Alameda County Drug Possession Lawyer
Drug possession charges in Alameda County come with long-term penalties well beyond jail time. A drug possession charge could end up on your permanent record, resulting in potential landlords or employers rejecting you. If you are facing a drug charge, a reliable criminal defense attorney could be beneficial. An Alameda County drug possession lawyer could work with you to build a strong defense and protect your future.
Understanding a Drug Possession Charge
The seriousness of a drug possession charge could be determined by the quantity and weight of the drug that is in a person’s possession. This includes whether it is beyond any legal limits or in quantities that are indicative of sales. Other factors that would be considered part of drug distribution are scales, baggies, ledgers, or accounting regarding drug transactions.
The type of drugs a person possesses also determines the severity of a charge. The more serious charges often involve drugs that are federally regulated and illegal on the state level, like methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and even some medications that are possessed without a valid prescription or sold for illegal purposes. Even though marijuana is technically legal at the state level in California, there are certain acts involving marijuana that could have serious consequences, such as trying to transport large quantities outside of the state.
Potential Penalties Upon Conviction
The penalties for being caught possessing illegal drugs in Alameda County are severe. In addition to jail time, large fines could be attached. There are also penalties that involve restrictions on where an individual could go, who he or she could see, and what kind of substances he or she could have in their possession. Other terms and conditions of probation could be associated with it, such as search and seizure clauses and forfeiture of any money or byproducts of the illegal sale of narcotics.
Being convicted of drug possession could impact a person’s life in many ways. Simple drug possession is a misdemeanor, which often comes with concerns and stigmas regarding drug addiction or abuse issues. Possession with the intent to sell takes the offense from self-inflicted to a crime that affects the community at large. Felony convictions could be detrimental to gaining employment, and some can lead to deportation consequences, denial of naturalization, and denial of reentry.
There are diversion or alternative sentencing programs available for people charged with drug possession for the first time. Drug crimes tend to have diversion programs delineated in the statute. Collaborative courts dedicated to drug offenders typically consist of drug treatment programs, ongoing therapy, and ongoing drug testing. Many of them, if successful, lead to dismissal of the charges and could lead to a sealing of the arrest for drug possession. An experienced attorney in Alameda County could work to minimize drug possession penalties.
Oftentimes in drug possession cases in Alameda County, constitutional issues tend to come up during search and seizure. This involves violations of a person’s fourth amendment right from warrantless searches and seizures and illegal searches that result in the discovery of drugs. Perhaps a search warrant was obtained for specific items in specific areas, but the officers went beyond the scope of the warrant.
Another common issue involves confidential informants who provide information to law enforcement about drug transactions. An Alameda County attorney experienced in drug possession regularly has to petition for the release of an informant’s name to enforce the defendant’s right to confront a person who is claiming he or she was involved in drug sales.
In addition, there are sometimes constitutional issues around the right against self-incrimination. When people are forced to answer questions without being advised of their right to remain silent or without having access to an attorney, this might may be violated.
Seek an Illegal Drug Attorney for Help
Drug possession charges could be serious and may come with life long penalties. A person could be facing jail time, heavy fines, and a permanent record. An Alameda County drug possession lawyer could help you fight these charges. Call today and schedule a consultation.