Los Angeles Narcotics Crime Defense Lawyers
With the opioid epidemic still raging across the country, including in Los Angeles, the state government has started to crack down on narcotics crimes. Whether you were charged with possession or distribution, chances are high that you will be facing maximum penalties upon conviction. Thankfully, you still have time to ask top-notch attorneys for the help you need.
We at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP are dedicated to fighting for our clients. With our years of courtroom experience, we can build the best defense for your case. However, we can only help if you contact us. Dial (213) 688-0460 to get in touch with our team. The prosecution started working on your case the moment you were arrested, so you cannot afford to wait.
The term “narcotics” encompasses a large group of drugs that are used for mind-altering affect. All current narcotics are controlled substances, meaning that using them without a prescription is illegal. Not all narcotics are created equally, and some are considered more controlled than others. For example, heroin is classified as Schedule I, as in the most tightly controlled, whereas opium is classified as Schedule II. That being said, few narcotics, if any, are classified below Schedule III, which means being charged with a narcotics crime is likely to result in heavy penalties.
The most common drugs include:
This is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other drugs that fall under the narcotics umbrella. Being charged with illegally using any narcotic, whether it is on this list or not, is very likely to result in heavy penalties. California takes the illegal use of controlled substances seriously.
An opioid epidemic has been raging across America for the past several years, and California is no exception to that. Due to doctors overprescribing these highly addictive painkillers, the country is now facing incredibly high addiction rates. As such, California prosecutors have been eager to enforce the maximum penalties for those accused of selling and using narcotics. Anyone facing trial for such crimes is unlikely to be let off easy.
The exact penalties you could be facing will depend on the exact drug you are accused of using, but possessing a controlled substance in California can result in:
- Up to one year in jail
- Fine of up to $1,000
Of course, the penalties for selling or distribution are far harsher than for possession. This is because someone who sells controlled substances is considered the source, whereas a user would just be a symptom. Prosecutors are far more interested in punishing the source than they are the symptom. These penalties include:
- Between one to four years in jail
- A fine of up to $20,000
In addition, the more of the drug you are found with, the worse the penalties will be. Penalties will also vary depending on the Schedule classification of the drug. A Schedule I drug charge will result in harsher penalties than a Schedule III drug charge. However, one fact remains: possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell is a felony.
Different crimes are categorized under different labels. Minor crimes are called “infractions,” and rarely result in jail time. Often, infractions are punished by small fines or some community service. Crimes that are considered serious enough to result in potential jail time are “misdemeanors.” For example, simple possession is a misdemeanor crime.
For the serious crimes, ones that result in at least one year in jail or prison, the usual designation is “felony.” Felony crimes can include murder, kidnapping, and possession with the intent to sell. Felony crimes don’t just result in heavy penalties: they also strip people of certain rights. When you are convicted of a felony, it makes you a felon. Felons in America, as part of their punishment, are not granted rights that other citizens have. These include:
- International travel
- Gun ownership
- Voting while incarcerated
- Government or license-based employment
- Receiving help from government assistance programs
- Child custody
The truth of a felony conviction is that you will be facing your punishment long after you serve your time in prison. If you are found guilty of a felony drug crime, then you will never stop paying for that conviction. The best way to avoid being convicted of a felony crime? Working with an attorney who can build you a strong defense.
Defending yourself in a criminal trial isn’t necessarily about proving your innocence. Rather, it is about poking holes in the prosecution’s argument and creating enough reasonable doubt so that the jury won’t convict you. Some common defenses that can be used in a narcotics trial include:
- The narcotics found were not yours.
- You were unaware the drugs you had were narcotics.
- You have a prescription for the narcotics.
- The amount of drugs found was negligible and not enough to convict you.
- You did not intend to sell the narcotics.
- The officers who arrested you committed misconduct.
- The evidence being used against you was illegally obtained.
There are countless other strategies that may be utilized in your trial. Determining which is the best for your case will take research, skill, and expertise. It isn’t enough to take the stand and proclaim your innocence. You need to work with a top L.A. lawyer who can show the jury that the prosecution’s claims are flimsy at best. If you want a favorable outcome for your trial, you need an aggressive and knowledgeable law firm.
None of us go through life assuming we will be arrested. Sadly, these things can happen. When they do, you need to work with an attorney who can fight for your rights. We at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP are aggressive, dedicated, and skilled drug crime defense attorneys. We know our way around the courtroom and can build you the defense that you need. To talk to one of our skilled team members, call us at (213) 688-0460. The prosecution has already started on your case, so you can’t afford to waste any time.
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.