Ventura Drug Possession Lawyer
Drug Possession Laws in California
Nearly 35% of all prisoners in California state prisons are serving time because of a drug-related crime. The percentage is even higher among those incarcerated in county jails. These statistics suggest that the State harshly prosecutes these matters, and if the prosecutor proves their case beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant will likely spend time behind bars.
If you have been arrested and charged with drug possession, the first thing you need to know is that you have options. At the Law Office of Christopher P. Welch, we have over a decade of experience helping individuals get their charges dropped. Our Ventura attorney has obtained over one hundred case dismissals for past clients and will work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Understanding Drug Possession Laws in Ventura
In California, it is illegal for people to willfully possess certain controlled substances and medications without valid prescriptions. This includes a variety of drugs that are regulated by the government, such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine. The laws also pertain to the possession of the chemicals that could be used to cultivate or manufacture illicit drugs.
If you are in possession of any of the above drugs you can be charged with:
- Possession - An attorney can challenge how the drugs or drug-related equipment was found. An improper search or seizure can result in dismissal of a case. Often the District Attorney has a difficult time proving whom the drugs belong to.
- Under the influence - An experienced attorney knows how to request and interpret complicated lab results to determine whether flaws in the equipment or a break in the chain of custody could have resulted in an error.
- Sales - Similar to possession, sales and sales related charges can also have opportunities to win based on search and seizure issues. It is often difficult for the District Attorney to prove whether drugs are for sale or for personal use.
Possession of a drug or precursor chemical means to have control over it. This does not require a person to be touching or holding the substance. An individual can be in control of a drug if it is in their backpack, closet, or storage unit, and even if someone else is keeping it for them. It is also possible for more than one person to possess the substance at the same time.
Elements of Drug Possession
To convict a defendant of drug possession, a prosecutor must prove five elements, including:
- The person possessed the controlled substance
- The individual had knowledge of the drug’s presence
- The defendant did not have a prescription for the drugs
- The accused knew that the drug was a controlled substance
- The defendant possessed a usable amount of the substance
How to Beat a Drug Possession Charge
When charged with possession of a controlled substance, the defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge the accusations made against him or her.
Common defenses our firm employs include:
- No possession - At the trial, if a prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had control of the illegal substance, there can be no guilty verdict.
- Lack of knowledge - If someone else leaves a controlled substance in the defendant’s house or car without their knowledge, they cannot be convicted for the crime.
- Lawful prescription - The defendant will not be convicted for drug possession if they have a valid, written prescription for the drug from a licensed healthcare provider.
- Unlawful search and seizure - If the defendant possessed drugs that were seized in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, that evidence will not be admissible in court.
Let Us Defend Your Rights & Freedom
A drug possession conviction can result in several consequences, including up to 1 year in jail, a fine of $1,000, and a permanent stain on your criminal record. For the sake of your freedom and your future, reach out to the Law Office of Christopher P. Welch for skilled criminal defense. Our Ventura drug possession lawyer is equipped with the knowledge and resources to help you obtain a fair outcome.
Contact (805) 467-6542 today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced drug crime attorney.
“Mr. Welch took care of all my worries and concerns, while clearing my name.”- James D.
“He made us feel comfortable in his capable hands going through the worst situations our family has faced.”- Lynette D.
“Chris Welch is the best choice and Attorney ever!”- Janet O.