Los Angeles Drug Lawyers
The Los Angeles drug lawyers at the Law Office of Christopher Chaney can defend your future if you are facing drug-related criminal charges in Southern California.
You Need the Best Drug Lawyer Los Angeles Has to Offer
In the state of California, like all other states, having drugs or substances like heroin or cocaine in your possession is illegal. If it is found you have an illegal substance on your person or on your property, you may be arrested and face drug charges.
Drug charges are among the most common and most harshly prosecuted crimes in California. If you have been charged with a drug-related crime in or around Los Angeles, Long Beach, or Santa Monica, you must seek the counsel of a skilled Los Angeles drug lawyer who will work for your best interests, fight to secure your rights, and aggressively defend the charges against you.
You can find all of that and more at the Law Office of Christopher Chaney. We’re the Los Angeles criminal defense law firm you can count on to fight your criminal charges.
In 2014, California passed Proposition 47 in Criminal Law, which made possessing an illegal substance a misdemeanor in the majority of cases. It may appear that possessing a controlled substance is no big deal in Los Angeles County. Even a misdemeanor can have consequences. Proposition 47 carries a penalty of up to one year in prison. Some people may even still be subjected to felony charges despite Proposition 47.
This is why they should have a free consultation with us – experienced Los Angeles criminal lawyers who can protect your rights and save you from harsh consequences. Sometimes, a skilled attorney can even get your drug offense charges dismissed or reduced.
Top Los Angeles Drug Lawyers
You may wonder what even counts as a controlled substance. A drug that is a controlled substance is regulated by the state of California and has been labeled a scheduled drug. Some are obviously illegal, like cocaine, meth, or heroin, but others can be given through a physician’s prescription like morphine or oxycodone.
Punishments for Drug Crimes in California
The California Health and Safety Code places controlled substances on a list and ranks them by a system of schedules. In California, there are six schedules that are defined by the type of drug and how it is punished:
- Schedule I drugs include opiates, cocaine, and mescaline.
- Schedule II drugs include raw opium, morphine, and other narcotics.
- Schedule III drugs include pentobarbital and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV drugs include many prescription drugs such as diazepam and zolpidem.
- Schedule V drugs include lesser-controlled prescription drugs, such as low doses of codeine.
Meth, like some other drugs, falls under the scheduling system and carries the same penalties.
If the prosecution wants to prove that you are guilty of drug possession, they must convince the jury that:
- The substance you are accused of possessing is considered controlled.
- The substance was possessed illegally, or you did not have a proper prescription for it.
- You knew you had a substance in your possession, and you knew it was controlled.
- You had a usable amount of the substance in your possession, not just residue.
If the prosecution cannot prove these, your case can be dismissed.
When Will You Be Charged for a Drug Crime?
It is generally assumed that you must be holding drugs to be charged with possession. This is not true. You may be charged in any of the following ways:
- Actual possession, where the drugs are on your person like in your pocket.
- Constructive possession, where the drugs are in an easily accessible place like your car.
- Joint possession, where the drug is in a shared space
Fighting against these felony drug charges and protecting your rights need an aggressive defense strategy. For this, you need an experienced attorney who understands your legal needs and has experience in dealing with cases in Los Angeles Superior Court. An experienced lawyer with expertise in criminal defense cases can help you with effective legal representation of your case in court to fight against the charges of drug offenses.
Why You Should Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
Drug abuse can destroy lives long before the criminal justice system gets involved. Once an arrest is made by law enforcement and charges are filed, the effects can be even more devastating. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side during such difficult times can be of help.
At the Law Office of Christopher Chaney, our criminal defense lawyers know that those charged with drug crimes often need rehabilitation and compassion instead of harsh criminal penalties, and this philosophy drives everything we do both in and out of the courtroom.
As stated, some people can be charged with a misdemeanor under Proposition 47 and face up to a year in jail, depending on the drug and the misdemeanor. Not everyone will be charged with a misdemeanor, though. People who are registered sex offenders and those who have committed violent crimes in the past cannot be charged under Proposition 47. If you do not qualify under Proposition 47, you may still get a misdemeanor, but you can also face a felony that may result in several years in prison.
