Cases revolving around drugs are some of the most common in the criminal justice system. Amy Chapman represents individuals arrested or charged in Sonoma, Marin, Lake, Mendocino, and Napa counties for drug related offenses. If your case involves marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, crack, OxyContin, prescription drugs, ecstasy, designer drugs, or any other controlled substance, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer who is experienced in defending drug cases. Amy Chapman has been advocating successfully to judges, prosecutors, and juries for over a decade.
Some of the most common drug cases in the North Bay are:
- Possession with the intent to sell
- Drug sales
- Transportation of drugs
- Being under the influence of a controlled substance
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
Drug possession penalties
The punishment for possession of drugs depends on the type of drug possessed, the amount possessed, the criminal history of the accused, and the alleged purpose of the possession. Some drugs, like heroin, cocaine, and crack, are always prosecuted as felonies, no matter how small the amount. Other drugs, like methamphetamine and ecstasy, can be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies. Simple possession of drugs is punishable by up to one year in county jail as a misdemeanor and up to 3 years in state prison as a felony. Other consequences of a drug conviction can include:
- Registration as a narcotic offender
- Loss of your driver’s license if you are under 21
- Probation with random drug tests
- Residential drug treatment
- Forfeiture of property and cash
If you or a loved one are arrested on a drug charge, you need a skilled attorney who will investigate your case, run any applicable motions to get the case reduced or dismissed, determine if you are eligible for sentencing alternatives, and argue your case persuasively to a jury. Depending on the charge and prior criminal history, you may be eligible for a diversion program, alternative sentencing to treatment under Penal Code section 1210, or Drug Court.
Illegal searches could result in a dismissal
If the police searched you in any way, you need an attorney to determine if you were legally detained and searched. Did law enforcement have a good reason to stop you in the first place? After the initial encounter, did they have a legal reason to search you, your property, or your vehicle? If the police had a search warrant, was it valid? If law enforcement violated your constitutional rights during the search, you may be able to ask that the evidence obtained be suppressed, which often results in a dismissal of the charges. Only an experienced lawyer can identify the issues that could make the difference in your case.
Drug treatment instead of incarceration
Often times those arrested on drug charges are struggling with addiction. An arrest could be the wake up call an addict needs to finally make a change. In some cases, a judge could order drug treatment instead of incarceration in jail or prison. These are not easy arguments to make. To be given an opportunity at rehabilitation, you need a well-known attorney who the judges will listen to, respect, and be persuaded by to spare an addict from jail time.