System
If you are facing criminal charges for drug possession for the first time, do not just think about pleading innocent or guilty because many times there are other options. You might be able to get your charges dropped by completing online classes or a drug court program, so a youthful mistake will not follow you around for the rest of your life. Gregg Cohen is a Tehama County criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of experience, including working for the state attorney’s office. Gregg will work with you personally to make sure that you can avoid unnecessary involvement with the criminal justice system and that your legal rights are respected.