The "War on Drugs" has led to the arrests of many innocent people. It has also imposed harsh punishments on good people who deserve a second chance. The Law Offices of Benjamin L. Goldstein can help you beat a drug charge, or seek a deal that could keep you out of prison with a clean record. Every case is different, and you need the services of a dedicated and diligent defense attorney to find the best solution to your particular case.
Common drug crimes in California include possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine for sale, possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of heroin, and possession of heroin for sale. There are numerous other drugs such as ecstasy and the recent fad of bath salts, which have gained the attention of law enforcement in recent years.
Defenses to Drug Crimes
Though each case differs, a good criminal defense attorney can often challenge the search or seizure of the controlled substance, or cast doubt on whether the drugs were actually possessed by you, or, for instance, someone else in the car. In such a case, the prosecution may not be able to prove its case beyone a reasonable doubt, and you can either win at trial or have your case dismissed before trial. In other instances, you may be eligible to plead guilty and stay out of jail (see below).
Drug Diversion Programs
In many cases, those charged with possession or abuse of a controlled substance are eligible for drug diversion programs pursuant to Proposition 36. This allows you to enroll in a drug treatment program, and keep your criminal record clean. However, the law regarding "Prop 36" can be complicated, and a diligent, thorough defense attorney should guide you through the system.
Deferred Entry of Judgment (Penal Code 1000)
Deferred Entry of Judgment ("DEJ") allows those charged with possession or abuse of a controlled substance to plead guilty, but have criminal proceedings suspended while they complete a drug program. Upon successful completion of the program, the case is dismissed.
California Drug Courts allow nonviolent drug offenders the opportunity to resolve their case outside of the traditional criminal justice system. These courts focus on those who could benefit from rehabilitation programs, and typically lead to dismissal of one's charges upon successful completion of the program.
As former California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George stated, "Drug courts are a great example of what real collaboration in the justice system can accomplish. These unique courts are an effective way for trial courts and other justice system agencies to work together to reduce drug-related offenses, improve lives, and protect communities."