Los Angeles and San Bernardino Drug Crime Defense Lawyer
Despite popular support for legalized marijuana and decriminalization of other drugs, the war on drugs is alive and well in California, including in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Police officers and district attorneys know they can make a name for themselves and advance their careers with drug busts, while also seizing and forfeiting private property to line their coffers along the way. In their zeal to take down drug dealers and traffickers all up and down the supply chain, it’s often the low-level offenders who get caught up in the net and treated far more harshly than the alleged offense merits.
Many drug crimes in California are felony offenses, and persons charged with drug crimes face serious prison time and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted. Having a felony or a drug crime on your record can also negatively impact you in just about every area of your life for years, long after the conviction and any punishment are over.
A drug crime arrest isn’t the end of your life but only the beginning of the fight of your life, as you raise applicable defenses to the charges and take the case to court or negotiate a favorable outcome with the prosecution. The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. can help you do this. We are a criminal defense law firm that believes in the rights of the criminally accused to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, to have the assistance of counsel in their defense, and to defend themselves with the full protection of the rights guaranteed to them by the U.S. and California Constitutions.
If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime in Los Angeles or San Bernardino County, call The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. for a consultation. We’ll look into your case, advise you of your options, and provide zealous representation on your behalf in and out of court.
Drug Crime Defenses in California
Drug crimes are defined by statute, and every offense consists of a number of elements, each of which must be proven by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of the crime. Often an essential element of the crime is missing or can’t be proven, such as intent. We’ll take a hard look at the prosecution’s case and evidence and challenge them at every turn where we think they haven’t done their job. If they can’t meet the required burden of proof, you deserve to go free. Here are some of the more common defenses that might be available to fight charges of possession, possession with intent to sell, or drug trafficking.
The drugs were not yours. Sometimes police raid a house or public area and arrest everyone in sight. Just because you were in a place where drugs were present does not mean the drugs were yours or that you were in possession of them.
The substance was not illegal. Prosecutors have to prove that the substance in question is in fact illegal and present that evidence in court, but they don’t always do their homework in proving this essential element.
You didn’t know the substance was illegal. Many drug crimes require that you intended to possess illegal drugs. If something was in your possession but you didn’t know what it was, you might not have the requisite intent.
The drugs were for your personal use. Prosecutors can charge possession with intent based solely on the quantity of drugs involved, but if you can prove you lacked the intent to sell or distribute, you could be able to get the charges dropped or reduced or beat the case in court.
The evidence against you was illegally obtained. Police must have a warrant, probable cause or meet other legal standards before they can stop you on the street and pat you down, pull you over in your vehicle, come into your home, and conduct a search.
California Marijuana Laws
Cannabis is legal in California for recreational use, and you can buy it at a pot shop on just about any corner in Los Angeles or San Bernardino County, so marijuana is no longer illegal, right? Yes and no. You can buy marijuana and use it, but you are limited in how much you can possess. You can lawfully possess up to an ounce of dried marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis, or grow up to six plants at home for personal use. If you have greater quantities than that, you could be fined up to $500 and sentenced to up to six months in jail. You also cannot sell marijuana unless you are licensed by the state to sell it. If you possess too much marijuana, you could be charged with possession with intent to sell. California marijuana offenses are mostly misdemeanors, although some could be charged as felonies depending on factors such as the offense charged, the amount involved, or if you have prior drug or felony convictions.
Get Help With Drug Crime Charges in Los Angeles and San Bernardino
Prosecutors tend to pursue the most serious offenses they think they can reasonably charge, often in an attempt to scare the accused into pleading guilty. At The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq., we’ll work to get charges reduced or dropped by challenging prosecutors on the evidence they have. If the prosecution does have a viable case, we can also work to negotiate a favorable plea with an outcome like diversion, treatment or probation that avoids incarceration and the risk of a trial. When going to trial is in your best interests, we’ll be prepared to go to bat for you and won’t back down from a fight.
For your best chance at the best result after a drug crime arrest in Los Angeles or San Bernardino County, call The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. for a consultation. We speak Spanish and English, so call immediately after your arrest for the best chance at success.