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Long Beach Drug Possession Lawyers Since 1987

Long Beach Drug Possession Lawyers Since 1987

LONG BEACH DRUG POSSESSION LAWYERS SINCE 1987

In Long Beach and throughout Los Angeles, illegal possession of controlled substances is classified into 5 categories under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Drugs and controlled substances with greater potential for physical and psychological dependence have higher rates of abuse and are, therefore, punished more harshly. Long Beach drug possession penalties are influenced by factors such as the drug you possessed, the amount you possessed, whether you had the intent to sell or distribute and your criminal history of drug crimes. In 2014, California voters passed Prop. 47, a decriminalization measure, which resulted in possession of controlled substances such as Cocaine, Meth, Concentrated Cannabis, and Heroin to be reclassified as misdemeanor drug crimes instead of the felony drug offenses, reducing the punishment for conviction from years past.

Misdemeanor drug crimes can still result in criminal records and jail time in Long Beach Court. Furthermore, although the majority of “simple possession” and possession for personal use charges are prosecuted as misdemeanor drug crimes in Long Beach, some circumstances allow prosecutors to pursue felony charges. For those that qualify, drug diversion programs are available, which can result in a dismissal of your drug case. It is important to note; not all drug charges are eligible for drug diversion as offenses involving charges of drug sales, possession with intent to sell, or transportation with intent to sell are considered “straight” felonies and are NOT eligible for drug diversion.  If you have been arrested drug possession or believe you may be a suspect in a drug-related investigation, contact our Long Beach drug possession attorneys immediately to review your case and your legal defense options.

Our Long Beach Drug Possession Defense Firm

Long Beach drug possession attorneys, Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff, have successfully defended both misdemeanor and felony drug crimes in Long Beach Court since 1987.  

  • A former special prosecutor for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Takakjian has defended Long Beach drug possession cases for over 35 years, and he is certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a Criminal Law Specialist.
  • A former supervising deputy DA with the LA DA’s office and former Superior Court Commissioner, Mr. Sitkoff has practiced criminal law for over 30 years and previously prosecuted cases in Long Beach Court.

Call us now at (562) 606-5117 for a free consultation to review the facts of your case and how we can help you.

Possession Of Marijuana | HS 11357

Marijuana possession is a Long Beach drug crime that is unique as it is classified as a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as an infraction or misdemeanor drug offense. The penalties you face in Long Beach Court if you are arrested or cited for Marijuana possession can vary depending on whether you have prior drug-related convictions, the amount of drugs you possessed, or whether you possessed drugs on school grounds. Although marijuana possession has been decriminalized, possession of “designer” or synthetic marijuana such as “Spice” or concentrated cannabis such as “Hash” can be prosecuted as Long Beach felony drug crimes if you are a registered sex offender or you have prior serious felony convictions. Unless your drug possession defense attorney can negotiate diversion to dismiss your drug charges, you face the following punishments if convicted of possession of marijuana:

Possession Of Marijuana (Infraction) – HS 11357(b)

  • Up to $100 fine
  • Court ordered drug education class or program
  • No criminal record

Misdemeanor Possession Of Marijuana – HS 11357(c)

  • Up to 6 months in LA County Jail
  • Up to $500 fine
  • Summary probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Criminal record

Possession of Concentrated Cannabis – HS 11357(a)

  • Up to 1 year in LA County Jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in California State Prison (Felony)
  • Up to $500 fine
  • Summary or formal probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Criminal record

Possession Of Cocaine | HS 11350

Prior to Prop. 47, even possessing a quantity considered to be a small amount would have resulted in a felony drug charges in Long Beach. Today, simple possession of cocaine is considered a misdemeanor drug crime, however, it can still be charged as a felony in certain aggravating circumstances. Your prior serious felony record or your status as a sex offender could result in prosecutors pursuing felony charges against you. As one of the most highly addictive controlled substances, cocaine is prosecuted aggressively in Long Beach and the consequences can be further enhanced if you are charged with possession of cocaine while in possession of a loaded firearm. Although a Long Beach drug possession attorney can negotiate diversion to dismiss your case, you face the following if convicted of simple possession of cocaine in Long Beach Court if drug diversion is denied:

  • Up to 1 year in LA County Jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in California State Prison (Felony)
  • Up to $1,000 fine (1st offense) or $2,000 fine (2nd offense)
  • Summary or formal probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Criminal record

Possession of Cocaine with a Loaded Firearm – HS 11370.1

  • Up 4 years in California State Prison
  • Formal probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Loss of firearm ownership rights
  • Criminal record

Possession Of Heroin | HS 11350

Per the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Heroin is categorized as a schedule 1 drug due to its higher potential for psychological and physical dependency. Thus, drug charges in Long Beach involving Heroin possession or possession of Heroin for sale under HS 11351, are punished harshly. Though Prop. 47 decriminalized simple Heroin possession from a felony drug crime to a misdemeanor in most cases, your prior history of serious felony convictions could allow prosecutors to pursue felony level charges against you because of your prior criminal record. Moreover, if you are a sex offender registrant, you also face increased exposure.

Heroin possession is a diversion eligible offense in Long Beach for those who qualify, whereas possessing Heroin with intent to sell is ineligible. You face the following penalties if charged with simple possession of Heroin:

  • Up to 1 year in LA County Jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in California State Prison (Felony)
  • Up to $1,000 fine (1st offense) or $2,000 fine (2nd offense)
  • Summary or formal probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Criminal record

Possession Of “Meth” | HS 11377

Drugs with high potential for abuse and addiction are punished more harshly in Long Beach. Accordingly, drug charges involving Methamphetamine or “Meth” are pursued aggressively by Long Beach police and prosecutors. As a “wobbler” offense, Meth possession can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. Nevertheless, the passage of Prop. 47 has since resulted in the majority of Meth possession cases to punished as misdemeanor drug crimes with the felony Meth possession charges restricted to those with felony strikes or registrable sex crime convictions on their criminal records. Meth possession is eligible for drug diversion if you qualify. However if you do not, you face the following punishments if you are convicted of possession of Methamphetamine:

  • Up to 1 year in LA County Jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in California State Prison (Felony)
  • Up to $1,000 fine
  • Summary or formal probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Criminal record

Possession Of Prescription Drugs Without Prescription | BP 4060

Drug crimes involving prescription drug abuse and addiction have risen considerably over the past couple decades. Prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, Xanax, and Adderall are examples of prescription drugs which are most commonly prosecuted under California Business and Professions Code 4060. Per BP 4060, it is illegal to possess a prescription drug without a valid prescription issued directly by a doctor. Similar to possession of Meth, Heroin, and Cocaine, prescription drug possession in Long Beach is typically punished as a misdemeanor, though you can be charged with a felony if you are registered sex offender or have strikeable felony priors. If you have been arrested for BP 4060, you the face the following penalties:

  • Up to 1 year in LA County Jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in California State Prison (Felony)
  • Up to $1,000 fine
  • Summary or formal probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Criminal record

Call Our Long Beach Criminal Defense Lawyers Now For A Free Consultation

Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff are universally regarded as two of the most experienced Long Beach drug possession lawyers. Both possess the necessary courtroom experience, and legal knowledge required to ensure your case objectives are achieved. Contact our Long Beach office now at (562) 606-5117 for a free consultation to learn how we can help you.