Drug Possession with Intention to Sell in Irvine, CA
Tenacious Irvine Criminal Defense Attorneys for Your Drug Charges
While California law offers some flexibility with regard to simple drug possession cases, there are usually stiffer penalties for people convicted of drug possession with intention to sell. If you or a loved one has been charged with drug possession with intention to sell, it is important that you speak to an Irvine drug possession lawyer as soon as possible. The knowledgeable drug crimes attorneys at the Law Office of Pilchman & Kay, A Professional Law Corporation, are former prosecutors who understand the State’s burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and the rights of the accused in a criminal prosecution.
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Fighting a Charge of Drug Possession with Intention to Sell
Under California law, the offense of drug possession requires proof that the defendant had control over the substance at issue, that he or she knew of both the drug’s presence and its status as a controlled substance, and that there was a usable amount of the substance. For a conviction of drug possession with the intention to sell, there must also be proof that there was a sufficient amount of the substance to allow for selling and that the defendant had the intention to sell the drugs.
An intention to sell can be implied by the following:
- Amount of drugs seized
- The packaging of the substance in quantities in which the drug is typically sold
- The presence of cash, scales, baggies
- Other drug paraphernalia used for the sale of controlled substances
If a person accused of drug possession with intention to sell can demonstrate that the drugs in question were for personal use rather than for sale, he or she may qualify for a deferment or diversion under either California Penal Code § 1000 or Proposition 36. A person who is eligible for one of these programs may eventually be able to have the case dismissed or his or her criminal record expunged.
Factors That Can Contribute to Your Sentencing
For most defendants accused of drug possession with intention to sell, however, there is a possibility of both imprisonment for a number of years and fines. Certain factors, such as selling drugs near a school or a drug treatment facility, may increase the possible jail time faced by a defendant in a drug crime case. The amount of drugs at issue, the substance’s status on the controlled substances schedule, the defendant’s previous criminal record, and whether the defendant possessed a weapon are also factors in sentencing.
In defending a drug possession with intention to sell charge, the defendant’s attorney will likely explore issues such as:
- Whether the police acted legally with regard to the seizure of evidence and the defendant’s arrest.
- Whether the defendant may have had a legal right to possess the drugs at issue.
- Whether there is an unbroken chain of custody with regard to the evidence that the State will introduce at trial.
- Whether there are holes in the State’s case, especially with regard to circumstantial evidence.
Prosecution Under Federal Law
In addition to charges brought under California law, a person accused of drug possession with intention to sell may also face prosecution for a federal drug offense.
Under federal law, a defendant may face:
- A lengthy period of incarceration if convicted, including a minimum mandatory sentence in federal prison
- Substantial fines
- Forfeiture of certain assets
- Deportation if they are not U.S. citizens
- Difficulty finding employment or passing background checks due to their criminal record
People convicted of felonies, which are crimes subject to a punishment of incarceration for more than one year, may also be denied certain rights, such as the lawful possession of a handgun.
Enlist an Experienced Drug Possession Lawyer in Irvine, CA
At the Law Office of Pilchman & Kay, A Professional Law Corporation, we understand that good people sometimes get drawn into very difficult situations. Our Irvine drug possession attorneys are here to help people who have been accused of drug possession with intention to sell and other crimes involving controlled substances. We also represent defendants in nearby cities such as Anaheim, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Orange, Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Westminster, and Newport Beach.