Providing An Aggressive Defense Against Drug Charges
Society divides drugs into two categories: medicinal and recreational. Most all medicinal drugs are legal and most all recreational drugs are illegal. However, there are a number of exceptions on both sides. At the Law Office of Robert Landheer, we will identify legal defenses to your drug charges. Our goal is to obtain a dismissal, a reduction of your charges or an acquittal of your case.
How California Categorizes Drug Charges
Like most other states, California has established strict criminal laws designed to punish alleged drug offenders. These laws criminalize every step in the "drug trade," including:
- Manufacturing -- Manufacturing includes planting and cultivating marijuana; running a meth lab or similar facility; and even possessing the chemical components needed to manufacture a drug.
- Transportation -- This includes everything from walking across the street to driving to the state line. Almost any form of movement related to illegal drugs is considered trafficking.
- Possession -- Possession can be established by the government prosecutor through actual or constructive means. You may be charged with simple possession or possession with the intent to sell. Simple possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is legal by persons over 21 years old.
- Under the Influence -- A person is guilty of being under the influence when his or her nervous system, brain, or muscles are appreciably affected by a drug. Prescription drugs used improperly can qualify as a being under the influence.
Solid Defense Against Drug Charges
Our experienced lawyers will examine all the facts and circumstances. We will evaluate the case and find any applicable defenses. Our firm thoroughly investigates the circumstances surrounding your arrest to determine whether law enforcement violated the law. Defenses include unlawful search and seizure, unlawful/improper police conduct, and evidence tampering.
Rehabilitation vs. Punishment
Most courts in California have established diversion programs that allow defendants to attend drug treatment programs in exchange for a dismissal of their case.
Proposition 36 was approved by voters in 2000 and allows 1st and 2nd time non-violent drug offenders to attend substance abuse treatment in exchange for a dismissal. Defendants enter a guilty or no contest plea. Defendants are sentenced to probation, which includes substance abuse treatment.
Penal Code 1000, also known as Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ), is similar to Prop 36. It allows dismissal of the charges upon successful completion of a drug treatment program.
In Santa Barbara County, Drug Court (Department 7) is another diversion option. This involves court supervision of drug treatment in exchange for a dismissal of the charges.
If you are ineligible for diversion under PC 1000, Prop 36 or drug court, you may still be able to enter a Residential Treatment Program in order to reduce or dismiss charges, or minimize the punishment. Typical punishment for drug-related offenses includes 3 year probation, jail time, and fines.
The Law Office of Robert F. Landheer can negotiate your placement in a drug treatment program with the District Attorney. We are experienced at navigating these diversion options and will work to obtain the best result for your case.