Felony Drug Defense Lawyer in Southern California
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FELONY DRUG CHARGES
While the possession of illegal drugs in California can come with either a misdemeanor or a felony drug charge, getting the felony charge comes with much steeper consequences. There are a few deciding factors that the prosecution uses to decide whether your drug charge will be considered a felony.
The following factors will be taken into account:
- The type and the amount of the drug. A controlled substance like heroin will automatically make the charge a felony. Even drugs that aren’t necessarily dangerous controlled substance will still result in a felony charge if there are high amounts of them found.
- Intent to sell. Drugs intended for personal use will often be charged as a misdemeanor, but drugs that are intended to be sold will result in felony charges.
- Aggravating circumstances. There are circumstances that will make the prosecution pursue a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.
What Are the Penalties of Being Charged With a Drug-Related Felony?
The type of drug will often change the penalty or punishment. Here is a breakdown of the penalties you may incur with the different types of drugs:
- Crack or Cocaine: Cocaine in all its forms is a Schedule 2 controlled substance in the state of California. It can be prosecuted as both a misdemeanor and a felony. The prison sentence can be up to three years, but under Prop 36, you may plead guilty and receive only felony supervised probation. If you are convicted of possession of cocaine or crack with an intent to sell, you can receive jail time up to 5 years. Having prior cocaine-related convictions can add 3 years to your jail sentence.
- Heroin: Heroin is a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the state of California. You may be charged with either misdemeanor or felony possession and may receive up to 3 years in prison. Intent to sell incurs a prison sentence of 2-,3-, or 4-years.
- Other Opiates: Morphine, oxycodone, codeine, and opium are Schedule 2 controlled substances in the state of California. Possession of these items can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor and can come with jail time of up to 3 years.
- Ketamine: While only a Schedule 3 controlled substance, most Ketamine charges are misdemeanors. However, if you have an intent to sell, you can be charged with a felony. If you are convicted of selling or intent to sell Ketamine, you will face 16 months, 2 years, or three years in the state prison. Plus, the maximum fine is $10,000.
- Ecstasy: Ecstasy or MDMA is a Schedule 1 controlled substance. If you are caught with MDMA and you have a clean record, you will likely only be given felony probation. However, if there is intent to sell, sentencing ranges from probation to a 4-year prison sentence.
What are Drug Manufacturing Charges?
It is a felony in the state of California to manufacture, compound, process, or produce a controlled substance. An example of manufacturing would be operating a meth lab or making hashish by compressing marijuana resin. You must be caught in the process, however, not just gathering supplies.
Manufacturing charges incur the harshest penalties of all drug-related crimes. You may receive a prison sentence lasting up to seven years. Your sentence will substantially increase if you are caught manufacturing large quantities of drugs, there are children present or nearby the manufacturing location, or if anyone dies or is injured in the manufacturing process.
Your drug crime attorney will scrutinize every aspect of your case, looking for any kind of mistakes or misconduct. It is imperative that you are forthcoming with the information that your attorney needs to defend your case.