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What penalties do people face for drug possession?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2021 | Drug Charges

There are many valid reasons that people in California use drugs. Many people take prescriptions every day for various illnesses and injuries. When people take prescribed drugs it can be very beneficial for treating the injury or illness. However, many people take non-prescribed drugs for various reasons. When they do this they could be charged with a drug possession crime.

Potential penalties for drug possession

The laws have changed in California though. For many drugs contained in Schedules I – V, the maximum charge they can face is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and not state prison. Recreational use of marijuana is decriminalized now as well. However, if people possess more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated marijuana, people could be charged with a misdemeanor and spend up to a year in jail. People possessing over eight grams of concentrated marijuana could also face the same penalties.

If people are charged with drug crimes, even though the potential penalties have been reduced from previous penalties, they are still significant and can still affect people’s lives. A conviction will still be on people’s records which can be seen on background checks. There are also still certain offenses such as possession with the intent to sell that carry more significant penalties. People charged with drug crimes may have defenses though. These defenses generally start with whether the police had a valid reason to stop or search the person.

There are many people who use and possess drugs in California. They do this for a variety of reasons, but if they are caught with drugs without a valid prescription, they could be charged with a crime. The penalties have been reduced from previous penalties, but the potential penalties are still significant. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty though and consulting with an experienced attorney could be beneficial.

 

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.