What Are the Penalties for Cocaine Possession in California?

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What Are the Penalties for Cocaine Possession in California?

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Drug possession charges are among the most common offenses in California. Many drugs are illegal due to their highly addictive and dangerous nature, meaning those found with these substances can endure criminal charges as a result. If facing charges for cocaine possession in California, it’s imperative to know what consequences you can expect if convicted. The following blog explores what you should know about these charges and how a Sacramento criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate these complex times.

What Are the Consequences of Cocaine Possession in California?

Cocaine is considered a Schedule 2 drug according to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s classification for controlled substances. Essentially, this means it is very dangerous, and the likelihood of abuse is high.

In California, there are different types of possession laws that can influence the charges you’ll face. For example, if it is determined that you intended to use the drugs for personal use, this constitutes simple possession. As such, you will face a misdemeanor charge, which can warrant one to three years in jail. However, many find that a guilty plea grants them no prison time but probation instead.

However, if it’s determined that you intended to sell the cocaine in your possession, the charges increase. You will face a felony charge, warranting two to four years in jail. If you were in possession of a cocaine base with intent to sell, however, you can face three to five years in jail.

Are There Any Potential Defenses for This Charge?

If charged with possession, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly were in control of or holding the drugs. To prove possession with intent to sell, the prosecution must prove intent, which can be challenging. Generally, if they can show that the drug was separated as if it were ready to sell, you had large amounts of cash, or you were found with the substances in an area where drug sales are expected. However, working with an attorney can assist you through these times as they may be able to help you avoid charges.

One potential defense an attorney may be able to utilize depending on your circumstances is that the evidence collected against you is inadmissible due to a violation of your Constitutional rights. Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, individuals are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. As such, if the police violated your rights by searching you or your property without a warrant or probable cause, your attorney can argue to have the evidence deemed inadmissible.

Whether you’ve made a mistake or you’re suffering because of someone else’s decisions, the Law Offices of Dale R. Gomes can help. Our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to assist you through these challenging times. We will tirelessly explore all possible avenues to help you fight for the best outcome for your unique circumstances. Contact us today to learn more.