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Although opioids have the news media’s full attention, methamphetamine remains a problem in many California communities. Highly addictive with a brief high, users can quickly fall into a cycle of binging and withdrawing. Meth can be smoked, snorted, taken as a pill, and even injected. Long-term use can have shocking effects on the user’s health.
Unfortunately, the criminal justice system does sometimes charge innocent people with drug violations. Other times, overeager prosecutors who have been mandated to “get tough on crime” overcharge people with more serious crimes and heavier penalties than they deserve. Addicts and users who get convicted wind up spending time in jail rather than getting the treatment they need to get their lives back on the right track.
The experienced California criminal defense lawyers of Law Offices of David Chesley helps Californians facing meth charges navigate the justice system in order to get a fair result. We offer our clients aggressive representation with over 50 years of courtroom experience. If you’d like a free consultation, call us at 800-755-5174 or send us an email via our online contact form.
Possession of Meth
California Health and Safety Code Section 11377 makes it unlawful to possess any controlled substance without a prescription, which includes methamphetamines. Although more effective drugs are now available on the market, methamphetamines can be prescribed to treat ADD or obesity, but it is fairly rare. As a result, the legal possession of meth is not very common.
In order to convict a defendant for possession of meth, the prosecution must prove the following:
It’s important to understand that the prosecution has to prove each of the elements listed above – it’s not enough for them to charge you. As a result, we should discuss each of these elements in some detail. For more information or to discuss your case specifically, you should call our office today to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles.
Possession. Under California law, there are three ways that you can possess a controlled substance:
If the prosecution can prove that you had meth in your actual or constructive possession, then he or she has met the first element of the possession charge.
Knowledge. The prosecutor also has to prove that you (i) knew you were in possession of the meth, (ii) that you knew what it was, and (iii) that you at knew it was a controlled substance. It seems obvious that you can’t be convicted of possession if you didn’t know you had meth. However, you need to keep in mind that law enforcement or the prosecution won’t take your word for it – they will try to prove that you knew you had meth or that you knew what it was by using circumstantial evidence. For example, let’s say that your cousin leaves meth in your car and you didn’t know about it. The prosecution may try to use your behavior to prove that you knew you had it and what it was – the fact that you tried to get rid of it, or that you weren’t willing to let the police search your car without a warrant.
Amount. In order to convict you for possession, you have to have been in possession of a usable amount – not just residue or some traces of meth. However, and this is an important distinction, it does not need to be enough to get you high. It just needs to be enough to use as a drug. Remember, any possession offense is a serious matter, so no matter how much the police found, you should call a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case.
Possession of Meth for Sale
Possession of meth as described above for personal use is known as “simple possession.” California has a separate, more serious crime for possession of meth for sale. In order to be convicted of possession of meth for sale, the prosecution has to prove all the elements of simple possession, but also that you had enough of it to sell and that you had the intent to sell it. Some of the factors the prosecution may look to is the amount of meth you had, whether it was divided into individual portions, or whether you had other equipment (such as a scale) used in the sale of meth.
Transportation of Meth
California law also makes transportation of meth for sale a separate crime, to include any time someone “transports, imports…sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import…sell, furnish….” As you can see, transportation charges can cover a very broad spectrum of activities, which makes it easy for prosecutors to bring additional charges against defendants.
Below is a summary of the penalties you may face if charged with possession, sale, or transportation of meth.
|Simple Possession||Possession for Sale||Transportation of Meth|
|Typically charged as a misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.||Felony charge punishable by 16 months, two years, or three years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000||Felony charge with 2, 3, or 4 years in prison|
|May be charged as a felony if you have a prior conviction for a sex crime or other serious offense such as murder with jail time of 16 months or 2 or 3 years||Additional jail time (1 year) if you were selling within 1,000 feet of a drug treatment center, a detox facility, or a homeless shelter||May face 3, 6, or 9 years for transporting meth for sale across two counties|
|Additional jail time (3 to 15 years) if you possessed more than 1 kg of meth|
|Additional jail time (3,6, or 9 years) if you used a minor in the commission of your crime|
Defending Against Meth Charges
Because meth use is such a serious problem, law enforcement and prosecutors are aggressive in bringing cases against suspected users and dealers. This leads to accusing people of crimes they didn’t commit, or charging people with crimes that the prosecution can’t prove. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can spot these cases and raise the following defenses:
Finally, keep in mind that the prosecution has to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a higher standard of proof than is required in a civil trial.
