It's illegal to be in possession, manufacture, or sell drugs considered illegal in the state of California. Though state voters have recently allowed for the legal use of marijuana in many cases, drug crime laws are still nuanced and penalties are not cut and dry. They can vary widely, from community service to years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. It all depends on the facts of your case.
Charged for an alleged drug crime? Contact us today for help from our Sacramento criminal defense lawyers!
What penalties am I facing
for drug crimes?
If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, the penalties depend on a number of considerable factors. For example, less serious drug crimes that may be charged as a misdemeanor will obviously not carry the same penalties as drug crimes charged as a felony.
The penalties you can expect to face for a drug charge depend on the following:
- The type of drug: Heroin possession will likely lead to harsher penalties than marijuana possession, for example.
- Amount of drugs you had on you: Large amounts of drugs typically lead to distribution or trafficking charges.
- Prior drug-related criminal history: Judges are likely to be more lenient if this was your first time.
Judges typically have some discretion in cases involving drug crimes and can impose penalties such as community service, drug treatment, fines, probation, and jail or prison sentences. In addition, California has drug courts, where felony drug offenders can go to rehabilitate instead of going to trial. This program lasts over a year and requires frequent drug testing.
- Possession of more than 28.5 grams (other than concentrated cannabis) may result in up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $500 in fines.
- Possession of no more than 28.5 grams is legal those 21 years of age or older but is an infraction for those 18 years of age and under - a mandatory drug education course and community service will be issued.
- Possession of up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis is legal, whereas possession of more than 8 grams of concentrated cannabis is illegal and may result in up to a year in jail and/or up to $500 in fines.
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