Drug Offenses

Knowledgeable Drug Offense Attorneys Based in Colusa and Lake Counties

If you are facing a drug related offense, you should hirea drug offense attorney without delay. These types of offenses are punished harshly in California, and a conviction may have ramifications beyond just jail time that you could be ordered to serve. People who have been convicted of certain drug offenses may be required to register with the government as a narcotics offender and find that it is challenging to get or keep a job, pursue further education, or even maintain their reputation in society. A criminal defense lawyer can help you protect your rights in the criminal justice process, mount any defenses that may be available, and attack the weaknesses of the prosecution’s case. At Hinely Law, our Colusa and Lake County drug offense lawyers are ready to assist people in Colusa, Lake, Sutter, and Yuba Counties with fighting felony and misdemeanor charges involving controlled substances.

Manufacture of Controlled Substances

According to California Health and Safety Code section 11379.6, manufacturing a controlled substance can result in serious penalties for a convicted defendant. One reason why the state takes this offense so seriously is because the chemicals and methods involved in producing many controlled substances can lead to explosions, burns, and other injuries. Although the law seems straightforward, the prosecution often has a difficult time securing a conviction because it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was producing or attempting to produce a specific controlled substance. This often involves testimony from an expert and requires the prosecution to obtain specific evidence from the crime scene. At Hinely Law our attorneys use some of the top experts in their field to testify on the defendant’s behalf and rebut the assumptions made by the prosecution.

When it comes to drug crimes, the manufacture of hash oil, butane honey oil, resin, or wax, has been a subject of significant media coverage lately. California’s marijuana laws are currently changing, and there have been many legislative proposals to allow the production of concentrated cannabis, subject to certain limitations. Under the current legal framework, however, individuals who are charged with producing or attempting to produce this substance may face even harsher penalties than marijuana possession or marijuana sales charges would yield. In fact, a charge of this nature carries a “presumptive” prison sentence of up to 7 years.

Sale and Transportation of Controlled Substances

California Health and Safety Code section 11352 makes it illegal to sell or transport a variety of controlled substances, including cocaine, heroin, and certain prescription drugs like oxycontin. The law covers acts involving sale, transport with intent to sell, provision of drugs to others, or free distribution of specific controlled substances. A conviction under this law can have serious consequences for the defendant, but it is not inevitable after a charge. A drug offense attorney at Hinely Law can help people in Colusa, Lake, Sutter, or Yuba Counties fight back against the allegations.

If you are charged with selling, transporting, furnishing, or offering to sell, transport, or furnish drugs, it is critical that you mount a strong case in your defense. The prosecution will need to prove that you engaged in the alleged unlawful conduct beyond a reasonable doubt. There are a variety of defenses that you may be able to assert, such as an illegal search, that the possession of the controlled substance was not for purposes of sales, that you were unaware that you possessed a controlled substance, that you were not transporting a large enough quantity of the drug , or that you had a valid prescription for the substance.

Possession of Controlled Substances

California Health and Safety Code section 11350 makes it unlawful to possess certain controlled substances like ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, and LSD, as well as certain prescription drugs like vicodin, oxycontin, and codeine, without a valid prescription. California Health and Safety Code section 11357 applies to the possession of marijuana, which is a rapidly changing area of law in this state. Finally, the possession of methamphetamines is covered under section 11377 of the Health and Safety Code. Although they bear some slight differences, in general, these laws impose serious penalties for possessing a controlled substance in a certain amount.

Although a drug possession charge may seem daunting, there are substantial constitutional protections that prevent police from obtaining evidence or conducting a search without a valid warrant or without a sufficient exigent circumstance to justify a warrantless search and seizure. If the police violate your constitutional rights, any evidence obtained as a result of the unlawful search or seizure cannot be used against you in obtaining a conviction.

Impact of Firearm Possession on Drug Charges

There are some circumstances in which carrying or possessing a firearm may affect the drug crime charges that an individual faces. It may also have serious consequences for their sentencing. According to Health and Safety Code section 11370.1, if an individual is in possession of a controlled substance while armed, they may be charged with a felony if they possessed a controlled substance unlawfully and knew that they possessed a loaded, operable weapon. The drugs that typically trigger this additional charge include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and PCP. Under this law, a convicted individual can be sentenced to two to four years in state prison and may also receive a fine of up to $10,000. It is also important to note that an individual convicted under this charge is not eligible for alternative sentencing programs, such as drug treatment, in lieu of prison time.

There are many defenses that our Colusa and Lake County drug offense attorneys can help a defendant assert against a section 11370 charge, including a challenge to the methods that the police or detectives used to obtain the evidence against you. Other defenses include being unaware that you were in possession of a controlled substance and proving that you had a valid prescription for the narcotic.

Alternative Sentencing Options: Treatment vs. Incarceration

Although many drug crimes carry jail or prison sentences, California has adopted a system that provides for alternative sentencing in some instances, particularly when it comes to drug possession cases. In some cases, the sentencing laws in California require the judge to sentence the defendant to a treatment program and other types of rehabilitative therapy. If the defendant is successful in completing the program, they may have the criminal charge dismissed. Other examples of alternative sentencing include house arrest, electronic monitoring, community service, and community work programs. A seasoned drug offense lawyer can ensure that the court gives adequate consideration to the suitability of alternative sentencing in your case.

Consult a Drug Offense Lawyer with Offices in Colusa and Lake Counties

At Hinely Law, we have assisted many Northern California residents with defending against a drug charge. From our offices in Colusa and Lakeport, we proudly represent people in Colusa, Lake, Sutter, and Yuba, Counties. If you are part of a drug offense investigation or facing a criminal charge, you should not hesitate to consult a dedicated and experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact us today to ensure that you receive the vigorous legal defense that you deserve. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about your options, and we also represent people who need a marijuana lawyer to help them fight those types of charges. Call us now at 530-458-2950 or contact us online to get started.