Drug Defense Lawyers Who Never Quit
In Orange County, "drug crime" refers to a wide range of conduct involving controlled substances. These activities include possession, sales, manufacturing, and trafficking, to name a few. Depending on the activity and the type and amount of drugs, offenses can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Either way, they carry heavy penalties, including incarceration and/or fines, and a prosecutor is likely to seek maximum penalties for anyone convicted. The consequences of an OC drug crime conviction do not end when the accused completes their sentence. They can last for a lifetime, as the conviction will remain on their criminal record unless they are granted an expungement.
If you have been accused of a controlled substance offense, reach out to the Law Offices of Randy Collins for the drug defense you need. Our team has over 45 years of combined experience, and our Orange County drug crimes lawyer Randy Collins is a former Deputy District Attorney who served on the Narcotics Task Force. We know the techniques police use to collect evidence in these cases and the tactics prosecutors use to seek a conviction. Thus, we are aware that, in some cases, overzealous law enforcement officials might collect evidence during the investigation in a way that violates the individual's constitutional rights. In such cases, and even in cases where the investigation was conducted properly, it may be possible to have the evidence deemed inadmissible, effectively weakening the prosecutor's case. Our team is ready to thoroughly review and analyze every detail of your case to determine the defenses we can raise.
Legal Representation for a Range of Orange County Drug Crimes
The California Health and Safety Code enumerates various types of unlawful conduct involving controlled substances. Regardless of the offense you have been accused of, it is essential that you retain sound counsel as soon as possible. An Orange County lawyer for drug charges needs time to investigate the case and hear your side of the story to build a defense focused on protecting your rights and seeking the best possible outcome.
At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, our team handles an array of controlled substances charges, including:
- Drug dealing: This offense involves the illegal selling, transporting, or importing of controlled substances.
- Paraphernalia: California Health and Safety Code § 11364 prohibits the possession of drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia is any instrument or solution used to manufacture, ingest, consume, administer, or in any way use a controlled substance. Such objects include but are not limited to, testing equipment, diluents, scales, blenders, roach clips, and bongs.
- Drug sales: A person can be prosecuted under California Health and Safety Code § 11351 if they possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell it. This is a more serious offense than simple possession. It is often distinguished from that crime by how the drug was packaged, how much of the drug the defendant had, and whether any drug paraphernalia was present.
- Marijuana cultivation: Although recreational marijuana use is legal in California, the State limits how many plants a person can grow and prohibits anyone under 21 years of age from growing it. Cultivation includes planting, harvesting, drying, or processing marijuana. The penalties imposed upon a conviction depend on the number of plants and the age of the defendant.
- Drug manufacturing: California Health and Safety Code § 11379.6 prohibits manufacturing controlled substances. Manufacturing includes producing, compounding, or processing drugs.
- Drug possession: A couple of different laws prohibit drug possession. These include California Health and Safety Code § 11350, which prohibits possession without a valid prescription, and California Health and Safety Code § 11377, which prohibits the possession of drugs such as methamphetamine and ecstasy. The laws concern possession for personal use as opposed to possession for sale. For a prosecutor to land a conviction, they must prove that the defendant unlawfully possessed the substance, knew of its presence, was aware it was a controlled substance, and had a usable amount.
- Drug trafficking: Drug trafficking concerns unlawfully selling, furnishing, or administering large amounts of controlled substances. Individuals accused of this offense may be prosecuted under California Health and Safety Code § 11352.
Often, prosecutors may drop charges or offer plea deals when they know that they are up against a skilled and knowledgeable Orange County drug crimes lawyer who has built a compelling case on behalf of their client. At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, we have an extensive understanding of California's drug laws and know how to anticipate and attack the prosecutor's arguments.
What Is a Controlled Substance?
As we mentioned before, Orange County drug crimes involve some type of conduct with a controlled substance. A controlled substance is a drug regulated by the state and/or federal government. Regulations include placing restrictions on the manufacture, use, storage, and distribution of illicit drugs and prescription medications.
Government regulations concerning controlled substances are in place because some drugs can adversely affect users and others.
Controlled substance use can lead to such things as:
- Altered state of mind,
- Physical or psychological dependency.
As with many other states and the federal government, California classifies drugs into different categories or schedules. In California, there are five schedules of controlled substances, separated by the harmfulness of the drug.
Schedule I substances are considered the most serious and have no accepted medical use. Included in this category are drugs such as heroin.
Schedule II substances, while still considered serious, have an accepted medical use. An example of a drug in this classification is cocaine.
Schedule III substances are considered less severe than Schedule I and II. Gamma hydroxybutyric acid is included in this category.
Schedule IV substances are less serious than those in the schedules listed above. Barbital is an example of a Schedule IV controlled substance.
Schedule V substances are considered the least serious. This classification contains medications with certain amounts of narcotic drugs.
OC Drug Diversion Programs
In some Orange County drug crimes cases, the defendant may be eligible for a drug diversion program. These programs offer alternatives to imprisonment and can result in the defendant's case being dismissed.
Generally, drug diversion programs can be sought in qualifying cases, such as those involving possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia. They cannot be sought in trafficking or sales cases.
A couple of different programs include:
- California Penal Code § 1000: This is typically for first-time drug offenders without a lengthy criminal history. Essentially, the defendant pleads guilty, but judgment is deferred while they complete a drug program. If they finish the program, their case will be dismissed. The defendant must meet certain eligibility requirements to take advantage of this program.
- Prop 36: Under Prop 36, drug offenders can be ordered to a drug treatment program instead of being sent to jail. It differs from PC 1000 in that the defendant can have a prior controlled substances offense on their record. As with PC 1000, the defendant must meet eligibility requirements to seek this option.
At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, our OC drug crimes attorneys believe that drug offenders are often wrongfully incarcerated or require something other than criminal sanctions to treat substance abuse issues. That is why, when possible, we seek solutions to address our clients' needs. If you have been accused of an offense, speak with a member of our team to learn more about your legal options.
Aggressive Defense for Drug Crimes in Orange County
Recognizing the ramifications of a controlled substances conviction on a person's life, our team fiercely fights these charges. Because of our unique insight into the criminal justice system, we are able to focus on the important aspects of our clients' cases and build upon its strengths. Whether you have been accused of possession, manufacturing, trafficking, or another offense, you can be confident that we will vigorously defend you every step of the way. Contact the Law Offices of Randy Collins for aggressive drug defense today.
Even if you are innocent, you could be found guilty of your offense if you do not have a skilled drug defense lawyer by your side. Call 844-524-4011 today to obtain a free consultation.
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