Oakland Drug Charges
While drug offenses are relatively common, the legal consequences can be significant. A person facing any Oakland drug charges should consider retaining legal counsel. An aggressive drug lawyer could examine the factors that may have contributed to the arrest and work to fight the charges. If you or a family member were arrested and charged with a drug offense, call an attorney and schedule a legal consultation before making any statements to law enforcement.
Types of Drug Charges and Potential Penalties
Oakland drug charges carry an extremely wide range of sentencing. Many of the drug charges are misdemeanors and, therefore, the maximum penalty someone could face would be up to a year in a county jail and a $1,000 fine. There are also many drug charges that are considered felonies. The felony sentences for drug charges range anywhere from 16 months all the way up to nine or more years in state prison, depending on the charge. Every felony drug charge typically carries a range of three possible prison terms. However, the severity of legal consequences often depends on the type of drugs involved in the offense.
Who Administers Charges and Fines?
Charges are always reviewed and filed by the district attorney’s office. A person who is arrested and charged with a drug offense, whether it is a simple misdemeanor or a very complex felony, will have their police report reviewed by the district attorney’s office. The district attorney will then decide what charges, if any, are to be filed against the individual. Even though law enforcement makes the initial arrest and puts certain drug charges in the police report, what actually gets filed in the court is ultimately determined by the district attorney’s office.
It is important to understand that the district attorney is the only entity who can drop charges once they have been filed. While some judges and prosecutors entertain the possibility of diversion programs, community service or drug-related education classes, a person should not rely upon the idea that their Oakland drug charges will be dropped. Instead, they should speak with a seasoned drug lawyer as soon as possible to begin building a credible defense.
How Could a Drug Charge Impact a Person’s Record?
Initially, a drug charge itself shows up on the person’s record for the dates of the arrest. The first entry typically will be the date, the law enforcement officer who conducted the arrest, and the actual charges for which a person was arrested. Later on, the record may reflect a conviction or a charge dismissal. A drug charge on someone’s record could impact their employment and housing situation, among other things.
Contact a Lawyer About Drug Charges in Oakland
Convictions for Oakland drug charges can be significantly damaging to a person’s future. Many employers and universities prefer candidates without criminal records. As a result, a person could find it difficult to obtain gainful work opportunities or participate in higher level education. If you or a family member are charged with any drug violations in Oakland, call an experienced attorney and schedule an appointment for a legal consultation.