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California Cocaine Possession Defense Lawyers

If you have been arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine in Santa Clarita, you may end up facing a felony charge. If convicted of those charges, the penalties will likely be severe. Law enforcement agents in the Santa Clarita Valley and in the Greater Los Angeles area dedicate significant resources to fighting drug crimes, specifically those that involve the possession, sales and transportation of a Schedule II narcotic such as cocaine. Whether an individual is facing a cocaine possession charge for the first time or has been charged as a repeat offender, the consequences are likely to be harsh.

At the Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann, our top priority is to protect the rights and freedoms of those who have been charged with possession of cocaine. Lawmakers and multi-agency task forces in the region crack down hard in an attempt to eradicate crimes involving cocaine. If you have been arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession in Santa Clarita, please contact us to find out how we can help.

Cocaine Possession Laws

California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS prohibits the possession of specific controlled substances without a prescription. Cocaine and cocaine base are covered under the United States Controlled Substances Act. Under Health and Safety Code 11350, possession of cocaine is a felony offense punishable by incarceration. The severity of drug possession charges usually depend on the quantity of drugs seized, the circumstances of the incident and the defendant's prior criminal history.

Different Types of Cocaine Possession

You could face serious criminal penalties if the prosecution alleges:

  • Actual possession: This means that you had direct and immediate physical control over the cocaine. You will be charged with actual possession if cocaine was legally found in your pocket, in a body cavity or in your purse or briefcase.
  • Constructive possession: This means that the cocaine was not found on your person but that it was discovered in a location over which you have control. For example, you can face constructive possession charges if cocaine is found in your home even if you are not there at the time of the discovery.
  • Joint possession: This is when you and at least one other person shares constructive possession of the cocaine. You could face joint possession charges, for example, if your roommate has cocaine in the common refrigerator and you know about it and let your roommate keep it there.

Penalties for Cocaine Possession

If convicted of cocaine possession, individuals could face up to a year of probation and a year in jail for cocaine possession in California. These penalties can increase to 16 months in prison or even three years of incarceration depending on the circumstances of your case. However, there are a number of sentencing alternatives to cocaine possession that can help you reduce your penalties.

Santa Clarita prosecutors are known for pursuing harsh punishment for drug offenders, but there are sentencing alternatives available to help those who seek treatment. For example, if you have a clean record, you could qualify for treatment under Proposition 36. Instead of jail time, you could spend up to one year of drug treatment as an inpatient, outpatient or resident of a halfway house.

You can also avoid incarceration by participating in drug court. If your case is handled in a drug court, you will be required to regularly check in to make sure you are abiding by the terms of your agreement including getting treatment and possibly performing community service.

Building a Defense for Cocaine Possession

If you have been charged with cocaine possession, please remember that you do not have to accept a plea deal or alternative sentencing options. You have the right to fight the charges in court. You can argue that you did not possess the cocaine or that you had no knowledge that you possessed the drug. You can argue that you only had transient possession of the cocaine for the purposes of handing it over to law enforcement. It is also possible to claim that the evidence is inadmissible because the cocaine was obtained through an illegal search and seizure.

A drug crime conviction can have serious repercussions including jail or prison time, loss of employment and a permanent mark on your criminal record. These are charges that must be taken seriously. If you or a loved one has been charged with cocaine possession, please contact the Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann at (888) 744-7730 to discuss your case at absolutely no cost.