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Caught with cocaine? Here’s what to expect

| Jul 21, 2021 | Criminal Law |

Getting caught with any kind of illicit drug can mean you’re in deep trouble with the law, but there are specific laws that will apply based on the specific drug you had in your possession and what you intended to do with it.

California has two kinds of possession categories for drug offenses. These include simple possession and possession with the intent to sell. Depending on which of these you’re accused of, you could face varied consequences.

Cocaine: A Schedule II drug

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. California law has determined that those who possess cocaine with the intention to sell it will be penalized with between two and four years in prison. Possession without the intent to sell is slightly different.

In a typical possession case, you are likely to face up to a year in jail thanks to Proposition 47. Proposition 47 was passed in 2014 and changed the way that lower-level felonies would be handled in the state. Now, through the passage of Prop 47, many drug-related offenses are misdemeanors rather than felonies. For example, a first offense for drug possession may now be a misdemeanor rather than felony, reducing the penalties and allowing for new sentencing guidelines.

Do you need to defend yourself if you’re caught with cocaine?

It’s a good idea to develop a defense if you’re caught with cocaine. This is because it’s simple for a prosecuting attorney to claim that you were intending to sell cocaine or that you were in an area where minors were present. Either of those claims could enhance the penalties that you’d face upon conviction.

You have a right to a criminal defense

It’s your right to have a legal defense in your drug possession case, and you should. It’s important to go over the facts of the case and to make sure that you don’t face unfair charges based on claims that are inaccurate or untrue. A strong defense may help you minimize the potential penalties you could face upon conviction or help you get the case against you dropped completely.