Drug Charge Defenses In California
In this article, you will discover:
- Potential defenses for drug charges;
- How to plead in a drug case;
- The benefits of hiring a drug defense attorney;
- and more…
What Are Defenses To Drug Distribution Charges?
There are several defenses to drug distribution charges in California, including:
- Whether the drugs were for personal use and not for sale
- The defendant is not offering to sell or transport a controlled substance
- Search and seizure violations
- Lack of knowledge that the possessed substance was a controlled substance
- And more…
The first defense is that the drugs were for personal use and not distribution, which would result in a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
The second defense is that there was no offer to sell or transport a controlled substance. If the substance is not illegal and there is no offer to sell or transport, it could lead to a defense. It is not a crime to offer to sell a non-narcotic or non-controlled substance, and if there is no offer, then you cannot be charged with distribution. If there was no offer to sell the substance, that’s a defense against the drug distribution charge.
The third defense is entrapment, or more precisely, that law enforcement entrapped the person resulting in the person committing a crime they would not normally commit. Entrapment is when a law abiding person is induced into committing a crime they would not otherwise have committed because of the inducements by law enforcement.
Such behavior might include a guarantee by law enforcement that the offense would go undetected. If law enforcement makes an offer, or law enforcement ensures that the person will not get in trouble, or that what they are doing is not illegal, or keeps increasing the incentives for selling or distributing a controlled substance.
The fourth defense to a drug charge is that the search and seizure resulting in the discovery of controlled substances was unlawful and in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. If a warrant was obtained, did law enforcement exceed the bounds of the warrant or was the warrant based upon false information. If there was no warrant, did the search or seizure fall within the bounds of an exception to the warrant requirement. If a challenge to the search or seizure is successful, the evidence of the discovery of controlled substances can be suppressed and criminal charges may be dismissed.
Finally, the last defense is a lack of knowledge. If someone unknowingly possessed a controlled substance, that could constitute a defense. The defense would apply if a person did not know the drugs were on their person or vehicle or you did not know that the substance possessed was an illegal controlled substance. The requirement that a person “knowingly” possessed a controlled substance is not viable if you were unaware that you had it in your possession or that possession was unlawful.
Is Hiring A Drug Defense Attorney In California Necessary If The Intent Is To Plead Guilty?
Before pleading guilty to any drug charge, consulting with and retaining an experienced and qualified drug defense attorney is recommended.
After evaluating the case, an attorney can advise any defenses that may exist and any direct or collateral consequences in addition to other penalties imposed by the court, such as a requirement to register as a drug offender. There are often collateral consequences that might impact employment, professional licensing, immigration, and the ability to own or possess a firearm.
After a proper evaluation of a case and the specific circumstances, a qualified California drug defense attorney can advise what possible direct or collateral consequences. Furthermore, a California judge is unlikely to permit an individual to plead guilty or no contest to a drug distribution charge without consulting an attorney.
For more information on Defenses To Drug Distribution Charges In CA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 728-9982 today.