In California, possession of meth is a serious offense that often results in jail time. With 377 meth-related deaths in San Diego County in 2016, the local police have been cracking down and making more arrests. But an arrest isn’t a conviction, and you have a chance at fighting the charges. With the help of an experienced attorney, you may be able to overcome your charges for possession of meth in California.
In addition to working with a lawyer, you should also understand the state laws regarding meth. The Law Office of Vikas Bajaj wants you to know what you’re up against.
What Qualifies as the Possession of Meth in California?
Laws regarding the possession of meth can be found in the California Health and Safety Code. In order for a conviction to happen, the prosecutor needs to prove all of the following:
- You illegally had meth in your possession
- You knew the meth was in your presence
- You knew the drug was a controlled substance and that it was meth
- You had a usable amount of the drug
Typically, it’s easy enough to prove that you had meth in your possession. The challenge is in showing that you knew that the substance was meth and that it was a controlled substance. In many cases, an experienced defense attorney will argue that the defendant was unaware of the true nature of the substance.
Penalties for Simple Possession
By understanding the California possession of meth charges and penalties, you can prepare yourself for court. Under most circumstances, meth possession qualifies as a misdemeanor offense. You could receive a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Additionally, you may be faced with probation and be required to take drug classes.
The severity of your sentence depends on several factors. For one, it depends on the skill of your legal representation. If you work with an experienced attorney, you can minimize the consequences. Your outcome also depends on the quantity of meth in your possession and your criminal background. If you have a long history of criminal activity, the court’s decision is less likely to be in your favor. A clean record gives you a better chance of a minimal sentence.
Penalty for Selling Meth
According to California possession of methamphetamine law, it’s also illegal to sell meth. If you’re caught with a large amount of meth, the prosecutor could attempt to convict you of the intent to sell a controlled substance.
For this conviction to be successful, there must be evidence that you meet all the requirements for meth possession and have had the intent to sell it. You could face charges if you were in actual possession, constructive possession, or joint possession. While actual possession involves holding or carrying the drugs, constructive possession involves having the meth in a place of which you had control. Finally, joint possession means you shared possession with someone else.
The penalty for this crime is, at the very least, 16 months in jail. However, you could also serve two or three years in jail. You may be fined as much as $10,000. If you were caught with the meth near a drug treatment center, detox facility, or homeless shelter, you will receive an extra year on your sentence.
If your crime involved more than one kilogram of meth, you’ll experience additional penalties. You could serve an extra three to 15 years in prison. There’s also an extra penalty for those who intend to sell to a minor.
How to Defend Charges for the Possession of Meth
If you’re facing charges, you need an experienced lawyer to take on your case. Only an aggressive attorney will know the ways of defending a criminal conviction. They may be able to argue that you never had possession of the drug or that you only had momentary possession. In some situations, they can claim that you did not know the drug was a controlled substance. If the drug was found during a search, your attorney could argue that the police performed an illegal search or did not have a warrant.
Only certain strategies will apply to your case. Therefore, you should explain the situation to your attorney. They will determine which defense gives you the best chance at success.
Defending Intent to Sell Charges
If you’re accused of the intent to sell, there are similar defense strategies for your case. However, you may also be able to have your charges dropped from the intent to sell to simple possession. For this to occur, your attorney may be able to argue that you didn’t have enough meth to sell.
Once again, the defense strategy depends on the circumstances of your arrest. Whatever happens, it’s important to realize that you have a chance at overcoming your charges.
The Law Offices of Vikas Bajaj knows how much is at stake. We’ll dedicate our time and resources to fighting for you. If you want to learn more, call us now.