Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

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San Jose Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

san jose drug crimes defense lawyer

Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara County

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If you accused of a drug crime in California, it is a very serious allegation that could significantly affect your future. Once you are arrested, it is imperative that you consult a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Erik Johnson has been defending San Jose clients charged with drug crimes and relating criminal offenses for over ten years.

Drug Charges in California

There are different categories of drug crimes that individuals can be accused of in California. Depending on the drug and the circumstances alleged, charges can be prosecuted as both a misdemeanor and felony. There are two broad types of controlled substance offenses in California. Section 11350 of the California Health and Safety Code distinguishes the offenses related to controlled substances referred to as narcotics from crimes related to marijuana.

The types of controlled substance offenses include:

  • Possession, a crime involving the actual possession and/or control of a controlled substance.
  • Possession with intent to distribute, a crime concerning the possession of a controlled substance while intending to sell it.

It is a common misconception that there is a certain amount of a controlled substance that will trigger an intent to sell charge. While the amount of illegal substance is relevant to whether there was an intent to sell, it is not dispositive. The vague language of the statute does not include a specific quantity to prove a sales charge; however, other indicia may show such intent, including:

  • Packaging materials
  • Large amounts of cash
  • Ledgers and/or receipts
  • Scales or other measuring devices

It takes a relentless and strategic San Jose criminal defense attorney to fight your case and defend your rights if you have been charged with possession with intent to sell.

Drug Charges After Prop 47

Proposition 47 was approved in 2014, making it a misdemeanor for a person to possess a controlled substance, with a few exceptions. The controlled substances that qualify as misdemeanors include:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Meth
  • Prescription drugs

Offenses such as possession of marijuana only become criminal if an individual possesses over 28.5 grams of the substance, excluding "concentrated cannabis." This type of cannabis is the separated resin obtained from the marijuana plant, commonly referred to as "wax" or "honey oil." Possession of over 8 grams of concentrated cannabis is also a misdemeanor offense.

Possession and Intent to Sell Penalties

There are two types of misdemeanors in California: a standard misdemeanor and an aggravated misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a standard misdemeanor, the crime carries a potential sentence of six months in jail and or a fine of up to $1,000. If you are convicted of an aggravated misdemeanor, it carries a possible punishment of up to 364 days in jail and or a fine of up to $1,000.

The California Health and Safety Code 11351 makes it a felony to possess controlled substances with the intent to sell. A conviction of possession with intent to sell can carry consequences of up to four years in county jail and a fine of up to $20,000.

Contact a Dedicated California Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal conviction can severely alter the course of your life. Whether it is a misdemeanor or felony offense, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable Santa Clara County criminal defense attorney standing between you and the criminal justice system. Contact Attorney Erik Johnson at 408-246-3004 to schedule your free consultation today. We serve clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including but not limited to Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Palo Alto, and Milpitas. Se habla Español.

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