Santa Rosa Methamphetamine Possession Lawyer – Petaluma – Ukiah – Lakeport
Do you need a Santa Rosa methamphetamine possession lawyer? How can our experienced criminal defense lawyers help you? Possession of methamphetamine, also known as glass, ice, crystal, or speed, is a criminal offense in California. Every methamphetamine possession case is unique. Our attorneys will compare the differences in the police report, your story, and the stories of any other witnesses to attempt to determine whether The People have enough evidence to prove their methamphetamine possession case beyond a reasonable doubt. If there are “holes” in The People’s version of the methamphetamine possession arrest, our lawyers will work with you to determine how to expose these facts. To obtain a conviction of meth possession, the prosecutor must show that you intended to possess the drug. The presence of meth in your home, does not necessarily implicate every person that was in the home at the time. An illegal arrest, such as when a police officer pulls over a driver for an invalid reason, is another reason that a case may not go forward. Such an arrest usually calls for a motion to suppress the evidence or set aside the information or complaint. If the facts are in line, either of these motions can lead to the dismissal or dropping of your methamphetamine possession case.
Currently, Methamphetamine possession is a violation of Health and Safety code (HS) 11350 or HS 11377. A HS 11350 violation is filed as possession of a controlled substance. HS 11377 is possession of methamphetamine without a valid prescription. HS 11350 is typically filed as a felony, with a 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Under 11350, rehabilitation not in jail, or diversion is available. HS 11377 can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of your case and your criminal record. Such a crime is known as a “wobbler.” A misdemeanor sentence can be up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine, while a felony sentence is typically 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000.
Other offenses related to methamphetamine possession include HS 11351 and 11378, which make it a felony for you to possess methamphetamine with intent to sell. HS 11352 and 11379 make it a felony for you to transport meth with intent to sell. HS 11364 makes it a misdemeanor for you to possess drug paraphernalia, such as a bag containing methamphetamine. HS 11379.6 makes it a felony for you to manufacture meth. A possession for sale charge carries a 16 month, 2, or 3 year prison term and a fine up to $10,000. A transport charge carries a 2, 3, or 4 year prison term and a fine up to $10,000. If you are convicted of carrying meth across more than two counties, the prison term can be increased to 3, 6, or 9 years. A manufacture charge carries a 3, 5, or 7 year prison term and a fine up to $50,000. Aggravating factors, such as possession of over one kilogram of methamphetamine, or possession with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a school, can increase the length of your prison term. No diversion is available for crimes involving intent to sell meth.
Another meth-related charge is HS 11550, being under the influence of a controlled substance. This is a misdemeanor charge with a sentence of minimum 90 days to one year in jail, 5 years of informal probation, drug counseling, and possible community service. A third conviction of HS 11550 within 7 years of the first conviction carries a minimum 180 days jail sentence.
If you are charged with methamphetamine possession, The People can argue that possession was actual, constructive, or joint. Actual possession occurs when the person charged has control over the substance. This is usually the case when the drug is found on your person (in your pocket, in a pipe in your mouth, etc.) Constructive methamphetamine possession occurs when you are found with a substance, but the substance is not on your person. This is true if the meth is on your property, such as in your wallet, but you are in another room. Joint methamphetamine possession occurs when more than one person is in control of the area containing the substance. People who share an apartment can be charged with joint possession if the meth is found on the dining room table.
Taking a plea offer to a methamphetamine possession case, or arguing for a reduced bond, typically requires reporting to probation and taking drug tests. If you establish a regular routine and law-abiding lifestyle, this will help you accomplish these tasks successfully.
If you believe that you have a substance abuse problem, it is recommended that you get into outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation as soon as possible. Alternatively, you could regularly attend a 12 step program such as Narcotics Anonymous and keep sign-in sheets for each meeting. Provide documentation of your progress to your attorney so we can argue for a better plea offer for you. You may be offered fewer days in jail or work release or community service hours because of your efforts.
Many defendants charged with methamphetamine possession can qualify for a drug diversion program. This type of program allows you to recover in treatment rather than be incarcerated. The three types of drug diversion programs are CPC 1000 (deferred entry of judgment, reserved for individuals with no or a minimal criminal record), California Proposition 36 (requires one year of treatment, inpatient or outpatient), and drug court. You can work with your attorney to get into the treatment program that fits you. Your work toward recovery may help to improve your plea offer as your case moves forward. For some defendants, completion of diversion can lead to drug charges being dismissed.
Is your matter in Sonoma County, Mendocino County, or Lake County California? If so, please contact our office to schedule a consultation and discuss your matter with a Beck Law P.C. methamphetamine possession defense lawyer or if you like, simply fill out and submit the contact us form on this page and one of our attorneys will contact you shortly.