In California, it is a crime to be in possession of an illegal drug. This crime is also known as “Possession of a Controlled Substance.”
Common illegal drugs include:
This crime is generally a felony. This means that if convicted, you may be sentenced up to three years in state prison. You may be eligible for diversion programs like PC 1000 and Prop 36. It is important that you speak to an experienced Orange County drug crimes attorney to know all of your options.
If you are convicted of possessing an illegal drug, the consequences will depend on what type of drug you are in possession of. Most drugs will be considered as a felony if convicted. There are a few drugs that are wobblers, which can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Marijuana does not fall in this category.
A felony conviction will result in up to three years in state prison and fines. The length of your sentence will depend on a number of factors such as the facts of the case and your past criminal history.
There are a number of alternatives to jail time or prison time. There are a number of Diversion programs such as PC 1000 and Prop 36, which have their own dedicated section on this site.
If you are being charged with drug possession, it is important to consult with an experienced Orange County drug crimes attorney. The Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan has been successful in getting drug possession cases dismissed and/or getting diversion under PC 1000 or Prop 36. Call OC Legal Defense today at (714) 248-DOAN (3626) or visit www.OCLegalDefense.com for more information.
The following list shows the elements that the District Attorney must prove in a possession of a controlled substance case and the specific instructions that the jury will read in deciding a case.
The defendant is charged with possessing , a controlled substance.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant [unlawfully] possessed a controlled substance;
2. The defendant knew of its presence;
3. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance;
4. The controlled substance was ; AND
5. The controlled substance was in a usable amount.
A usable amount is a quantity that is enough to be used by someone as a controlled substance. Useless traces [or debris] are not usable amounts. On the other hand, a usable amount does not have to be enough, in either amount or strength, to affect the user.
[The People do not need to prove that the defendant knew which speciﬁc controlled substance (he/she) possessed, only that (he/she) was aware of the substance’s presence and that it was a controlled substance.]
[Two or more people may possess something at the same time.]
[A person does not have to actually hold or touch something, to possess it. It is enough if the person has (control over it/ [or] the right to control it), either personally or through another person.]
[Agreeing to buy a controlled substance does not, by itself, mean that a person has control over that substance.]
The defendant is not guilty of possessing if (he/she) had a valid, written prescription for that substance from a physician, dentist, podiatrist, [naturopathic doctor], or veterinarian licensed to practice in California. The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not have a valid prescription. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of possessing a controlled substance.
If you are being charged with drug possession, it is important to consult with an experienced Orange County drug crimes attorney. The Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan has been successful in getting drug possession cases dismissed and/or getting diversion under PC 1000 or Prop 36. Call OC Legal Defense today at (714) 248-DOAN (3626) for more information.