Drug and Marijuana Charges
Felony marijuana charges are considered to be one of the most complicated and ambiguous areas of criminal defense in California, especially if your defense involves a medical marijuana defense. Over the last several years, Andrew Delahunt has defended hundreds of marijuana cases throughout the State of California.
Most people incorrectly believe that marijuana is “almost legal” and if you are arrested for marijuana charges the consequences could only amount to a slap on the wrist. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. Cultivation of marijuana (HS 11358), Sales of Marijuana (HS 11359), Transportation of Marijuana (HS 11360a), and manufacturing of hash oil or butane honey oil (HS 11379.6a) are all straight felonies, which cannot be reduced to misdemeanors and carry potential prison or jail time.
Fortunately, Andrew Delahunt and his office know exactly what it takes to defend these types of charges. Whether your defense involves personal use by way of a medical marijuana recommendation, participating in an informal collective, transporting on behalf of patients, cultivating on behalf of a dispensary, or being a primary caregiver for other qualified medical marijuana patients having an experienced qualified attorney could mean the difference between a dismissal or going to jail/prison with a felony on your record.
There are two major categories of drug charges; (1) possession for personal use and (2) sales, transportation, or manufacturing of drugs. Both categories of drug charges carry very different consequences and as such require an experienced attorney who knows how to handle these cases in order to get the best result possible.
Personal Possession cases include the following charges; Possession of controlled substance (HS 11350) which includes cocaine (coke), ecstasy, ketamine (special K), crack, heroin, and various other prescription drugs if unlawfully possessed. Possession of drug paraphernalia (HS 11364) such as pipes, spoons, bongs, straws, and needles. Possession of meth or methamphetamine (HS 11377) and being under the influence of a controlled substance (HS 11550).
The above mentioned charges used to be considered straight felonies, which means the charges could never be reduced to misdemeanors. Fortunately, California Voters approved Prop 47 in November of 2014, which reduced the penalty for personal possession of controlled substances from felonies to misdemeanors. However, despite Prop 47, the consequences of being charged with such an offense can still have dire consequences, especially if you are non-citizen, immigrant, carry a professional license, receive financial aid as a college or graduate student, or have one or more priors.
If you are a non-citizen, undocumented, possess a green card, or are visiting the United States on a visa a conviction of any of the personal possession charges could result in deportation, exclusion from admission to the country, and/or denial of naturalization or a renewal of your green card or visa. Andrew Delahunt was born in Ireland and became a naturalized United States Citizen in 2005. As such, Andrew Delahunt understands the importance of remaining in the United States legally. Andrew Delahunt and his office work diligently and aggressively for their non-citizen clients to be able to remain in this county legally.
Generally, the consequence of being charged with a personal possession count is some form of drug counseling or rehabilitation, which may include participating in a PC 1000 program, Prop 36, deferred entry of judgment, or pre-plea diversion. However, if you have already participated in one of these programs, then you may be facing convictions and possible jail time. Furthermore, even if you are eligible for one of these programs, participating in these programs as a non-citizen, student, or someone who holds a professional license could have severe consequences.
Sales, Transportation, or Manufacturing of Drug Charges include Possession of controlled substances for purposes of sales (HS 11351), Sale or Transportation of a controlled substance (HS 11352), and Manufacturing a controlled substance, meth, or BHO (butane honey oil) (HS 11379.6a).
Unlike personal possession charges, the mere fact that you are charged with one of these offenses makes you ineligible for any kind of drug or rehab counseling. Furthermore, HS 11351, HS 11352, and HS 11379.6(a) are all felonies that carry lengthy prison sentences. Some of these charges are improperly charged or over charged. For example, a client may be charged with sales based solely on the quantity of the controlled substance. In such cases, Andrew Delahunt has been able to negotiate with the prosecution in order for them to realize that the quantity possessed was for personal use and as such was able to qualify for drug counseling and ultimately a dismissal.
Other examples of clients being improperly charged could stem from the police or prosecution misinterpreting text messages found in a client’s phone. In these cases, Andrew Delahunt has been able to file suppression motions and has successfully argued to the Court that the police illegally searched the client’s cell phone or in other cases illegally detained or pulled over the client’s vehicle and/or illegally searched the vehicle.
Having an experienced attorney that is familiar with the laws associated with illegal searches could mean the difference between a dismissal or spending years in prison.
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