Drug Possession

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Drug Possession And Possession Of A Controlled Substances

Of all drug crimes, the most commonly charged and most commonly prosecuted is that of drug possession. This crime is exactly what it sounds like – the possession of any illegal or controlled substance. In the state of California, the law outlines a very detailed and comprehensive list of what falls under the category of a controlled substance.

Understanding controlled substances in California

Under the 2010 California Health and Safety Code, §§11053-11058, controlled substances are listed, separated and categorized; these drugs include opiates and opium derivatives (such as codeine), hallucinogenic, depressants, stimulants, narcotics and cocaine-based drugs. These are all separated into even smaller branches known as ‘schedules’ and will either be considered as Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV or Schedule V drug depending on several different factors, especially dependent on what is known as the drug’s “potential for abuse.”

A drug that falls under Schedule I, for instance, is considered to have an extremely high potential for abuse, does not currently have any use as a medical treatment and has a completely lack of safety when there is no medical supervision upon the taking of the drug. An example of a Schedule I drug is heroin. These drugs are never prescribed. In contrast, a Schedule V drug is considered to have a low potential for abuse, is generally accepted for medical treatment and is generally accepted to lead to only limited physical dependency. A cough suppressant could be considered a Schedule V drug.

Classifying the different types of possession

In the state of California, it is important to recognize that there are several different forms of possession – and the type of possession that you are found guilty of will greatly impact the end result of your case. Put simply, you can be found guilty of actual possession, joint possession or constructive possession. Actual possession is the simplest form and is the most common – it means that you were found to have the drugs directly on your person (for example, in your pockets, in a purse or even in a body cavity). This is the most difficult to defend against because the drugs were found on your – but not impossible. To be found guilty of constructive possession, it must be proven that the drugs were in a place that you have direct control over (for example, in your room or in your car). Joint possession means that the drugs were either actually or constructively possessed and that control over them was split between you and another person(s).

Penalties for drug possession

The penalties associated with drug possession will vary depending on several different aspects of the charge and arrest. For example, the type of drug found in your possession, the amount found and the location in which you were found to possess the drug will all have a bearing on the penalties. For example, under the 2010 California Code, §11350, a person who is found to have possession of a Schedule I depressant will be facing a one year imprisonment in a county jail or state prison. On the other hand, someone who has been found to possess a narcotic drug in Schedule II, IV or V will be facing incarceration for two, three of four years in the state prison. Other penalties will be imposed on criminals depending on the extenuating circumstances of their exact arrest. These can include monetary fines and community service.

Experienced LA Drug Possession Defense Lawyers

At Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP, we have seen how quickly these cases can grow to be out of hand. For this reason, we strongly believe that the best thing that can be done is to move quickly as soon as we are contacted. For this reason, as soon as you secure the legal representation of our legal team, you can breathe easier knowing that we will immediately launch into action, utilizing our every resource to ensure that we are minimizing the damage and working towards an optimal result.

At our firm, we have seen that all too often the efforts of overzealous police can result in an unlawful search and seizure. If you have suffered from something of this nature, we will do everything we can to get this evidence thrown out. We firmly believe that everyone should be held to the law – even police. We, therefore, will defend you against any unlawful actions on their part in every way possible. You can trust that we will do everything that we can to help you.