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California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS is the code that is used to prosecute heroin possession charges. Heroin was one of the earliest drugs to be listed under the Controlled Substances Act, and it continues to be a frequently encountered charge by defense attorneys. If you’ve been arrested for possession of a controlled substance such as heroin, immediate legal advice is necessary. This is a serious felony charge and one that should not be approached alone.
The good news for people accused of heroin possession is that the state of California is one of the most progressive in terms of giving non-violent drug offenders with no prior convictions an opportunity to get the help they need to beat the conviction. Probationary periods can help offenders avoid jail time and successfully re-enter society as a productive citizen. Many people have taken advantage of this opportunity and done some really amazing things with their lives, but none of those things would have been possible unless a good defense attorney stepped in to intervene. A defense attorney knows the California possession laws inside and out and will be able to seek alternative punishments or even complete dismissal through a good defense.
Penalties for this offense are wide-ranging, but heroin possession in its initial form is a felony charge, and it is punishable with 2-3 years in a county jail, a place that no person wants to find themselves. Many people mistakenly believe that there is no defense for a possession charge, that you either possessed the drug or you didn’t. In reality, it’s the burden of the prosecution to prove that possession even took place. There are numerous defenses for this crime, and a good defense attorney will explore all possible options that fit the details of the arrest.
You might be asking yourself what could possibly be a defense for possession. In fact, there are many.
Wasn’t aware the drug was there
One defense is to say that the defendant didn’t even know the drugs were present. While it can be difficult to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, this type of defense might eventually lead to a plea bargain or other charge that might reduce the possession down from a felony. There have been cases where this defense was accepted. If you were arrested for possession of a drug you weren’t even aware existed in the vicinity you were in, then it’s time to call a defense attorney.
Planned to dispose of the drug
Believe it or not, some people actually do throw drugs away when they unwittingly find them. While this defense does NOT refer to a situation where a person throws drugs out to keep from being caught by the police, it does sometimes occur that a defendant found illicit drugs and truly planned to dispose of them rather than use them. We live in a society where drug use is rampant in certain areas. It wouldn’t be all that unusual to find drugs and then of course throw them away.
Even if you did possess drugs, it’s possible that they were discovered because of an illegal search conducted by the police. Everyone has rights. If you were the victim of an illegal search, your charge may be thrown out altogether. This is often very successful as a defense, but only a truly outstanding attorney would be able to know the search was illegal and then to prove it to the court.
Defense attorneys are the gateway to freedom. They can have charges dismissed altogether, fight your case in court and have your charges reduced, and in the case of possession charges, they might be able to get you time in treatment or probation instead of time inside a jail cell. If you’ve been accused of heroin possession, know that you are facing a very serious charge that could lead to prison and a felony record. It’s imperative that you contact a good attorney today and get the help that you need before going any further with a case.