What are the Legal Consequences of Drug Use?
A person may take illegal drugs for a number of reasons. Certain drugs are thought to alleviate stress, release creativity, and help users manage pain. Unfortunately, some of these drugs are dangerous and therefore, illegal. Ingesting drugs may or may not result in adversary physical consequences, but if you are caught taking them or even possessing them, you may be faced with fines, community service, or incarceration.
The legal consequences of drug uses are
Penalties for Possession
California is known for its liberal drug laws because it was a pioneer in legalizing cannabis and the products that are derived from the popular plant. Unlike other states, California looks at drug charges on a case by case basis rather than having a fixed set of classifications.
In 2014 voters in the Golden State passed Proposition 47 which reduced certain non-violent crimes to misdemeanors, and drug possession was amongst those crimes. Money that was saved by changing the law was allocated towards truancy and drug rehabilitation programs.
However, there are some drugs that law enforcement takes very seriously and it is possible to go to jail for drugs. There are some circumstances under which drug possession may lead to felony charges. Even if you are charged with misdemeanor possession, you may still spend up to a year in jail and pay as much as $1000 in fines.
Misdemeanor Drug Possession
When you are caught in possession of drugs, there are a few elements upon which your charges will be based. If you are charged with “possession with intent to sell,” the consequences are likely to be much greater than if you are charged with “simple possession.”
The kind of drug that you have and how much of the drug that you have will also be taken under advisement. The number of offenses that you have had in your lifetime and why you were in possession of those particular drugs will also factor into a sentence.
What Qualifies as Drug Possession
In order for a person to be charged with drug possession in the state of California, the drugs must be in your possession or under your control. This would include drugs found in your pocket, book bag or purse as well as drugs found in your home or car. If you are caught in the act of using the drug, you will face possession charges.
If the drugs are prescription medications and the prescription is not in your name, you may be charged with possession. Although both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in California, certain rules apply. If you are caught with over six cannabis plants, you may be charged with criminal possession You may also face possession charges if you are under the age of 21.
Other Consequences of Drug Use
If you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will face DUI charges and you may have your license revoked. In some cases driving under the influence can lead to jail time and large fines.
Finding an Attorney
If you have been charged with drug possession in California, you will need to hire a good defense attorney to represent you. A qualified attorney will have years of experience in criminal law and will be well versed in dealing with the court system. Lawyer Vikas Bajaj specializes in drug charges and will work hard to get your charges dropped or reduced.
Any drug charge is serious, but with the right attorney, you can get a fair deal and move on with your life.