Narcotics or Drug Offenses generally involve possession of narcotics, sales or possession for sales of narcotics, transportation, cultivation or manufacturing of narcotics.
Most possession cases can be resolved by way of a program which results in the eventual dismissal of all charges upon successful completion of a drug program and a period of probation. The level of program is determined by whether this is a first or second offense.
The first of these programs is called “Diversion” or “PC 1000”. California Penal Code Section 1000 allows a person charged with possession of drugs or being under the influence of drugs as a first offense to have their case dismissed by participating in a program. The program involves 6 months of classes which usually meet once a week. Once the classes are completed, the individual must stay out of trouble for an additional year and the case will be dismissed. This is the simplest of the programs.
If you this is not your first offense are not eligible for PC 1000. You may, however, be eligible for “Prop. 36” or “PC 1210”. In order to be eligible for Prop. 36, you must be charged with a “non-violent drug possession offense.” “Non violent drug possession offenses” include personal use, possession for personal use, transportation for personal use or under the influence. If you are charged with possession for sale or manufacturing you are not eligible for Prop. 36. Additionally, if you are charged with any non drug related misdemeanor you may not be eligible for Prop. 36. Prop 36 requires the completion of a drug treatment program approved by the court. The drug treatment program may include drug education, outpatient services, narcotic replacement therapy, residential treatment, detoxification services and aftercare services. Your case will be dismissed upon successful completion of Prop 36.
Finally there is Drug Court. The Drug Court program consists of intensive supervision by a the probation department, individual and group counseling provided by the Orange County Health Care Agency, frequent court appearances, random drug and alcohol testing, and regular team meetings. In order to graduate from drug court and have your case dismissed, you must obtain you high school diploma or a GED if you don’t already have one; be gainfully employed or attending a training/academic program; attend regular self-help meetings, and you must have maintained consistent attendance at all court hearings, probation and counseling appointments. Drug court can last anywhere from 2 years to 4 years depending on your progress and participation.
If you think you are eligible for any of these programs contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.
Marijuana: Possession of less than an ounce of Marijuana is an infraction in California. You can plead guilty to the charge and pay a small fine or you can complete an 8 hour class and have the charge dismissed. The Orange County District Attorney’s office is also involved in a program where they will offer a dismissal of this charge in exchange for giving a DNA sample for their database. The DNA sample and dismissal can be completed all in one day.
Possession for sale or sales of Narcotics are more serious offense which are always filed as felonies. An experienced criminal defense attorney can sometimes get these charges reduced to simple possession. The prosecutor in these cases must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were possessed with the intent to sell. This is usually proved by “indicia” or evidence such as the amount of the substance, packaging materials, scales and what are known as “pay/owe sheets”.
Cultivation of Marijuana
Cultivation of Marijuana for personal use can be resolved by way of a program which will result in dismissal. Cultivation of larger quantities can often be argued as cultivation for personal use depending on the quantities involved. Medical Marijuana laws in California also come into play when defending these cases.
You should always consult an experienced criminal defense attorney when faced with these charges.
For more information, please call Attorney Diane Bass at 949-494-7011 or contact us online today