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Los Angeles Drug Crimes Lawyer

New Tactics For An Old War

From misdemeanor drug possession to felony drug sales, police and prosecutors have been using the same playbook for decades. At CBS Law, we use innovative strategies to discredit police operations and save client reputations. We’ve successfully defended hundreds of drug cases by not just challenging unconstitutional police actions but also helping clients receive treatment instead of convictions. With a 93% trial success rate and a vast network of treatment resources, we’re here to help. Call now and together we’ll get your life back.

Have you been charged with a drug crime in Los Angeles? California drug laws are complex, and not easy to understand. The seriousness of the offense, the potential sentence if you are convicted, the defenses that may be available, your prior criminal history, and other factors, all play a role in how your case should be handled.

At CBS Law, we have experience representing clients charged with drug offenses. We understand how to defend our clients and provide them with the opportunity to obtain the best result possible. The courts are tough on drug crimes. If you want an experienced drug crimes lawyer on your side, call us for a free consultation.

Drug Possession

A drug charge will be based on several factors, among them the activity you are charged with, the drug involved, and your criminal history, if any. These will determine both the seriousness of the offense, and the possible penalties if you are convicted.

Simple possession is generally classified as a less serious offense than trafficking in drugs, or possession for sale. On the other hand, not all drug possession charges are minor offenses. The fact is that in many cases drug charges are felonies, and possession can lead to incarceration.  Read more about possession.

“Mr. Bou Saeed was exactly what I needed when I needed it!” – Franco L.

Drug Classification

Under California law, drugs are classified in “Schedules.” The following are the drug classifications contained in HS 11000 et seq., known as the Uniform Controlled Substances Act:

  • Schedule I. This group includes most opiates, opiate derivatives (for example, codeine), heroin, THC, LSD, crack cocaine, and mescaline, among others. Although the laws concerning medical marijuana and recreational marijuana have changed in California, it remains a Schedule I drug.
  • Schedule II. Opium and opium extracts are covered in this group. It also covers, among others, OxyContin (oxycodone), morphine, meth, and fentanyl.
  • Schedule III. This section includes steroids and various other drugs.
  • Schedule IV. This group covers, among others, popular drugs such as Valium, Ativan, and Xanax.
  • Schedule V. Schedule V includes certain drugs containing limited quantities of certain narcotics, including codeine.

Mere possession of a small amount of many of the drugs identified above is a felony. There are, however, numerous variations. For example, possession of some drugs listed in Schedule I are treated more harshly than others. But mere possession of some drugs can result in the possibility of incarceration. And possession for sale is a felony that in some cases could lead to a possible lengthy prison term.

Marijuana

While marijuana is still a Schedule I drug, the voters in California have expressly approved medical marijuana, as well as adult use of recreational marijuana. Nevertheless, it is possible to be charged with an infraction or even a criminal offense in some cases related to marijuana possession and use. Some of the laws in that regard are:

  • Adult possession of up to 28.5 grams – Legal
  • Possession of more than 28.5 grams – Misdemeanor
  • Possession of marijuana under 18 years old – Infraction
  • Possession on school grounds – Misdemeanor
  • Possession with intent to sell – Misdemeanor (under 18, infraction)
  • Sale – Misdemeanor

Thus, while marijuana may have been “legalized,” you can still be charged with an offense in some cases.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking (HS 11352) is a felony that includes the transportation, importation and/or distribution of illegal drugs. Even if you are convicted as a first offender, you could end up going to prison. If you are facing a drug trafficking charge, be sure that your attorney has the experience to provide you with the best defense available.

Prescription Drugs

The fact that a drug is ordinarily prescribed by a physician does not mean that there can be no consequences relating to it. For example, possession without a valid prescription is illegal, that is, you are not immune from prosecution simply because the drug came from a pharmacy. Other possible charges relating to prescription drugs include forging or altering a prescription; sale of a prescription drug; and multiple attempts to fill the same prescription.

Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug Crimes

The California Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act provides, among other things, that “diversion” may be available in connection with some drug-related charges. If you qualify under the Act, you may be able to participate in a drug treatment program and avoid trial. But the law is specific that eligibility depends upon the nature of the offense (for example, it does not apply to charges involving violence); nor is it available to those who have prior felony convictions within the prior 5 years. The Act also contains other requirements and limitations.

If you are eligible for diversion, you would plead guilty to the offense, give up your right to be sentenced for the time being, and enter a drug program approved by the court. Upon successful completion of the program, your court case will be dismissed.

Defenses in Drug Cases

If you have been charged with a drug crime, Chris Bou Saeed believes in presenting an aggressive defense. The goal is to provide you with the best chance of a favorable resolution of your case. This means, in part, raising all applicable defenses to the charge(s) against you.

The are many possible defenses that may apply in a drug case. Those defenses include:

  • Illegal search and seizure. One example is a drug charge that originated with a traffic stop. The legality of the stop and the subsequent search are central to the case. If we demonstrate that either the stop or the search was unlawful, then the resulting evidence discovered can be barred from use at your trial. In many cases, this can result in the case against you being dismissed. The same legal principle can be applied if there is a search of your business, your home, or even an unlawful “stop and frisk.”
  • Entrapment. Sting operations by the police are common, particularly in connection with drug offenses. In some cases, we can show that the police exerted undue pressure on or harassed the defendant, made threats, or took other actions that amounted to entrapment. This means that the actions of the police improperly induced you to commit the offense.
  • Invalid search warrant. A search may be conducted pursuant to a warrant signed by a judge. However, if that warrant is invalid, the search will generally be deemed illegal, and any evidence obtained as a result of the search may be inadmissible in court.

Drug Crimes Attorney in Los Angeles

Always remember that in a court of law, you are innocent until you are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We defend our clients vigorously, identifying any weaknesses in the case against you, and challenging the prosecution’s evidence against you before and during trial.

If you have been arrested for drug possession, drug sale, or any other charge relating to illegal drugs, contact Mr. Bou Saeed for a confidential consultation. Your initial consultation is free Call CBS Law at (213) 800-8005. 

“When you’re accused of something you didn’t do, the thought of losing everything can be overwhelming. My job isn’t to walk you through the process, my job is to get your life back.”

imgChristopher J. Bou Saeed, Founding Attorney of CBS Law

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