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Cocaine goes by many names in California and across the rest of the United States: Blow, rack, rock, and coke, to name just a few of the slang names used to talk about the drug. It’s a serious drug listed among the many substances in the United States Controlled Substances Act, and if you’ve been charged with possession of cocaine, you’re going to need a lawyer and quickly because this is a serious felony offense in most instances.
As a Schedule II drug, it is further up on the scale of what we would consider a “dangerous” drug in that it has high potential for abuse, and abuse may lead to physical and/or psychological dependence. Cocaine base ranks even scarier on the list: It’s a Schedule I drug, meaning that in addition to all the other unpleasantness, it also has no accepted medical use in the United States.
Personal possession of cocaine is usually a felony in California. Cocaine is listed alongside heroin, peyote, and drugs like Hydrocodone. Depending on the amount you’re in possession of, and your prior criminal history, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or with a felony. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor, you could get a $1,000 fine and 1 year in county jail.
If you have a prior drug charge, or other offenses on your record, you’ll likely be slapped with a felony charge and this carries with it penalties of up to 3 years in prison and $10,000 fine. Prior convictions for these crimes could mean a felony charge for cocaine possession:
– Violent sexual offenses
– Sex crimes with a minor under 14
– Vehicular manslaughter
– Any sex crime that required you to register as a sex offender
Awhile back Proposition 36,14 came along, and Penal Code 1000 PC lays it out, to establish California drug courts. This drug diversion program is available to some defendants who quality and it enables them to complete a drug diversion program and stay out of prison. If you successfully complete the program, the drug charges are dismissed.
A more serious form of possession, this is possession of cocaine for sale, and it means that you possessed the drug because you were going to sell them. This raises the penalties substantially. You can get four years in state prison and up to $20,000 fine. If it’s Cocaine base, it’s even more serious: $20,000 fine and potentially 5 years in prison. If the amount exceeds one kilogram, you could face an $8,000,000 fine and 25-years in prison, a serious offense and one that could leave you to die in prison, depending on your age. Don’t let that happen. These types of crimes are not eligible for any kind of drug diversion program in California.
In the case of cocaine possession, it can’t be stressed enough: Call an attorney! And a good one. If you’re facing the more serious end of the charges, it could effectively ruin your life as a free person for a large portion of your life, and there’s no need for this to happen when there are so many good defense attorneys in California who can help you avoid this fate. With the less serious charges, a good lawyer may be able to get them dismissed, reduced, or even send you to a drug diversion program. In some cases, your possession might be a misdemeanor, though very rarely, but defense lawyers are professionals at getting charges reduced for their clients.
Don’t wait another minute to call a lawyer. If you’ve been charged with this very serious offense, it’s time to go on the defensive, and that means calling up an attorney that has been working these cases for years and knows what works and what doesn’t in legal defense. Failing to call an attorney or accepting a plea bargain without talking to an attorney can drastically alter the course and success you experience in life. A good defense attorney will aggressively defend you against all charges and help you to avoid prison time in some circumstances. Call today.