By contrast, California has some of the lightest. Possession of drugs is illegal without a valid authorization. While penalties for possession are generally not as great as for the manufacture and distribution of drugs, possession of a relatively large quantity can be considered distribution. Under state and federal laws, the penalties for possession, manufacturing, and distribution are much higher for the second and subsequent convictions.
Many laws provide mandatory prison sentences and the full minimum sentence must be served. When it comes to the penalties you could face, they vary depending on the type of drug and the amount found in your possession. Illegal possession of a controlled substance occurs when a person possesses or possesses a drug or other controlled substance, without legal justification or permission. Alternatively, a person attending a drug distribution operation led by an abusive partner may receive a minor drug charge (power dynamics related to abuse would present a mitigating factor).
While the federal government has ample freedom to enforce drug laws, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) tends to focus on interstate drug trafficking and larger operations. Drug possession offenses are largely handled by states, with widely varying sentencing guidelines. In cases where the crime of possession includes a less dangerous drug or a small amount, it can be charged as a misdemeanor. Depending on the circumstances, a person accused of possession of an illegal drug could end up facing possession charges with the intention of distributing a charge much more serious than simple possession.
However, the prosecution does not have to prove that the defendant knew that the drugs were controlled or that possession in this circumstance was illegal. The severity of the penalty depends on several factors, such as the specific type of drug involved, the circumstances surrounding the possession, and the criminal history of the person who possesses the drugs. Often, circumstantial evidence provides this test, which also shows that more than one person possessed the drugs. That means that drugs have a preponderance for abuse, and those in possession face serious criminal penalties.
Controlled substances are drugs and other materials whose possession and use the federal government has decided to regulate. In addition to mandatory minimum sentences, there are other factors that can determine penalties and sentences for drug possession. To convict someone of illegal possession of a controlled substance, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant knowingly possessed the drug. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis %26 Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with drug offenses and other serious crimes such as sexual assault and robbery.
A drug defendant who agrees to go to drug court spends approximately 12 to 15 months attending treatment sessions and undergoing random drug tests while appearing before the drug court judge on a regular basis.