California Cocaine Laws – Possession, Use, Sale, Trafficking
Let’s Talk About Cocaine Laws in the Golden State
The Hard Line on Cocaine Possession
The Golden State, California, is pretty clear about it – if you’re caught with controlled substances like cocaine, you’re in hot water. The penalties can be pretty tough – we’re talking about a felony charge, possible prison time ranging from 16 months to 3 years, and fines that could go as high as $20,000. This is all set out in the California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS.
Intent to Distribute: A Hefty Charge
If you’re caught with cocaine and the authorities think you had plans to sell or distribute it, you’re in even deeper waters. The penalties for this kind of offence are described in California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS and they can include 2 to 4 years in prison, a fine that can go up to $20,000, or even more. If the cocaine is actually cocaine base, the sentence can go up to 5 years. And if there’s more than a kilogram of cocaine, the judge could decide to add an additional 3 to 25 years to your sentence, and you could be facing fines as high as $8,000,000.
Moving and Dealing Cocaine: No Small Offense
In California, the transport and sale of cocaine is a big no-no under Health and Safety Code 11352 HS. If you’re charged with this offence, you could be looking at 3 to 5 years in prison. If there’s evidence that you crossed more than two county lines with the product, your sentence could rise to 9 years. And if the amount of cocaine is more than a kilogram, you could be looking at an additional sentence of 3 to 25 years and fines that could go up to $8,000,000.
Facing Cocaine Charges: Don’t Despair, Defense is Possible
If you’re facing charges related to cocaine possession or trafficking, it’s important to seek the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. There are numerous defenses that could be applied to your case, such as:
Defending Your Fourth Amendment Rights: Your lawyer could file a motion to suppress the prosecution’s evidence if it was obtained from a search, arrest, or traffic stop that violated your 4th amendment rights.
Entrapment Defense: If the police coerced you into committing the crime, your lawyer could claim entrapment.
Unethical or Illegal Police Conduct: If the police acted unethically or illegally in investigating or arresting you, your lawyer could argue that their conduct was improper.
Proving the Prosecution’s Case is Flawed: If the prosecution did not prove every element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt, your lawyer could argue that their case is flawed.
Sometimes, even if a conviction is unavoidable, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a
plea bargain with the prosecutor. In other cases, if mitigating factors apply, it might be possible to obtain lower penalties. And if you’re convicted of possession under state law, attending a substance abuse program might allow you to avoid jail time.
Dealing with Cocaine Charges: Seek Expert Legal Help
When You’re Accused: Fight Back with an Expert
If you’re faced with cocaine charges, it might feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. But remember – there’s always hope. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can present a variety of legal defenses on your behalf.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Good Lawyer
As Hemet criminal defense attorney John Murray puts it, “There are a handful of defenses that are typically raised in connection with California drug offenses, and these defenses routinely apply to California investigations involving cocaine.
Popular Defenses Against Cocaine Charges
Here are a few defenses often used in California cocaine cases:
Illegal Search or Seizure: Your lawyer could challenge the legality of the police’s search or seizure, claiming that they violated California’s search and seizure laws.
Entrapment: If the police coerced you into committing a cocaine-related crime, your lawyer could claim entrapment.
Police Misconduct: If the officers acted unethically when they discovered or seized the cocaine, your lawyer could argue misconduct.
Lack of Possession: If you didn’t actually possess the cocaine and it belonged to someone else, your lawyer could argue that you didn’t have possession.
With a skilled California criminal defense lawyer on your side, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of fighting the charges. You don’t have to face the legal system alone – get the help you need to fight for your future.