Drug Related Crimes
If you have been arrested for a drug related crime, the charges may be quite serious, and if convicted the penalties may include considerable fines and jail time.
In California there are four main types of drug charges that you may be faced with:
- Drug possession
- Drug sale or distribution
- Drug trafficking
- Drug manufacturing or cultivation
Penalties depend on which illegal drug is involved, how much you have, whether your intent is to sell it or use it, prior criminal background, and if you have any prior drug crime convictions. Even possession of a prescription drug without a prescription is a criminal offense.
In addition, if you are convicted of a drug related offense it may prevent you from prospective employment. If you are a student attending school on student loans it may prevent you from qualifying for future student loans. Whatever your case may be, a drug conviction can negatively affect your future.
If you have been arrested for a drug related crime, it’s not the end of the world. In California, Penal Code 1000 allows drug offenders with a second chance, while Proposition 36 allows both 1st and 2nd time drug and alcohol crime offenders to attend state regulated treatment programs instead of being placed in jail. For some individuals who have a drug use problem, PC 1000 and Proposition 36 may be the answer to the help they have been looking for.
PROPOSITION 47 and DRUGS
Following Proposition 47’s approval in November 2014, Criminal offenders who commit certain nonserious and nonviolent drug and property crimes will be sentenced to reduced penalties, i.e. shorter jail terms. Under this measure, certain felony drug crimes will be filed as misdemeanors, i.e. simple possession of drugs for personal use.
Proposition 47 also permits re-sentencing for anyone who is currently serving a prison term for certain felony drug possession offenses that the initiative reduces to misdemeanors.
PENAL CODE 1000
Penal Code 1000, allows those who have committed drug and/or alcohol related crimes to have a second chance. PC 1000 allows drug and/or alcohol offenders to avoid jail time if they meet certain terms. In order to be eligible for PC 1000, the offender must:
- Not have been convicted for any prior drug related offense
- Not have committed a crime that involves violence
- Not have a revoked probation or parole on his/her criminal record
- Not have a prior felony conviction within the past 5 years
A person must enter a guilty plea in court and in return the court will not enter a judgment of conviction. The person must then complete a 12 week drug and alcohol course, refrain from being arrested for 18 months, and pay court fees. After these terms have been met, the court will enter a judgment of dismissal, which will allow the person to move forward with their life.
Proposition 36, also known as the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, is a law that allows both 1st and 2nd time drug and alcohol offenders to attend state regulated treatment programs instead of being placed in jail. Many people voted for this law in belief that it is better to treat addictive behavior through education and professional counseling than to punish addicts by simply placing them in jail. In order to qualify, a person must have committed a simple, non-violent drug crime.
Whatever your case may be, drug related offenses are quite severe and may lead to hefty fines and jail time. Contact The Law Office of Jimmy Cha to discuss your rights and options that may be available to you.