What Are The Penalties Imposed On A Drug Offense Conviction?
For drug possession, if it is a simple possession, then it may be charged as a misdemeanor. The worst that can happen is a $10,000 fine and/or a county jail sentence of 364 days. Under California Health & Safety Code 11357, possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is an infraction. This can be penalized by $100 fine. Simple possession of cocaine is a felony and it carries from sixteen months to three years in state prison and a maximum of $20,000.
Possession of meth can be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you face up to one year in jail and $1,000 fine. A felony conviction for possession of meth can result from sixteen months to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Some drugs are seen as more of a danger to the community than others so the punishment is much harsher for possessing them.
Are There Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences In California?
In California, there are no mandatory drug sentences like there are in Federal Law. However, each violation of Health & Safety Code or Penal Code section that has to do with drug possession also has a guideline for it. This is what we call a low term, mid-term, or a high term that goes with every felony. Usually, the low term is sixteen months, mid-term is two years and the high term is four years.
The judge can choose which one he/she wants to sentence the person to or the DA can choose which one they want to offer. In most cases is no minimum mandatory sentence, so one can actually be sentenced to probation instead of the jail or the prison term may be suspended.
Are Penalties Typically Heavier If Minors Have Been Involved?
If the minor themselves is the one who has the drugs and they are not going to be tried as an adult, they will go to juvenile court. Usually for a straight possession, whether an adult or juvenile, the courts try to send the person to rehabilitation rather than incarceration.
If the minor is involved as a victim, meaning if the person who is charged with the crime is actually supplying drugs to the minor, selling to the minor or a minor was hurt in the course of dealing the drug, the punishment could be harsher and additional charges could be added to the original charge.
For more information on Penalties For A Drug Offense Conviction, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 894-8548 today.