Contact a California Drug Charge Defense Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one is facing any charges relating to the use of meth or any other drug, the outcome of your case could have severe consequences for your future. In addition to a public drug conviction and possible jail time, it will affect your reputation and could even make it difficult to get a job. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, you are giving yourself the best possible chance at a brighter future.
The California criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley have the skills and the experience you need. With over 50 years of courtroom experience, we will work tirelessly for you and fight for your rights. Call us at 800-755-5174 or email us today if you would like a free consultation.
Possession of Cocaine (CA. Penal
Code 1203.073) commonly called “coke”, “snow”, “blow” is a controlled substance.
Ecstasy is a popular drug, used commonly by “partygoers”, ecstasy is both a stimulant and hallucinogen that produces…
Heroin (Health and Safety Code 11350 & 11351 HS) is a Schedule 1 drug under the United States Controlled Substances Act.
California’s Health & Safety Code has many sections that deal with the various offenses related to Marijuana.
Methamphetamines (CA. Health & Safety Code 11377 &11378 HS) are among the most commonly abused drugs in California.
Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!
Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!
Client’s estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.
Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client’s glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!
Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!
Rodrigo L. San Fernando, CA (Sherman Oaks Yelp Review)
I am truly pleased with my experience with the Law Offices Of David S Chesley. They answered all my questions and provided me with great advice and legal services. My case resolved quickly. Thank you!
Ricardo Esteves Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Google Places Review)
I left court yesterday with my last case being wrapped up. Two court appearances and that’s it. He represented me in a couple of different cases and was impressive to say the least. Always a phone call or text message away. Confident and aggressive when he needed to be. Calming and thorough when meeting with me. Attorney Chesley did exactly what he said he would and I got the results I needed. He seemed to know all the right people at the Temple Street courthouse. You can always get in contact with him quickly and he is a great lawyer. I highly recommend his legal services.
Erica Geller Ontario, CA (Ontario Facebook review)
My brother was given a very caring attorney that was assigned to his case and we had very helpful case managers throughout the process. I strongly recommend David Chesley to anyone who is in trouble. I called in to get help on my brothers case and right away I liked their service. My brothers charges were eventually dismissed after the attorney got him into a program, now he could go on without the trouble of having anything on his record
Elizabeth F. San Diego, CA (San Diego Google Places Review)
I retained Mr. Chesley and his firm and from the beginning they were extremely professional both in communicating the status of my case to me, explaining the situation as a whole, and just downright taking care of business. It was money well spent for a job well done. Thanks again to David and Melissa others that worked on my case. I recommend this firm to anyone in need of legal representation. Don’t just accept things the courts force on you, call this firm and protect yourself.
Leon Hanley Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Avvo review)
I contacted Mr. Chesley and his firm because some unfortunate events had left me in a jam. Detectives were demanding I testify or be prosecuted for a crime I didn’t commit. (I wasn’t involved or even at the scene of the alleged crime when it supposedly took place.) Mr. Chesley explained to me that he had been through similar situations with his clients before and understood exactly what was going on. His response to what took place was nothing short of amazing. No matter how small my concern, Mr. Chesley addressed it in a timely manner. He advocated for what is right and empathized with me in dealing with the Court system. After meeting with the supervising D.A. and providing alibi evidence he was able to get me out the situation. I’m very grateful to have found him.
Britanny Givens Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Google Places)
I hired David Chesley for my criminal defense in 2012. he was recommended to us for is success results and his low fees. David is very smart and his professional legal advice was honest & much appreciated during these stressful time. David’s knowledge, advice, and communication about what we were to expect was reassuring and beneficial to me. He charged me a reasonable flat rate and didn’t charge me any surprise fees. In my case David Chesley was able to negotiate with the prosecution attorney for the best result I could hope for. He had success at getting my criminal charges dismissed with the judges approval. You will not be disappointed if you hire The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
Andrew A. North Hollywood, CA (Better Business Bureau review)
David is very professional, yet very casual. Although it is typically not easy to speak straight up with an attorney, he is very easy to talk to. He replied to my questions quickly and was available all hours. Not only did he get my case resolved with a dismissal, he went above and beyond and got me an expungement without me even requesting it. He never beats around the bush and tells you like it is. At the same time is willing to work overtime to get the results you request. I would use David’s services again in the future.