You will face more than prison time if you are convicted of drug possession. A conviction could mean:
- You may have an issue finding a job, especially if the potential employer will run a background check on you. You will also not be able to get a security clearance to do a government job.
- Some landlords will not rent to you if you have a criminal conviction.
- You will not be able to get financial aid for college classes with a conviction.
- It will look unfavorable if you attempt to get custody of children.
- If you are an immigrant, you may be deported for a drug possession conviction.
A drug possession conviction can carry many other consequences. Fortunately, Christopher Chaney can speak with you honestly and help reduce your charges.
If you are facing drug charges in Southern California, trusted criminal defense attorney Christopher Chaney and his team of dedicated Los Angeles drug attorneys have both the experience and empathy you need to effectively fight your charges and begin to get your life back on track.
Fighting Drug Charges in California
At the Law Office of Christopher Chaney, our Los Angeles, CA, criminal defense attorneys represent people dealing with a wide range of criminal drug charges. Any drug charge, ranging from drug possession for individual use to large-scale production, transport, or trafficking, can lead to severe, possibly life-altering effects for offenders.
Lawyer for Drug Possession Charges California
A drug crime conviction can lead to imprisonment, substantial fines, and registration in a drug treatment program. These penalties should not be taken lightly — you need our Los Angeles criminal law experts on your side.
Proposition 47’s purpose is to encourage treatment instead of incarceration for drug-related charges. This is why some courts will allow defendants to take advantage of drug diversion programs.
Those with misdemeanor charges will typically qualify for drug diversion programs.
If you participate in a drug diversion program, you must have pled guilty to your charges in exchange for delayed sentencing. Namely, you will be charged after you complete your drug treatment program. If you successfully meet the requirements of the program, your case will be dismissed. When you take part in a drug diversion program, you can go on with life as normal, and you will not have issues renting from a landlord or finding a job.
A drug defense attorney like Christopher Chaney can fight for you to enter into a drug diversion program. They can also prevent you from facing other consequences.
How a Los Angeles Drug Crime Attorney Can Help
Defenses to a drug arrest and prosecution are as limitless as the methods by which individuals are stopped, investigated, searched, and arrested for the possession of controlled substances.
Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Christopher Chaney knows that good people make mistakes. He likewise understands that innocent individuals are accused of drug crimes every day, and he is dedicated to fighting for justice. As the drug attorneys Los Angeles count on, we at the Law Office of Christopher Chaney prepare every case as if it is going to trial. He will listen to your side of the story and present those truths to district attorneys, the judge, or a jury if needed. As your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, he will work to have your charges and penalties reduced as much as possible or seek alternatives to prison time like enrollment in California’s drug diversion programs.
If you are facing charges for possessing a controlled or illegal drug, a criminal defense attorney like Christopher Chaney can fight for you. Sometimes, a good, knowledgeable attorney can even get your charges reduced or dismissed, especially if they get you into a drug diversion program. They must do this by arguing that:
- You have a prescription for the controlled drug, or the prosecution cannot prove you do not have a prescription.
- The substance in question is not scheduled or controlled.
- You did not know you had a drug in your possession or it belonged to someone else.
- The seizure of the drug(s) was illegal.
- The drug was never in your possession.
Since every case is unique, one defense that worked in another case may not work for you. When you contact the office of Christopher Chaney, he will be able to review your case and determine the best defense strategy for your particular case.
Contact a Los Angeles Drug Attorney Today
Drug crimes are serious offenses in California. A possible jail sentence and a criminal record may only be the beginning of your troubles. A drug crime conviction can have a negative impact on your employment, finances, and personal life. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced drug attorney who will fight for your rights, freedom, and future.
Reach Out to a Los Angeles Drug Crimes Attorney
Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. If you or someone you love is facing criminal drug charges, time is of the essence. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we will assist with finding a solution to whatever problem you may face.
Drug Felony Charges in LA – FAQs
1- Can felony drug charges be dropped?
If you have been charged with a drug felony case, and you have been charged with drug possession, you can plead guilty to drop your minor charges. However, for major charges, you will have to pay the penalty and undergo the consequences.
2- How long do you go to jail for drug possession in Los Angeles?
The jail time for drug possession criminals is different based on the facts of the case and the crimes of the person. However, in general, the punishment for drug possession is one year in jail with up to $1000 as a fine.