Red Bluff, California, Drug Possession Lawyer
According to California law, drug possession, also known as possession of a controlled substance, refers to criminal charges in which the police find illegal drugs or drugs with limited legal uses in the presence of the defendant and allege that the drugs belong to the defendant. Drug possession offenses include simple possession and possession for sale. Which charges you get and what the consequences are depends on which drug it was, how much of it was in your possession, and where you were when you got caught. With the help of a Tehama County drug possession defense lawyer, you can avoid jail time and possibly even avoid getting criminal charges on your record.
Possession of a Controlled Substance: What is a Controlled Substance?
You can get criminal charges for possession of a controlled substance if you get caught with any of the drugs listed on the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law categorizes the substances into five groups (called “schedules” in the meaning of “lists”), depending on how dangerous they are. Schedule I controlled substances, such as heroin, have no legally recognized medical uses, while Schedule V controlled substances are habit-forming prescription drugs with a high potential for abuse. Since the law was passed in 1970, drugs have been added to the list, and others have been reclassified. Consider that possession of small amounts of cannabis by adults is now legal in California. There is also a movement to reclassify psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca, since there is evidence that these substances have more potential medical use and are less dangerous than the law currently acknowledges.
Possession of a Controlled Substance: What is Possession?
The police can accuse you of drug possession if the drugs are in a place that makes the police believe that the drugs belong to you and that you plan to consume them, such as the following:
- In the pocket of your clothing
- In a backpack or purse that belongs to you
- In your car
- In your residence
- In a storage unit rented in your name
If prosecutors believe that you planned to consume the drugs yourself, then the criminal charges are for simple possession. If the drugs were of a small quantity, amounting to only a few doses, then you will most likely get charged with simple possession. Simple possession is a misdemeanor, but the fines and the likelihood of going to jail are greater if it is not a first-time offense. Possession for sale, meaning that you allegedly planned to sell the drugs, is a felony. In some criminal cases, it is the prosecution’s word against the defendant’s as to whether the defendant planned to consume the drugs by himself over a period of time or whether he planned to sell them.
What to Do if You Get Charged With Drug Possession
If you get charged with drug possession, it does not necessarily mean that you are going to jail. A Red Bluff drug possession attorney can help you get the charges reduced or dropped. Gregg Cohen, a defense attorney with experience as a prosecutor, can help you enter a pretrial diversion program such as drug court, reduce your charges, or get a not guilty verdict at trial.