Drug Possession

Drug Possession Defense Attorneys in Modesto, CA

Providing Aggressive & Knowledgeable Defense

Being charged with drug possession in California is a very serious matter. The state takes a hard-line stance on drug crimes and pursues the harshest penalties against those found guilty. If you are facing drug possession charges in Stanislaus County, we urge you to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Forkner Orlando & Echevarria, our criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience defending clients against drug possession charges. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for your best interests.

Schedule your initial consultation with our Modesto drug possession attorneys today. Call (209) 753-4009 or contact us online.

What is Considered Drug Possession?

Drug possession is the unlawful possession of a controlled substance. A controlled substance is a substance or chemical whose manufacture, sale, use, or possession is regulated by federal law. The law recognizes two types of possession: actual and constructive. Actual possession means that the drug is on the person of the accused. Constructive possession means that the drug is in a place where the accused has control over it.

What is Considered a Controlled Substance Under California Law?

The law defines a controlled substance as a drug or chemical whose manufacture, possession, use, or distribution is regulated by the state and/or federal government. The state of California has established the Department of Justice to regulate the possession and use of controlled substances. The department has established the Bureau of Narcotics and the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation to oversee the use of controlled substances.

Controlled substances include:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamines
  • Prescription drugs
  • Peyote
  • Synthetic drugs

What are the Penalties for Drug Possession in California?

The penalties for drug possession depend on the type of drug involved and the amount of the drug in the possession of the accused. The penalties can also be increased if other aggravating factors are involved, such as the presence of a weapon on the accused's person or the presence of a minor in the vicinity. Those found guilty of drug possession face the possibility of time in a correctional facility and/or monetary fines.

Simple Possession vs. Possession with Intent

Simple drug possession refers to the act of having illegal drugs in one's possession for personal use, without any intention to distribute or sell them. This offense typically involves a person having a small amount of drugs for personal consumption.

In contrast, drug possession with intent--also known as possession for sale or possession with the intent to distribute--occurs when an individual is found to be in possession of illegal drugs and there is evidence indicating an intention to sell, distribute, or traffic those drugs. Intent can be established through various factors, such as the quantity of drugs possessed, the presence of packaging materials, large amounts of cash, scales, or other indicators of drug sales. The prosecution must prove that the person intended to engage in drug-related activities beyond personal use.

In California, simple drug possession is typically charged as a misdemeanor. The potential penalties include probation, drug education or treatment programs, fines, and possible imprisonment for up to one year.

Possession of drugs with the intent to sell or distribute is considered a felony offense in California. The penalties for drug possession with intent are more severe compared to simple possession. The specific punishment can depend on various factors, such as the type and quantity of drugs involved, the defendant's criminal history, and other aggravating circumstances. Convictions for possession with intent can result in significant fines, lengthy imprisonment, probation, mandatory drug treatment, and other consequences.

Contact us today at (209) 753-4009 to discuss your case and learn about all your legal options.