Orange County Possession For Drug Sales Lawyer
Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana and other cannabis-derived substances, California continues to prosecute individuals for possession with intent to sell illegal drugs, including prescription drugs, opiates, opioid derivatives, cocaine, heroin, and unregulated marijuana. To determine whether possession includes evidence of sales, police look at the circumstances, actual physical possession of drugs, amounts in excess of personal use, actions and activities indicating sales, possession of paraphernalia, baggies, scales, and large amounts of cash.
To prove their case, the District Attorney must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed drugs with the intent to sell, attempted to sell those drugs, that you did so intentionally, and that you knew the drugs were classified as illegal.
Prosecutions for drug sales are complex. These cases require an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney to fully analyze the facts and understand the nature of the charges. Additionally, an experienced criminal defense attorney with knowledge of the police and prosecutors, along with having a reputation for effective and rigorous representation throughout Orange County will allow the best chance for success in this type of criminal case.
You need an Orange County drug sales lawyer who knows the criminal justice system and is recognized by the police, prosecutors, and judges as a fierce advocate. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian have the experience to walk you through the complex legal process and defend you to the fullest extent of the law. If you or a loved one have been charged with drug possession for sales, your best defense is to retain a lawyer from The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian to fight for your rights and freedom. Contact us at 855-918-4253 for a case evaluation.
Health and Safety Code (HSC) Section 11351
California Health and Safety Code Sec. 11351 makes it illegal for every person to possess controlled substances for sale or to purchase controlled substances for the purposes of selling said substances. A controlled substance is substance that is controlled by the government because it may be abused or cause addiction and includes illegal drugs such as hallucinogens (LSD and mushrooms), cocaine, opiates, heroin, and Ecstasy, as well as prescription drugs held without a prescription, such as morphine, Vicodin, codeine, and OxyContin.
Penalties for Drug Crimes
The severity of the charges, and whether felony charges can be reduced to a plea-bargained misdemeanor depends on:
- The classification of the controlled substance
- The quantity of the drugs involved
- Whether there is evidence of intent to sell or whether the drugs were solely for personal use
- Whether you have a prior criminal record
Depending on the severity of the charge, a conviction under HSC 11351 can result in a prison sentence of two, three, or four years.
Weight Enhancements for Drug Offenses
The amount of controlled substance is an important factor that prosecutors take into account when deciding how to charge possession with intent to sell controlled substances. The amount of the drugs found can be evidence of intent to sell if the amount possessed is far beyond the capacity for personal use.
Weight, however, is only one factor. The District Attorney will also consider where the drugs were located, whether and how they were packaged, the presence of scales and packaging materials, the presence of large amounts of cash in multiple denominations, and the frequency of visitors to the alleged sales location.
Evidence in drug sales cases can be gathered through a stake-out where officers place a location or a specific person under surveillance or through informants or undercover police officers who arrange for drug purchases. Each of these methods carries with it defense strategies to defend against the charges.
Defenses for Drug Crimes
How evidence is gathered is often the root of a variety of defenses that can be raised against a charge of possession with intent to sell a controlled substance. Arrests made as a result of a stake out, use of an informant, or purchase by an undercover agent raise important issues of fairness and possible abuse of authority.
Was a search or arrest warrant necessary? Did the search or arrest conform to the limitations of those warrants? A search or arrest warrant requires the investigating officer to submit a sworn affidavit to a judge for review to ensure that there is enough evidence to support a charge of illegal activity, justifying the search or arrest. There are also time constraints placed within search and arrest warrants. All of these specifics must be strictly observed by police.
Was the informant’s testimony tainted by promises of non-prosecution or lesser sentencing? When informants are trying to stay out of jail themselves, they often fabricate stories that diminish their role in criminal activities and exaggerate the roles of others. A proper defense will explore the motivations of any informants.
Did the police action rise to a level of illegal entrapment? Although difficult to prove, sometimes police action rises to a level of illegal entrapment. Entrapment means that the police ensnared the defendant into a criminal activity that they would not have engaged in otherwise.
Only an experienced Orange County drug possession for sales lawyer who knows the criminal justice system and all of the participants, i.e. police, district attorneys, and judges, can adequately demand full discovery and transparency of the prosecutor’s case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will then analyze the evidence obtained to find the strengths, and weaknesses, in the prosecutor’s case.
This global assessment of your case and the participants needs to occur early in the prosecution so that testimonial defense evidence can be gathered and preserved while it is still fresh and the integrity of physical evidence remains. A realistic assessment made by an experienced drug possession for sales lawyer can determine whether, and when, negotiations with the district attorney might result in a lesser charge, with or without jail or prison time, or whether a jury trial is the best way to move forward and defend against the charges.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian have the experience to walk you through the complex legal process and defend you to the fullest extent of the law. If you or a loved one have been charged with drug possession for sales, your best defense is to retain a lawyer from The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian to fight for your rights and freedom. Contact us at 855-918-4253 for a case evaluation.
Motion to Suppress for Drug Cases
Arrests and indictments on drug possession for sales make for good press on local media. Police and prosecutors are often represented in the media surrounded by piles of illegal drugs, weapons, and assurances that another drug dealer is off the streets. However, mistakes and overreaching are more common than police or prosecutors like to admit. Most arrests and searches require warrants with demonstrable probable cause reviewed by a judge. Exceptions to the warrant requirement are narrow and specific. Legal searches require meticulous attention to how any physical evidence is gathered and preserved. The drugs must be tested to show that they are indeed illegal. Confessions or statements against interest must be examined under the circumstances in which they were obtained.
To effectively claim that evidence or statements were illegally seized or obtained requires filing pretrial motions on a schedule set by the judge. Successfully suppressing evidence or statements before trial can force a prosecutor to reassess the strength of the case, engage in plea bargaining, or dismiss the charges altogether. This is where an Orange County drug possession for sales lawyer with extensive current knowledge of the criminal justice system really makes a difference.
Have you or a loved one been charged with drug possession for sales in Orange County?
If you or a loved one have been charged with drug possession for sales, your best defense is to retain a lawyer from The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian to fight for your rights and freedom. Contact us at 855-918-4253 for a case evaluation. We have offices in Santa Ana, Westminster, Newport Beach and Fullerton to serve clients with matters heard at the Central, West, Harbor, and North Justice Centers, respectively, for all of Orange County. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are here to help. Book an online consultation to get started today.
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