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Defending Against Charges of Drug Possession in California

 Posted on November 04, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Fremont criminal defense attorney drug possession

If you or someone you love has been arrested on charges of possessing a controlled substance in California, it may feel as though you have very few options. After all, you have been arrested, and the police found evidence of drugs—what more really needs to be said? In such a case, it is easy for you to believe that your entire future is about to come crashing down. Of course, being arrested for illegal drug possession is a very serious matter, but there is a good chance that things are not quite as bad as they seem. With the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney, you may even be able to find a resolution that limits the damage to your reputation.

The Burden of Proof in California Drug Cases

In any criminal proceeding, it is up to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the offense for which you have been charged. When it comes to the possession of an illegal drug, prosecutors in California must prove several separate elements, including:

  • The substance in question is an illegal drug or controlled substance.

  • You possessed the substance in question in a manner that was illegal, either because the substance is always illegal, or you did not have a valid prescription.

  • You knew what the substance was.

  • You knew that the substance was in your possession.

It is important to keep in mind that possessing an illegal drug can include “constructive possession,” which may be used in a variety of situations. Constructive possession means that the drug was in someone’s possession, even if that person did not have direct physical control of it. For example, if you have a cabinet in your home to which you and your roommate both have a key, and controlled substances are found by police in that cabinet, you and your roommate could be charged with drug possession. Likewise, drugs found in the trunk of your vehicle could be considered in your constructive possession, even if you were just driving, because you own the vehicle.

Possible Defense Strategies

The best way to fight against charges of illegal drug possession will depend on your unique circumstances. For example, your lawyer could try to challenge the prosecution’s position that you knew about the drugs in question or that you knew that they were anywhere around you. Since the burden of proof is on the prosecutor, all your lawyer needs to do is raise a reasonable doubt. If you were found with a controlled substance on your person, it may be a little harder to challenge the actual possession element, but other options may be available.

The other main element of an illegal drug possession case is often the way in which the drugs were found. Evidence that is found and seized during an unlawful search can lead directly to the dismissal of the charges against you. Your attorney can review court records, police reports, and other documents to determine if the police had probable cause to conduct a search. If the search was unlawful, the evidence against you could be thrown out—possibly with all of the charges as well.

Contact a Palo Alto Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

To learn more about defending against drug possession charges in California, contact an experienced Alameda County drug possession defense attorney. Call 408-234-7563 today to schedule a free consultation at Fuller Law Office. We will work hard to help you protect your rights, your best interests, and your future.



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