James M. Crawford

What are the main drug possession crimes under California state and local laws?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Drug Crimes

Drug possession is a crime in California, and the state has several drug possession charges that it can choose from. The main two kinds of possession crimes are 1) Simple possession, and 2) Possession for sale.

Both of these crimes will result in penalties upon conviction, but the penalties vary based on the intentions of the crimes. For example, simple possession means that you’re carrying an illegal substance with the intention to use it for your own personal use. Possession for sale means that you intended to sell the substance to others, which is a more serious crime than using the substance yourself.

How does Proposition 47 impact your drug possession case?

Proposition 47 was passed in 2014 and made changes in law that make many drug possession charges misdemeanors. Misdemeanors usually have jail or prison sentences of a year or less with minimal fines.

The changes also made it so that those serving time in state prisons would be able to petition the court and ask to be resentenced.

California has decriminalized the use of recreational marijuana as of 2016 through Proposition 64. Getting caught with more than the legal amount can still lead to misdemeanors. Those who have the drug underage may also face mandatory drug education courses and community service.

With drug crimes, you do have defensive options

Like with any other kind of crime, it is in your best interests to defend yourself if you’re accused of possessing drugs for yourself or to sell. There are some solid defenses that you can use, such as:

  • Having a prescription from a medical provider
  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Lab errors
  • Entrapment
  • Medical necessity

These and other defenses may help you minimize the risk of a conviction.

Make sure to defend yourself and protect your rights if you face drug charges in California

Drug crimes should be taken seriously. The penalties can still be harsh despite some drug-related offenses being decriminalized or minimized in the court system. Even a misdemeanor can have a negative impact on your life, so it’s only right to fight back against the charges to avoid lasting consequences.

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