Attorneys Who Are Problem Solvers

Riverside Drug Crime Attorney

Riverside Drug Crime Lawyer

Drug crimes are no laughing matter in California. The state takes charges for possession of controlled substances seriously, and it is one of the most common crimes to see the state prosecute. The penalties are severe, and you need to do everything you can to fight a charge proactively. That’s why you should hire a Riverside drug crime attorney and defense lawyer to advocate for you and fight for your rights in court.

At Brown& Stedman LLP, we aim to give you a comprehensive legal defense and do everything we can to get you a favorable outcome in court. While we can’t promise a not-guilty verdict, we’ll craft a strategy that will give you better odds of avoiding a harsh prison sentence and explore every avenue possible.

Riverside Drug Crime Attorney

Can Brown &Stedman LLP Help Me With a Riverside Drug Charge?

At Brown & Stedman LLP, we aim to approach every case from a position of empathy and understanding. We’ll examine the big picture and seek to assist you in any way we can and make sure the court hears your voice and side of the story. We’ll provide a personalized touch to your case and ensure we’re using the correct legal strategy based on the facts of the crime and how you want to proceed.

What Are Some Characteristics of Drug Crimes?

Drug crimes come in a variety of shapes and sizes in Riverside, CA. Some offenses carry longer sentences than others, but any drug crime in California is worth taking seriously. Any conviction for drugs can land you in jail and could impact your future ability to find housing and employment. This is why you need to hire a criminal defense attorney to provide you with a solid defense.

Some of the drug crimes we represent clients in include:

  • Possession: Proposition 47 from 2014 in California dramatically reduced some of the sentences for drug possession. Many instances of possession end up as misdemeanors now. Regardless, you’ll still want to attack these charges head-on and work to avoid a conviction. The police can charge you with possession if you have drugs on your person or you have them on your property, such as your house or car.
  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing charges include any instance of you or someone in your employ creating drugs or refining them. This most often applies to things like cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. If law enforcement finds you manufacturing drugs, you will face stiff penalties and a felony charge.
  • Distribution: Distribution includes any attempts at participating in the sale or transfer of drugs from one party to another. This crime usually results in a felony charge, as the state sees you as aiding and abetting the drug problem in the state.
  • Prescription drugs: While you can lawfully use and have prescription drugs in your possession, you need to be the person with the prescription. Having and using someone else’s prescription drugs is a violation of state law and can lead to criminal charges if law enforcement finds it.
  • Trafficking: Trafficking is in the same vein as distribution, except it includes crossing state or county lines. California seeks to punish those bringing drugs into a community seriously. You may also face federal charges if you bring drugs over multiple state lines.

What Potential Penalties Do I Face From a Guilty Verdict in California?

Drug charges can wind up as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the nature of the case. For instance, you’ll face lighter penalties for possession of marijuana than you would for trafficking crystal meth across state lines. Misdemeanors are less serious and typically require the offender to serve a maximum of a year in jail. Felonies can range from more than one year to life in prison and are for more serious crimes.

Judges have plenty of latitude in sentencing when it comes to drug crimes in California. A judge may choose to show some mercy in sentencing if you demonstrate contrition for the crime or if it is your first offense. On the other hand, a multiple-time offender or a case with aggravating circumstances may lead to a harsher sentence.

There are several alternatives to prison sentences for drug crimes. Some judges may try alternative punishments to help those struggling with drug addiction get the help they need. These alternatives may include counseling, courses, and drug abuse treatment. Your attorney can advocate for you to receive alternative sentencing.

What Are Some of the Common Defenses for Drug Crimes?

Some people believe a drug charge is impossible to beat, but there are a few defenses attorneys can utilize to prove their client’s innocence. Some of the common defenses include:

  • Substance abuse issues: This defense will not aid you with an acquittal, but it can signal to a judge that you need help more than a long-term jail sentence. The judge will take this under consideration when determining your sentence and may decide upon counseling instead of time in a correctional facility.
  • No knowledge of the drugs: If the police find drugs on your property, but you had no idea they were there, you may have a chance of using it as a legal defense. It is difficult to prove you were not aware of the drugs, but your Riverside criminal defense lawyer can help you demonstrate that the drugs were someone else’s who put them on your property without permission.
  • Duress: If someone threatens you to get involved in the drug trade or to hold drugs, you may have a legal defense. If someone is using coercion to make you transport or possess drugs, you can avoid jail time by providing evidence of the lack of willingness.
  • No intent: If the police decide to charge you with intent to distribute, you may be able to demonstrate your lack of motive to sell the drugs to other people. Arguing the drugs were entirely for recreational use may not help you avoid a conviction, but it can lighten the charges and the punishment down the line.

What Should I Do If the Police Arrest Me for Drug Charges?

When the police come to make a formal arrest for a drug charge, they will read your Miranda Rights to you during the process. There are two important rights you have during an arrest: to remain silent and to have an attorney. We recommend you invoke both of those rights as soon as possible.

While the police may act as your friends and want you to explain your side of the story, you should resist the urge and calmly tell them you won’t speak until your attorney is present. Law enforcement will have to acquiesce to your request, and you should quietly wait for your attorney.

Once your attorney is present, you can discuss the case with them. With attorney-client privilege, your lawyer won’t be able to use anything incriminating you say against you. It’s tempting to leave out details that imply guilt, but your attorney needs to know everything they can to craft a legal defense.

Do I Need an Attorney When Dealing With a Riverside Drug Charge?

Hiring an attorney gives you a much better chance when dealing with a drug charge in California. While no attorney can promise you a not-guilty verdict, an attorney will be able to assist you with every step of the process, keep you informed, and help you make decisions based on logic and not emotion.

Many prosecutors will attempt to offer plea deals to defendants to speed up the process and avoid a trial. During a plea deal, you will admit your guilt to a lesser crime rather than the one the prosecutor charged you with. You may still have to face punishments for the crime, but they won’t be as harsh. Your attorney can help negotiate a plea deal and tell you if one is worth taking or if you stand a fair chance at trial.

If you take your case to trial, your attorney will represent you in court and handle the proceedings. It may be tempting to try and go it alone and represent yourself, but you put yourself at a major disadvantage. Judges expect those representing themselves to have the same level of knowledge as an attorney, and you likely won’t have time to study relevant case law and precedent.

An attorney will also be able to craft a legal defense strategy that puts you in a strong position. While a defense created by your attorney is not a sure thing, trying to create a legal strategy with no experience is incredibly difficult.

Brown &Stedman LLP: Experienced Riverside Drug Crime Attorneys

California has a reputation for being a state with little tolerance for drug crimes. Whether you are dealing with simple possession or drug trafficking charges, you will want to be proactive in fighting the accusations. Any drug charge can affect your life down the road, and you run the risk of jail time for any guilty verdict.

At Brown &Stedman LLP, we aim to provide experienced and comprehensive criminal defense for our clients. Contact us today for an initial consultation and to see how we can help you through your case.

Learn More About What We Can Do To Help

We invite you to call us at 949-459-5900 to schedule your free initial consultation. You can also reach our firm by contacting us online.

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Each time we take a case, we look at the big picture: What can we do to best help solve the problem as efficiently as possible. We use our experience and creativity to propose solutions that allow you to put your legal matters behind you.

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