If you’ve been arrested or accused of illegal drug possession, understanding drug possession laws, your rights, and defense options may bring you some peace of mind and relieve some of the stress that you’re likely experiencing.
California has strict laws in place to deal with drug-related offenses, and being aware of your rights and defense options is crucial if you find yourself facing drug possession charges.
Drug Possession Laws in California
In California, state drug possession laws are primarily governed by Health and Safety Code Sections 11350 and 11377. The possession of controlled substances, including illicit drugs and prescription medications without a valid prescription, is generally prohibited.
The severity of the charges and potential penalties depend on several factors, such as the type and quantity of the drug involved, the intent of possession, and any prior criminal record.
Drug possession charges can be brought in either state or federal court, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Understanding Your Rights
When facing drug possession charges in California, it’s crucial to understand your rights to ensure you’re getting a fair legal process. Here are some fundamental rights you possess:
- Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. This means you are not obligated to answer any questions from law enforcement without the presence of your attorney.
- Right to Legal Representation: You have the right to an attorney to protect your rights and make sure you have a fair and legal trial.
- Right to Due Process: You have the right to a fair and impartial trial. This includes the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the right to present evidence and witnesses in your defense.
Your Drug Possession Defense Options
When charged with drug possession in California, several defense options may be available to you. Here are a few common strategies used to challenge drug possession charges:
Unlawful Search and Seizure: If the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, it may be possible to challenge the admissibility of the evidence in court.
Lack of Knowledge or Control: In some cases, individuals may be unaware that they possessed drugs or lacked control over the substance. For instance, if you borrowed a vehicle and drugs were found inside without your knowledge, you may have a valid defense.
Valid Prescription: If you are facing charges for possessing prescription medications without a valid prescription, presenting evidence of a lawful prescription can help defend against the charges.
Entrapment: If law enforcement coerced or induced you into possessing drugs, claiming entrapment may be a valid defense strategy. This defense argues that you would not have committed the offense if you hadn’t been led to do so by the actions of law enforcement.
Legal Help in Understanding Drug Possession Laws, Your Rights and Defense Options
If you have been arrested or charged with drug possession, you should seek legal counsel right away in order to protect your rights and discuss your defense options with you. Specifically, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you and fight on your behalf.
Mark Broughton is a criminal defense lawyer in Fresno with 40+ years of experience, and he will fight to get you the best possible outcome. He sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy. And he believes that every person has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.
If you are facing drug possession charges, call 559-691-6222 or click here to request a free consultation. We’ll get back to you right away.
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