Los Angeles Drug Charge Defense
Former LA County narcotics prosecutors, Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff, have specialized in defending Drug Possession, Drug Transport, Drug Trafficking, and Drug Sales since 1987.
Los Angeles Drug Charge Lawyers
All throughout the greater Los Angeles area, individuals are arrested by law enforcement for narcotics possession, drug use and other related charges on a daily basis. If you’ve been caught with a drug charge, it’s important you know your rights. And by hiring a capable defense team, you can see reduced jail time, a reasonable probation term, and potentially an alternative punishment like community service hours.
What constitutes drug trafficking?
Drug trafficking is related to the transportation, importation, exportation, sale, purchase, and distribution of illegal drugs. Unlike possession, however, drug trafficking only applies to individuals found in possession of large quantities of illicit substances. Smaller amounts of drugs, on the other hand, may be classified as possession or possession with intent to sell.
To determine whether someone's dealings in illicit substances is up to the level of drug trafficking or not, it requires consulting the rulebooks for the particular state with which you are dealing. For the state of California, that means consulting HS 11352. This particular law prohibits the selling, carrying, or moving of any Schedule III, IV, or V drugs. This includes cocaine, heroin, opiates, LSD, peyote, and certain prescription drugs like oxycontin or vicodin. Depending on the specific violation, those found to be violating HS11352 can be charged with a felony sentence of three to nine years in prison.
Punishments for federal drug trafficking convictions can be even steeper, potentially resulting in life sentences. At the federal level, drug trafficking charges apply to people possessing 500 grams of cocaine or 100 grams of heroin; both of which are punishable by anywhere between five and 40 years in federal prison.
People who got caught with 1,000 grams of heroin, 5,000 grams of cocaine, or 100,000 grams of cannabis are slated to serve between a decade and a lifetime in federal prison.
What are the penalties for drug possession?
When it comes to drug possession, the law in question is HS 11350. HS 11350 makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance without a prescription. However, the punishments for many possession charges were relaxed with Proposition 47. Now, the penalties for possession will ramp up with the amount of times you’ve been charged with the offense.
If you’re charged with simple possession, for example, the first offense is classified as a misdemeanor offense. This is punishable with a sentence of up to one year in prison, a fine up to $1000, and/or community service. A second offense essentially doubles all of these charges.
In most cases, fines, fees, and probation time are the primary modes of punishment. However, if you’ve been charged multiple times or are found in possession of more restricted drugs, the sentence will be more severe.
California drug crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on whether you possessed a controlled substance for personal use or for sale. Simple drug possession, otherwise known as drug possession for personal use, typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Los Angeles. In many drug cases, misdemeanor possession charges can be dismissed if you qualify for drug diversion programs. Conversely, possession of drugs with intent to sell or traffic are considered "straight felonies." Therefore, these drug crimes are punished more harshly and can not be reduced to misdemeanors. Furthermore, drug sales or possession with intent to sell is ineligible for drug diversion. If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor drug possession or felony drug sales, call the criminal defense attorneys at Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP today at (866) 430-8383 for a FREE case review. LA drug lawyers, Paul Takakjian and Steve Sitkoff have 3 decades of experience helping clients in Los Angeles avoid incarceration and criminal records.
Drug Possession For Personal Use
After the passage of Prop. 47 in 2014, simple possession was significantly decriminalized. Although this new legislation resulted in the vast majority of drug possession cases to be charged as misdemeanor crimes, it still allows for prosecutors to file felony drug possession charges for persons with prior serious felony convictions. However for those with no prior criminal record, being found in possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, or ecstasy would result in misdemeanor drug charges. Fortunately for those who qualify for California drug diversion programs, a criminal record and jail can be avoided without the risk and expense of putting your case in front of a jury.
Possession Of Drugs For Sale
Although simple drug possession charges are now predominantly classified as misdemeanor level offenses that are eligible for diversion, possession with intent to sell and drug sales are still felony drug crimes in California. The punishment for conviction on a felony drug charge in Los Angeles can include jail or state prison, as well as expensive fines and government seizure of personal property. Furthermore, possession with intent to sell is not drug diversion eligible.
Los Angeles Drug Crimes Defense Experts Since 1987
If you have been arrested or believe you may be targeted for investigation in connection with a Southern California drug crime, do not delay and contact our LA drug lawyers immediately. The consequences of a misdemeanor or felony drug crime conviction can negatively affect your life even after you have successfully completed each of the terms of your sentence. Take proactive measures by calling our criminal defense lawyers today at (866) 430-8383 to schedule a FREE consultation at our office in West Los Angeles to learn what you should or should not be doing next and how we can help protect your interests. For convenience, we maintain additional office locations in the following cities:
Torrance, Encino, Glendale, Long Beach, Pasadena, Woodland Hills, West Covina, Hollywood, Burbank, Cerritos, Whittier, Norwalk, Santa Clarita, Oxnard, Westlake Village, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Victorville, Orange, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach