In California drug sales cases, the most important aspect is the intention of the person arrested. As any Vista drug defense lawyer will tell you, our state has no hard set legal rules regarding what quantity of drugs defines possession for sale. This means that if you are in possession of a large quantity of drugs for personal use, you should only face drug possession charges, not possession for sale charges.
Claiming Personal Use
One of the most common defenses for those accused of possession for sale is the argument that the drugs were purchased not for the intent of redistribution, but for the bulk discount in order to make one’s drug habit more affordable. While this sounds pretty basic, this strategy will become more difficult if the prosecution’s experts argue that the quantity is too much for personal use, or if you were in possession of scales, packaging material, large amounts of unaccounted for cash, unregistered firearms or documents that show how much buyers may owe. Of course, there are many reasonable explanations for many of these pieces of evidence as well, for example, you might need a scale if you buy drug regularly or ship a lot of items for eBay sales. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that anyone accused of drug sales charges immediately contact a skilled Vista drug lawyer.
Defenses That Will Not Work
You cannot defend yourself against drug sales charges by arguing that you were only going to sell someone fake drugs because this is a crime as well. While this is a less serious charge than actually selling the drugs, you still shouldn’t say anything without speaking to a Vista drug attorney first.
Similarly, while marijuana is now legal to possess and use in California, it is illegal to sell outside of a licensed dispensary. Selling marijuana to an adult is a misdemeanor and if you sell it, or even give it for free, to someone under 21, you will face felony charges punishable by up to four years in prison or even longer if the buyer was under 14. It is legal to share and freely give marijuana to adults over 21, so this can be a defense in some cases if there is no evidence the person receiving the marijuana paid for it or was underage.
Guns and Drugs Don’t Mix
It’s worth noting that carrying a gun and drugs and any amount of drugs in public at the same time is a distinct crime punishable by up to four years in prison. It doesn’t matter if the drugs were for sale or not, only that the substance in question was cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, PCP or a chemically similar drug such as crack.
If you were caught in the process of selling or transporting a drug, you will almost always face felony charges punishable by lengthy stays in a state prison. It’s worth noting that any cash seized related to drug sales will also be subject to forfeiture. You can even be charged with a felony for giving away certain drugs for free. If you have been accused of any of these crimes, or if you have any questions about related California drug crimes, please call Vista drug crime attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050.
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