If you’ve been accused of a drug crime in California, it is important that you take steps to defend yourself. Even a relatively minor crime could lead to fines and time in jail. Those penalties are more than inconveniences, and they can have a lasting impact on your life.
When you face allegations of possessing drugs, the charges against you could climb quickly. While you might have had those drugs in your own possession for your own personal use, you could be accused of intending to distribute those drugs or taking them across state lines. Depending on your situation, the charges could build up, and you could face serious penalties as a result.
How can you defend against drug crimes?
Defending against drug crimes isn’t always easy, which is why it’s smart to talk to your attorney about what happened and to be honest about your intentions if you were in possession of drugs. Your attorney will review your case and any past arrests to see how you may be affected if your case has to go to trial.
Some possible defenses that you could use include:
- Showing that the drugs are not yours, such as if someone left them in your vehicle
- Showing that the officer has no reason to stop or search you
- Showing that you have a prescription for the drugs in your possession
There are many other defenses that may work as well, which is something to discuss with your attorney.
Do past drug crimes affect this case?
Your past will matter, because repeat offenders are penalized more harshly than first-time offenders. If this isn’t your first offense, then it’s important to take it even more seriously and to start building your defense as soon as you can to mitigate the risk of imprisonment.
Remember that you can be tried at the state or federal level. Federal drug crimes have more significant penalties as well as mandatory minimum sentences. The conviction rate for federal drug crimes is also high, with as many as 90% of cases resulting in a conviction. A strong defense could help you fight back and be part of that 10%.