Articles Posted in Drug Possession

A criminal case is heard in criminal court before a criminal Judge. A family law case is heard before a civil judge in family law or civil court. However, the two may still have significant effects on each other. Family code §4320 (m) gives family law Judges the authority to consider any domestic violence and related cases as a factor in determining spousal support.

A party may lose their right to spousal support if the Judge believes there has been domestic violence. There must be documented domestic violence, not just an accusation. In many cases, the judge may also consider arrests. It does not have to be a conviction.

Let’s consider an example. Let’s say that Harry has been arrested and charged under California Penal Code §273.5, Corporal injury on a spouse. Harry and his wife, Wendy got into a fight with one night and Harry pushed Wendy. Wendy ended up falling on the floor and hurting herself. She called the cops and the result was that cops came and arrested Harry charging him with domestic violence. Harry appears before a criminal judge and accepts a plea bargain. He pleads guilty to a disturbing the peace and the charges of domestic violence are dropped against him.

When a person has been arrested for drug possession, the arresting officers will determine whether the charge will be drug possession, or drug possession with intent to sell. To make the determination, officers will look at the facts.

A simple drug possession charge, while taken seriously by courts, will yield a lesser penalty than when there is an intent to sell. Therefore, it is always better when the charge is just drug possession and the officers determine there is no intent to sell.

Officers will survey the situation, taking all things at the crime scene into account. Let’s take an example. Officers come into a person’s house and arrest them for drug possession. In the home there are many baggies or drugs, each measured in the same amount. There are also many scales scattered throughout the room and bundles of cash. It is safe to assume that the person charged was not only using drugs for their own possession, but had the intent to sell. The facts, measured bags, vast amounts of cash, indicate that the drugs were not simply for personal use.

When a person is arrested for a Drug charge in Southern California they could possibly face a conviction and jail time. Any drug charge on a person’s record could cause future issues with job and school applications. It is in the person’s best interest to do all that they can and utilize all available defenses to assure that the charge is reduced or dismissed.

Many of our clients are not guilty of the crime they are being charged with, and it is simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many of our clients inform us that the drugs that are found in their possession are not theirs, but a friend’s or an acquaintance.

For example, lets’ say that Dan and Frank go to the beach and Frank drives. Unbeknownst to Frank, Dan has brought marijuana in a bag and put it in Frank’s glove compartment. After the beach, Dan forgets to take his marijuana with him and leaves it in the car. A couple days later Frank gets pulled over for a routine traffic violation and when he reaches for his insurance, the bag of marijuana falls out and officers arrest him for possession of a controlled substance.

Many of our clients ask how a charge is determined by the district or city attorney. When will the charge be a Possession of a controlled substance for sale, and when will it be a Possession of a controlled substance. The difference is significant, as it can determine which potential consequences a person may face, and whether or not they face a possibility of jail time.

The determination is made by taking a look at the circumstances and the specific facts of the case. The officers who arrest and charge the person will make a determination and prepare the citation accordingly. It will then be sent to the Court so that the prosecutor can make a determination of whether the charge rises to the level of a Possession for sale, which is a lot more serious than a simple possession.

For example, let’s say that a person has been stopped by officers while he is driving his care for a routine traffic stop. Officers then smell marijuana when the driver opens his window, this gives officers probable cause to search the vehicle. When searching the vehicle, they find a small bag of marijuana between the two driver’s seats, and neither driver has a medical marijuana prescription for its possession.