If you’re facing drug-related offenses in Los Angeles, CA, procuring the assistance of a seasoned drug crimes attorney can be instrumental. With profound knowledge of the nuances of California’s drug laws, they will safeguard your rights and advocate on your behalf every step of the way. Fortunately, our Los Angeles drug crimes lawyer is here to help you.
If you need help with an arrest or you are being questioned for a drug charge in Los Angeles, California, contact the Law Office of Ryan Peabody today at (310) 709-2000 to schedule a free consultation.
How the Law Office of Ryan Peabody Can Help if You’re Arrested for a Drug Crime in Los Angeles
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, engaging a knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can be invaluable for mounting the most effective response. At the Law Office of Ryan Peabody, our attorney has 12 years of experience and is a former public defender. That means he has substantial trial experience and has helped clients facing almost every type of criminal charge.
Here’s how we can assist you:
Understanding Legal Rights
We will clarify your legal rights and help ensure these rights are upheld throughout the process. For instance, we will determine if law enforcement violated any of your constitutional rights during their investigation or your arrest.
Assisting With Diversion Programs
If you’re eligible, we can help you get enrolled in a pretrial diversion program. Successful completion could result in no conviction appearing on your criminal record.
Negotiating Plea Agreements
If appropriate in your case, we may be able to negotiate plea agreements that could reduce the severity of your charges or the penalties you face. We’ll also be willing to take your case all the way to trial if necessary.
Working with an experienced attorney when facing drug charges in Los Angeles, California, is essential. If you need help, contact the Law Office of Ryan Peabody to schedule a free consultation.
Overview of Drug Crimes in California
Understanding drug crimes in California is an essential part of navigating potential charges effectively. These offenses most often include the following:
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of a controlled substance refers to the crime of possessing illegal drugs or certain prescription medications without a valid prescription.
The term ‘controlled substance’ pertains to narcotics that are regulated by law, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy, among others, as well as some known prescribed drugs like Xanax or Vicodin when possessed without prescriptions.
To secure a conviction on these charges, the prosecution must prove you possess the drug, were aware it was in your possession, knew its nature of being an illegal substance, and had an amount sufficient for use.
Actual vs Constructive Possession
Possession can be considered actual or constructive.
Actual possession refers to when you physically have a controlled substance on your person—it might be in your hand, pocket, or purse. In essence, if the drug is found directly on you and under your control, this qualifies as actual possession.
Constructive possession applies when controlled substances aren’t found directly on you but are discovered somewhere that falls within areas where you could reasonably exercise authority and control over the item. For example, a substance that was in a drawer in your house or a locked safe that you hold the keys for.
Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale
This extends beyond mere possession and charges you with the intent to sell. Prosecutors present different types of evidence to prove intent, such as the quantity of substance exceeding what would be reasonable for a person’s use, the presence of sales paraphernalia like scales or baggies, or unusually frequent foot traffic at your residence involving short-stay visitors.
Sale and Transportation of Controlled Substances
This law prohibits selling and transporting illegal drugs, furnishing or giving away drugs to another person, or offering to perform any of these actions.
Successfully navigating through drug-related offenses in California requires understanding the law and obtaining a skilled attorney.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Crimes in Los Angeles, California?
One of the most important things you can do after being arrested is to understand the consequences you’re facing. The potential penalties for drug crime convictions depend on the severity and nature of the crime committed.
For example, being charged with possession of a controlled substance will have significantly less severe penalties than being charged with drug trafficking.
Some of the common penalties for drug crimes in general include the following:
Depending on your crime’s seriousness, you may face time in jail or prison. Felony convictions can lead to significant prison time. While misdemeanor crimes are less serious, they can also result in jail time.
Instead of or in addition to incarceration, courts often impose probation on defendants. While serving probation, you remain free from custody but must comply with court-ordered rules such as regular meetings with a probation officer, mandatory drug tests, or counseling sessions.
Courts frequently order offenders to pay fines to the court. Restitution is also required in some circumstances, which differs slightly as it is intended to reimburse victims who suffered losses because of the criminal act.
This penalty requires the offender to perform specific, court-mandated services for the community. This could involve cleaning parks, working in a charity organization, or other public service.
A criminal conviction goes on your record and remains there permanently unless it’s expunged or sealed. This can cause difficulties in employment searches, acquiring housing, or applying for loans.
Loss of License
If you’re arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs, you can face all of the above potential penalties as well as the added consequence of losing your driver’s license. The amount of time you will lose depends on the circumstances of your offense and whether you have prior DUIs.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Arrested for a Drug Crime in Los Angeles, CA?
Building a strong defense is integral to contesting drug charges effectively. Here are some of the defenses that can be raised:
Unlawful Search and Seizure
This involves arguing that law enforcement violated your Fourth Amendment rights by conducting an unreasonable search leading to the discovery of drugs or other evidence.
No Intent To Sell or Transport
This defense asserts that you only possessed the substances for personal use, not sale or distribution, which could potentially reduce charges from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Your lawyer can raise this defense if they can prove that you were elsewhere at the time the alleged crime occurred, thereby making it impossible for you to have committed the crime you’ve been charged with.
In certain situations, a defense of entrapment may be used. This is applicable when you were induced or persuaded by law enforcement to commit a crime that you wouldn’t have otherwise committed. This typically applies in instances where overbearing tactics like harassment or threats were used by law enforcement.
Remember, these defenses are technical and highly case-specific, and a skilled criminal defense attorney can evaluate the best strategy based on your specific circumstances.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our Los Angeles Drug Crimes Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime in Los Angeles, do not navigate this challenging terrain alone. We can provide crucial support throughout these times. For assistance, contact The Law Office of Ryan Peabody today to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles drug crimes lawyer.
Visit Our Criminal Defense Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Drug Crimes Lawyer Review
Read more of our client’s reviews here.