Possession for sale in Los Angeles is a very serious felony crime that often results in jail time. The charge requires prosecutors to provide a number of factors. These include that the defendant knew about the drugs, knew they were illegal substances and had a plan to sell the drugs. Prosecutors must also show there was a usable amount of drugs. The jail time and other penalties can be harsh since California has a low tolerance for drug trafficking. Here is what an attorney can do to help when you are facing possession for sale charges in Los Angeles.
Show You Did Not Legally Possess Drugs
A lawyer can help by attempting to show you did not legally possess some of the over 100 narcotics covered by the possession for sale charge in Los Angeles. Possession means you have to possess the substance somewhere on your body during the time of the arrest. You must also have control over the substance in some way. If the police were not aware of these details during the arrest, then an attorney could have the charges dropped since you never possessed illicit narcotics.
Attempt to Prove You Were Not Going To Sell Drugs
The second part of the charge can be difficult for prosecutors to prove. It has to be shown that you were actually going to sell the substances you possessed in Los Angeles. That can be very hard to do especially if the drugs were not explicitly packaged for sale. An attorney will know what legal hurdles must be crossed to show that you did not intend to sell the drugs to other people.
Scrutinize All Evidence Presented By the Prosecution
A large amount of the evidence presented by the prosecution might be questionable or ambiguous. A Los Angeles attorney will scrutinize all evidence put forward by the prosecution. That includes tests showing the substance was illegal and measurements of the weight. Your lawyer will likely question the police to ensure that you were not the victim of illegal entrapment by law enforcement officers. This comprehensive questioning and examination of the evidence could invalidate the prosecution case from the very start.
Avoid Going to Court
Many Los Angeles prosecutors do not want to go through an entire trial when dealing with possession for sale charges. This is why a good law firm will be able to negotiate with prosecutors before a trial starts. An attorney might be able to have the charges reduced significantly so that you avoid the most extreme penalties. A lawyer might be able to show that there is not enough evidence to sustain the charges. Your best chance of avoiding a trial is hiring a Los Angeles attorney.
Negotiate Alternatives to Jail
It is possible that the right attorney will be able to negotiate alternatives to jail when you face possession for sale charges. You could be ordered to perform community service or go through a long probation period. The judge or prosecutor might take treatment programs into consideration during sentencing. These options could all reduce or eliminate the amount of time you have to spend in country jail or state prison after the trial.
Potentially Protect Your Record from a Felony Conviction
A final important function of a Los Angeles attorney is potentially protecting your record from a felony conviction for possession for sale. A felony conviction can ruin your life. Although a deferred entry of judgment is not possible, your lawyer might be able to negotiate a deal where the felony is expunged or sealed after successful completion of probation and rehabilitation. That could make all the difference as you return to a normal life.
Getting caught with illegal substances is a legal problem that has bad enough consequences, but getting caught and charged with the intent to sell is much worse. If you were caught with drugs and the authorities are claiming that you had the intent to sell the drugs that were with you, you want to talk with a lawyer as quickly as possible. You also need to hold all statements to the police.
A criminal lawyer that has worked with drug dealing cases in the past can look at the police reports, the arrest, and your case to figure out the best tactic for defense. Here are a few things to understand about the case.
Possession vs Intent to Sell
A possession charge can entail a fine, time in jail based on how much you had on you or the type of drugs you had, probation, volunteer hours and drug education assignments. Adding the intent to sell onto the charge could turn the problem from a misdemeanor charge to a felony, it could land you in prison, and you could end up with the charges on your personal record for a lifetime. If you were pulled over and these charges were the result of an automobile search, you could be facing driving punishments as well.
Creating a Defense
The strategy for the defense is going to be determined by the amount of drugs you had on you, and how the police caught you. Here are a few things that lawyer may try to use as a defense:
Once you tell the lawyer how you were caught with the drugs, what the officers did, and where the drugs were taken, it will be easier for them to compile your defense.
Fighting an Obvious Crime
If there is no way that you can get out of the possession charges, since they were with you or in your car, you can still try to get the charges dropped so you don’t have the intent to sell on your record. The lawyer can work a plea deal so you admit some guilt, while avoiding the rest of the charges. This provides a variety of benefits like:
If you haven’t ever faced any type of drug charges, it will be easier for your lawyer to work out a plea, and to show that this was your first time making a mistake. If you have several drug charges or issues with the law, your lawyer may want you to enroll into a drug rehabilitation program to show the judge and prosecution you’re ready for a change.
If you were caught with drugs and the authorities want to take you down as a dealer, hire a lawyer right away so you can get the least amount of charges possible. The sooner you get an attorney, the sooner they can get the evidence needed for your defense.
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