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Santa Monica Drug Crimes Defense

Santa Monica Drug Crimes Defense

Santa Monica Drug Possession Lawyers Since 1987 | Former Sr. Narcotics Prosecutors

In Santa Monica and throughout Los Angeles County, possession of controlled substances is classified into 5 categories under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. The criminal consequences for illegal possession of prescription drugs and “street drugs” can vary depending on the amount you possessed whether you intended to distribute, and the specific substance you had in your possession. Typically, drugs with greater potential for abuse, such as Cocaine, Heroin, and Methamphetamine are punished more severely than lower level drug charges, such as possession of Marijuana. Although the decriminalization measure, Prop. 47, reduced drug possession in most circumstances to misdemeanor offenses, even a misdemeanor possession conviction can result in serious consequences. If you have been arrested for a drug offense, your next course of action should be to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn what your options are and how a skilled Santa Monica drug possession lawyer can help you achieve the best possible case outcome.

Santa Monica drug possession lawyers, Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff, have successfully defended both felony and misdemeanor drug charges in LAX Court for over 3 decades. A former special prosecutor for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Takakjian has successfully defended numerous Santa Monica drug charges for over 35 years, ranging from misdemeanor drug possession to more complex possession with intent to sell and transportation of narcotics cases. In addition, Mr. Takakjian is board certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a Criminal Law Specialist. Mr. Sitkoff is a former supervising deputy DA with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office and a former Superior Court Commissioner with an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel.

Call us now at (310) 861-6753 for a free consultation to review the facts of your arrest and to learn how we can help you achieve the best outcome.

Most “simple possession” or possession for personal use drug offenses are treated as misdemeanor drug crimes in Santa Monica. However, there are circumstances which allow prosecutors to pursue felony drug charges. Despite the fact a misdemeanor drug offense is less serious than a felony, a criminal record and even jail time can still result from a misdemeanor conviction in LAX Court. Fortunately for those who qualify, drug diversion programs can be negotiated with judges and prosecutors, which if successfully completed, would result in a dismissal of your drug charge.

Alternatively, if you are arrested for a Santa Monica felony drug charge involving possession with intent to sell or drug transportation, you will NOT be eligible for drug diversion. Your prior criminal history can also factor into your eligibility for drug diversion. If you believe you may be a suspect in a drug-related investigation or have been recently arrested for a misdemeanor or felony drug crime, contact our Santa Monica drug possession attorneys immediately for a thorough analysis of your case and the best way to defend it.

Possession Of Marijuana | HS 11357

Marijuana possession in Santa Monica is an exclusive drug offense as it can be prosecuted as an infraction or misdemeanor drug crime. The punishment you face in Airport Court for Marijuana possession citation can vary depending on your criminal history, the volume of drugs in your possession, or whether you possessed drugs on the premises of a school. While the bulk of marijuana crimes are not considered serious charges unless allegations of sales and trafficking are involved, “designer” or synthetic marijuana such as “Spice” or concentrated cannabis such as “Hash” are prosecuted more aggressively in Santa Monica. Depending on whether you have prior serious felony convictions or are mandated to register as a sex offender, you could also face felony drug possession charges in Airport Court. If drug diversion cannot be negotiated, you face the following punishments if convicted of Marijuana possession:

Possession Of Marijuana (Infraction) – HS 11357(b)santa monica drug possession

  • 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 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 jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in 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

Before Prop. 47, possession of any amount of Cocaine in Santa Monica was classified as felony drug possession. Although the passage of Prop. 47 reclassified Cocaine possession as a misdemeanor offense for most, possession of Cocaine in Santa Monica is still felony eligible in specific circumstances. Having a prior criminal record of serious felony convictions or being a sex offender registrant felony Cocaine possession charges in LAX Court. Due to its highly addictive nature, drug cases involving Cocaine are investigated and prosecuted aggressively in Santa Monica. The consequences can be further intensified if you are accused of possessing a loaded firearm while in possession of Cocaine.

You face the following if convicted of Cocaine possession in LAX Court if you do not qualify for drug diversion:

  • Up to 1 year in jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in 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 to 4 years in prison
  • Formal probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Loss of gun ownership rights
  • Criminal record

Possession Of Heroin | HS 11350

Heroin is described as a schedule 1 drug as a result of its greater potential for physical and psychological dependency. Consequently, drug charges in Santa Monica involving Heroin possession or possession for sale of Heroin under HS 11351, are punished more severely. Though Prop. 47 decriminalized simple Heroin possession from a felony drug charge to a misdemeanor in a majority of cases, your prior criminal history can expose you to harsher terms of sentencing through an enhanced felony Heroin possession charge.

Heroin possession is a diversion eligible offense in Airport Court for those who qualify, whereas possession with intent to sell Heroin is not. If charged with simple possession of Heroin, you face the following punishments:

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

Possession Of “Meth” | HS 11377

Drug charges involving Methamphetamine or “Meth” are pursued aggressively by Santa Monica police and city prosecutors. As a “wobbler” offense, Meth possession can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony drug crime. Although the passage of Prop. 47 resulted in most Meth possession cases to be punished as misdemeanor drug crimes, possession of Meth can still be prosecuted as a felony in certain circumstances. Meth possession is a drug diversion eligible offense if you qualify. In the event you do not, you face the following:

  • Up to 1 year in jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in prison (Felony)
  • Up to a $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

Prescription drug abuse and addiction have continued to increase over the past couple decades and drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, Xanax, and Adderall grown in popularity amongst recreational users. Defined under California Business and Professions Code 4060, it is illegal to possess a prescription drug without a valid prescription issued directly by a doctor. As with possession of Meth, Heroin, and Cocaine, Santa Monica drug possession is typically charged as a misdemeanor drug crime. If you have been arrested for BP 4060, you face the following penalties:

  • Up to 1 year in jail (Misdemeanor) or up to 3 years in prison (Felony)
  • Up to a $1,000 fine
  • Summary or formal probation
  • Community service/labor
  • Court ordered drug education program
  • Criminal record

Call Our Santa Monica Drug Possession Lawyers Today For A Free Consultation

Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff are widely regarded as two of the most experienced criminal defense lawyers in Santa Monica. Both possess extensive courtroom experience, and an unparalleled depth of legal knowledge to ensure your case receives a top notch legal defense. Contact our Santa Monica office now at (310) 861-6753 for a free consultation to learn how we can help you.

Since 1987, we have proudly served the following West Los Angeles communities: Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Brentwood, Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, and Venice

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