Los Angeles Cocaine Defense Attorneys
Cocaine is a tightly controlled drug across America, including in California. That means those caught using or selling cocaine face harsh penalties. If you have been arrested for cocaine-related crimes, then you may be facing decades in prison. The best way to make sure that you avoid such a fate is by working with skilled and dedicated attorneys.
While everyone facing trial in the U.S. has the right to a public defender, these lawyers are often overworked, meaning they simply don’t have time for their clients. We at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, however, make sure our clients get the dedicated attention they need for their trials. To speak with a member of our legal team and get your defense started, call us at (213) 688-0460 today. Remember, the prosecution is already working on its case. There is no time to wait.
California follows a strict controlled substance categorizing system known as “Schedules.” These schedules go from I to V, with one being the strictest level and five being the most lenient. For example, a controlled substance in Schedule V is considered mostly safe for medicinal use, but not safe for recreational use. Getting a prescription for a Schedule V drug would be fairly easy. On the other hand, a Schedule I drug is not believed to have any medicinal use and is extremely addictive and dangerous.
Cocaine is sorted into Schedule II. This means that while it is very addictive, in rare circumstances it can have medical use. A doctor or other medical professional may choose to prescribe drugs containing cocaine to certain patients. However, outside of a medical context, cocaine is illegal for recreational use or distribution. A such, those charged with cocaine-related crimes could be facing steep penalties.
Due to the fact that cocaine is a Schedule II drug, anyone who is caught possessing, using, or distributing cocaine will be arrested and, if convicted, face harsh penalties. Even simple possession of cocaine could result in a felony charge. The exact penalties will depend on the exact crime that you allegedly committed, as not all cocaine crimes are treated the same.
If you are found to be in possession of cocaine for personal use, but you have not previously been convicted of a serious felony such as murder, then you will be charged with a misdemeanor with:
- A jail sentence of up to one year
- A fine of up to $1,000
However, if you have previously been convicted of a serious felony, or you are on the sex offender registry, then you could be facing a felony charge instead. This could extend your prison sentence to three years, instead of one.
If you possess cocaine for the purpose of distribution, or you are found purchasing cocaine with the intent to sell it to others, then your penalties could include:
- Between three and five years in prison
- A fine of up to $20,000
If the amount of cocaine you were purchasing exceeds one kilogram, then you will be facing an additional:
- Three to twenty-five years in prison
- A fine of up to $8 million
A serious cocaine-related crime is the charge of trafficking. This means you were allegedly found transporting cocaine with the intent to sell it. The penalties for this crime include:
- Between three and five years in prison
- If the cocaine crossed more than two county lines, between three and nine years in prison
Needless to say, any amount of cocaine can result in serious penalties that may leave you in prison for several years. That is why you need to build a strong defense.
When you are put on trial, it is important to keep in mind that the prosecution has the burden of proof. They must be able to prove to the jury that you are, beyond a reasonable doubt, guilty of the alleged crime. If there is any doubt that you are guilty, then the jury should acquit you. Your defense does not have to prove that you are innocent, but instead, poke holes in the prosecution’s evidence and story.
Common defenses that our team has implemented for cocaine-related crimes include:
- The cocaine was not yours
- You were unaware the drug was cocaine
- You were not purchasing with the intent to sell
- You were found with trace amounts of cocaine
- The police practiced an illegal search and seizure
- The police were practicing entrapment
- The police were practicing some other form of misconduct
No one defense will fit all Los Angeles cocaine crimes, however. Your case is unique, and finding the best defense strategy will require an in-depth investigation led by experienced attorneys. While you do have the right to a public defender, he or she will likely not have the attention you need. Public defenders are largely overworked, and often cannot give clients more than a few hours, or even minutes, of their time. Thankfully, a public defender is not your only option.
If you have been charged with a cocaine-related crime in Los Angeles, including manufacturing or distribution, then you are likely in a state of shock and fear. Depending on the charges brought against you, you could be facing decades behind bars. Even a lighter sentence could keep you in prison for four or five years. If you want the best possible outcome, which may be an acquittal, then you need help from experienced L.A. drug crime defense attorneys. Call our firm, Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, at (213) 688-0460 to work with the best.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.