Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

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San Jose Drug Possession Lawyer

san jose drug possession lawyer

Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Campbell, Sunnyvale, and Throughout the Bay Area

A criminal conviction for possession of a controlled substance can have far-reaching consequences. Despite Prop 47 making possession of most controlled substances a misdemeanor, the penalties can set you back financially and leave your record tainted with a conviction. Hiring a dedicated Santa Clara County criminal defense attorney such as Erik Johnson can significantly increase your chances at minimizing the damage from a charge or conviction of possession of a controlled substance.

What Constitutes Possession?

California law provides three distinct types of possession charges in regards to controlled substances. It is important to note that while simple possession is a misdemeanor, if you are charged with intent to sell, it can earn you a felony charge. It is advisable to speak with a knowledgeable San Jose drug possession lawyer when charged to make sure you fully understand the claims against you.

The three types of possession are categorized as:

  • Actual possession: The allegation that you were in actual and physical control of the controlled substance. For example, if the drugs were found in your pocket or on your person.
  • Constructive possession: The allegation that the controlled substance was found in a place that you had easy access to. A common scenario is when the drugs were found in a car.
  • Joint possession: The allegation that you along with at least one other person have ownership of the drug. This change mainly arises when the drugs are found in a place where you and another individual(s) have constructive possession.

Proposition 64

Proposition 64, also referred to as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana as well as up to six marijuana plants per residence for adults over the age of 21. One caveat is concentrated cannabis. It is against California law to possess more than eight grams of concentrated cannabis such as "wax" or "honey oil."

Defenses to Possession Charges

When you are charged with possession of a controlled substance the very first thing you should do is seek out your San Jose criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney may give you the best shot successfully arguing an available defense like:

  • Unlawful search and seizure - Any evidence of a crime secured pursuant to an illegal search and seizure becomes inadmissible at trial.
  • Direct challenge to kind of possession alleged - The state must prove that you had control over the controlled substance or access to the controlled substance, a skilled attorney can challenge the kind of possession you are being prosecuted for.
  • Inaccurate analysis - The state must prove that the substance they are alleging is a controlled substance is, in fact, the controlled substance it alleges. This may include a challenge to the crime labs findings.
  • Challenge to the chain of custody - An experienced criminal defense attorney will force the prosecution to prove that the evidence was maintained and preserved by the appropriate people and procedure and stored according to law.

Three Strikes Rule In California

In California, The Three Strikes Law applies to violent felony drug charges. This means that if you have three enumerated violent drug and/or other serious and violent offenses on your record, you could be facing 25 years to life in prison. A felony drug charge may be filed as a strike offense under California's three strikes law. However, many changes in the law have taken place and you should consult with an experienced attorney to know your rights.

Possession of a Controlled Substance Defense in Santa Clara County

Being charged with a crime can be both emotionally and financially devastating if you do not have adequate representation. Erik Johnson has spent over a decade defending his clients through some of the worst moments of their lives. Do not face these charges alone. Contact the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson at 408-246-3004 to schedule your free consultation.

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