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California Health and Safety Code §11350 makes it unlawful for any person to be in possession of a controlled substance. Controlled substances are those listed under California Health and Safety Code §§ 11054 and 11055. These sections include the majority of common recreational or “street” drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, certain hallucinogenic drugs and antidepressants. These sections, however, do not include marijuana. Marijuana is covered by California Health and Safety Code § 11357.

Drug possession cases in California are generally charged as a felony, and are not taken as serious offenses by the courts. However, an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney knows that there much leniency for Drug Possession charges. With a powerful argument and the skill of a good lawyer, charges may be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, or in many cases, dismissed altogether.

If the drug allegedly found in your possession is certain types of depressants, the law may be read as a wobbler by the Judge. A wobbler is a law under which a charge may be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case. Prosecutors and Judges will consider the criminal history, if any, and the specific facts surrounding the case to arrive at a determination.

Plea Bargaining is a useful tool in many different criminal cases. A plea bargain is essentially an offer made by prosecution. If you agree to plead guilty prosecution will agree to give you a lesser charge and consequently a lesser penalty.

In drug possession cases, plea bargaining can have beneficial results and with the help of an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney may be dismissed. An attorney will prepare a powerful argument convincing the Judge to allow you to enroll in a Drug Diversion Program. Many drug possession cases allow for rehabilitation and education classes that, if completed, lead to a dismissal of your case.sThis leaves your permanent record clean, and you would not be required to report it when asked.

For example, if a first time offender has been charged with a sizeable quantity of cocaine they could face possibly felony charges. However, a knowledgeable Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney would prepare a defense presenting the client in a positive light. The Judge would consider the strong argument presented in court and may grant the option to enroll in a Drug Diversion program, or in the very least reduce the charges. If a Drug Diversion program is completed, the charges will be dismissed. This is not only greatly beneficial to your future, but also helps you with future employment of educational institutions.

The amount of drugs found in possession of a person in combination of the type of drug will determine the potential sentencing range and the relevant section of the California Health and Safety Code. Consequently, it will determine whether a person is charged with an infraction, misdemeanor or felony.s

In general, the smaller the quantity of drugs, the increased chances of being charged with an infraction or a misdemeanor. California law prior to January 1, 2011, made possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a misdemeanor, and anything more than an ounce, a felony. A recent change in California law has made possession of marijuana under an ounce, an infraction. An infraction is comparable to a traffic ticket. It involves no jail time, just a fine to be paid. Being charged with an infraction, other than dismissal, is the best possible result. Due to the relatively new nature of the law, it is unclear what amount will constitute a misdemeanor and a felony under California law.

The potential charge for drugs other than marijuana will depend on the type of drug and the state in which a person is being tried. In California, drug possession charges will be a felony, regardless ofsquantity, for serious drugs like heroin and crack.

Under California Health and Safety code §11350 and §11377, the legislation makes it unlawful to be in possession of certain controlled substances, defined by the code section. The type of drug thatsa person is found in possession of will have an impact on the potential consequence a person may face.

Those found in possession of amphetamines, including methamphetamines, may face a potential sentencing range established by California Health and Safety Code §11377. A first time offense has the potential of being charged as only a misdemeanor and has a good probability of being dismissed with completion of a Drug Diversion program.

Possession of Cocaine or Crack is regulated under California Health and Safety Code §11350. First time offenders may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on the quantity found. They may serve up to 3 years in jail but have a strong opportunity to be allowed to enrolls in a Drug Diversion program which, upon completion, will lead to a dismissal of charges.

California Proposition 36, also known as The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, is a type of Drug Diversion program that was passed by voters in November 2000. It changed State law to allow first and second, non violent simple drug offenders the opportunity to receive drug treatment education rather than incarceration.

Persons charged must complete a licensed or certified community drug education program as a part of their probation. If they fail to complete the program or violate any of the other terms of their probation, they will have to serve an additional sentence which may include incarceration.

Those that will not qualify as a candidate for Proposition 36 are those that have:

Under California Penal Code 1000, certain persons charged with drug related cases are able to get their case dismissed through the completion of drug education and awareness programs.

This section applies only to first time offenders if they meet certain requirements.

In order to qualify, the charge being brought against you must be one of the specific California Health and Safety Code sections mentioned in Penal Code §1000, as well as meeting a list of criteria outlined in the same section.

California Penal Code 1000 creates a drug diversion program that allows certain offenders to avoid a criminal charge.

PC 1000 allows for a Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ). A DEJ requires that the person charged plead guilty to an offense. The sentencing, or the “judgment”, is then deferred for 18 months. The person charged must enroll and complete required drug education and awareness programs. They must provide proof to the courts that they have enrolled in classes.

They must then return on a later court date and show proof of completion to the court, negative drug test(s) and paid administrative court fees. If all has been completed successfully, and no other offenses have been committed the person is entitled to have their case dismissed. This means that they can legally deny having any convictions on their record. However, law enforcement will be able to view on your record that you have been charged with drug possession but have completed the program and have had your charges dropped. If the program is not completed successfully, the person will be sentenced and convicted.

A diversion program is a program instituted by the District Attorney’s office that allows a defendant who has been convicted of a Drug offense to avoid criminal charges and a criminal sentence. The program is designed to help rehabilitate offenders and to alleviate the overflow in time, cost and expense to courts and probation officers.

If someone who has been convicted of a drug offense qualifies for a drug diversion program, they may have the opportunity to avoid prosecution by completing certain requirements of the program. These requirements include completing certain education courses aimed at preventing future offenses, providing restitution to the victims of the offense, completion of community service hours, and avoiding certain situations that may lead to future offenses. This may involve no contact with certain persons, or visitation to certain places.

If a program is completed successfully it may prevent the charge from appearing on a person’s criminal record. This provides huge benefits for future employment opportunities, education and social achievements.