Since November 2014, drug laws in California have been softened and now simple drug possession charges are considered misdemeanors as opposed to felonies. However, even a misdemeanor drug conviction, such as being under the influence of or in possession of, can lead to serious consequences so it is important you consult a professional who can defend you. A charge of simple possession, whether it’s methamphetamine heroin, cocaine, PCP, marijuana or any other regulated substance can be dismissed in California. Simple possession is defined as having a “useable quantity” of a prohibited substance in one’s possession.
It is important to note that in order for you to be charged of possession, you must have known it was an illegal drug. For example, there are some prescription medications that qualify as controlled substances and if you are caught having them, without knowing it was illegal, your charge could be dismissed. Prosecutors only have to show that the accused knew the the drugs were present and intended to use or control them based on circumstances of the case.
There are two ways to get a simple possession charge dismissed to avoid jail. The first is by obtaining a “Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ)” which allows the accused to complete a drug education school and obtain a complete dismissal of the charge. A second way is for the accused to participate in the “Proposition 36” treatment which requires that the accused participate in a treatment rather than go to jail.
If you find yourself convicted of a simple possession charge, consult an experienced attorney who will help your case get dismissed. Drug possession charges are subject to a broad range of penalties. In California, simple possession is considered a wobbler which means it can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor. Possession of certain substances like Schedule I and Schedule II Substances will remain a felony offense.