What will happen to you if you are arrested for personal possession of cocaine or other controlled substances? Drug possession is one of the most common crimes in the U.S. Any possession of an illicit drug, such as marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, or heroin, can lead to serious charges. If the court determines that you had in your possession more than would be used for one person, you could even be charged with possession with intent to distribute or sell. If you or a loved one were charged with this crime, you need to be well-aware of every aspect of your case as well as how you can defend yourself.
A person may be arrested for personal possession of cocaine or other controlled substances pursuant to Health and Safety Code 11350(a), which states: Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b) or (c), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.
Health and Safety Code 11350(a) is not a wobbler, and can only be charged as a felony, which could result up to 3 years in state prison. Fortunately, if a person is charged with personal possession of a drug offense, the majority of the time that person will be eligible for a diversion program where their arrest and conviction could be ultimately dismissed as long as they fulfill the necessary requirements. A few different options for that person would be programs such as (PC 1000), (Prop 36) or (Drug Court).
Remember that each case is looked at differently and the outcomes could be greater than what is listed based upon circumstances of the individual cases. If you or someone you know has been arrested for charges under Health and Safety Code 11350(a), contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the handling of these types of offenses. Which attorney you choose to defend you could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Please do not risk your future or your freedom by failing to retain a strong legal advocate to fight for you.