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While it’s evident that a charge for possession of hydrocodone means that you’re being accused of possessing Hydrocodone, there’s a lot more to the charge than just that. It falls under Health and Safety Code 11350 and requires that a certain burden of proof be met by the prosecution in order to punish you for the offense. Hydrocodone is one of the many medications included in the United States Controlled Substances Act. It’s possible to legally possess Hydrocodone, but if you don’t have a prescription for it, it falls into the same category of drugs as heroin and cocaine.
The distinction between legal and illegal possession of Hydrocodone as a controlled substance is as simple as a prescription. If you didn’t have a prescription for the medication but knowingly possessed it, you’re going to face a possession charge, and only a good lawyer can help you make sense of the charge and successfully defend you against it. Even if you are guilty of the charge, having a lawyer can help you avoid steeper fines, prison time, and even a felony charge. Many judges in California are able to sentence people with prescription drug problems to treatment centers instead of prison, provided they don’t have any violent felonies on their record and it’s a first defense.
A 2014 referendum on possession of controlled substances reduced simple possession down to a misdemeanor, and it made certain qualified individuals able to be sentenced to a drug diversion program instead of jail. To qualify, it had to be a first offense and the participant couldn’t have been convicted of any violent charges. This has helped a lot of people convicted of possession keep their criminal records free of a felony so that they can later, after treatment, be more useful to society. A good lawyer can argue for this type of program for you and make it more likely that you will get into one, should you be convicted.
As a misdemeanor, there is a fine of up to $1,000 and a potential for 6 months in prison, although your lawyer may be able to get you into a drug diversion program or even have your charged dismissed altogether if you are a victim of a circumstance that makes you not guilty of the charges. Different judges tend to make different fines and punishments, but the great news is that things have changed in California over the years and now it’s more possible than ever before to defend against possession charges. An experienced lawyer or team of lawyers can confront a possession charge head on and defend against it if you give them the opportunity to do so.
You might not think that you can defend yourself against a possession charge, but a lawyer certainly can. There are a lot of defenses that they successfully use, including:
– Defendant was unaware drugs were present on their person or in their home
– Defendant simply didn’t possess the drugs as the state accuses
– Defendant encountered the drugs accidentally and planned to dispose of them
These are but three of the many defenses that lawyers can use to defend you against a hydrocodone possession charge. And there are many others that have been used successfully over the years. If a lawyer is unable to get the charge dismissed outright, they can then work to have you proven not guilty. And if that doesn’t happen, they can argue for probation, drug diversion, or treatment program as an alternative to prison in your case.
The first and best advice is always: Hire a lawyer! When you go into court to fight a possession charge, you’ll want a knowledgeable attorney by your side. They can advise you of the charges you’re facing, how you’re going to defend them, and what your options are for a plea bargain (if any). A lawyer will always work tirelessly on your behalf, and if they aren’t, then you need a new lawyer. If you need a lawyer to defend yourself against a possession charge, or if you’re unhappy with your current representation, it’s time to call on someone who will tirelessly defend you.