Why You Need to Hire a Berkeley Drug Lawyer
With your future at stake, a drug lawyer is necessary for your case.
They provide the legal knowledge to have evidence thrown out, and they can skillfully craft a compelling defense.
They Can Dismiss Evidence & Reduce Your Charges
Attempting to defend yourself against serious drug charges is not a do-it-yourself job. Drug lawyers challenge evidence and whether it was acquired lawfully or handled properly through the chain of custody.
Attorneys identify areas to spread reasonable doubt to weaken the prosecution’s case and negotiate plea deals to reduce your charges.
They’ll Protect Your Rights
With a thorough understanding of California drug laws, drug attorneys know your rights as the accused. They can fight on your behalf to uphold these rights to ensure the court doesn’t walk over you.
You have the right to refuse police questioning and request a lawyer. Additionally, you are protected from an illegal search and seizure of your property.
They Have Access to Expert Witness Testimony
To further produce reasonable doubt in your case, a drug attorney can recruit the help of expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. These experts could help discredit the prosecution’s claims and add a layer of difficulty to proving your guilt.
Morris Law Defends Against All Drug Charges
Depending on your case, you could be charged with many different crimes. Seth Morris helps relentlessly defend his clients against the following drug charges:
- Drug Possession – California Health and Safety Code § 11350 prohibits possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription.
- Drug Trafficking – California Health and Safety Code § 11352 penalizes those who transport, import, sell, furnish, administer, give away, or offer to transport illegal drugs.
- Possession with Intent to Sell – It is a felony under the California Health and Safety Code § 11351 to possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell.
- Manufacture of a Controlled Substance – According to California Health and Safety Code § 11379.6, it is illegal to manufacture, compound, convert, produce, derive, process, or prepare a controlled substance.
- Marijuana Charges – California Health and Safety Code § 11357 prohibits the possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated cannabis. This also prohibits any possession by a minor under 21 or on school grounds. There are also specific guidelines regarding sale or delivery that must be followed to avoid criminal punishment.
Morris Law handles drug cases on the federal and state level.
Local Police Stations & Courthouses
When you are arrested for a drug crime in Berkeley, CA, you could be taken to the following police stations:
Berkeley Police Department
2100 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
University of California Police Department, Berkeley
1 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
You could also appear in the following courthouse:
Alameda County Berkeley Courthouse
2120 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Seth Morris is willing to travel throughout the Bay Area to represent you. Call a drug lawyer today if you’re charged with any of these crimes.
Penalties for California Drug Crimes
Drug crime penalties range depending on your charges and many other factors. However, even the penalties for a misdemeanor conviction can be devastating.
Here are some general drug crimes and their penalties.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance – misdemeanor offense resulting in up to one year jail time; fines up to $1,000
- Possession with Intent to Sell – felony offense resulting in two, three, or four years in jail; fines up to $20,000
- Drug Trafficking – felony offense resulting in up to 9 years in prison; fines up to $20,000
- Manufacture of a Controlled Substance – felony offense with a penalty of three, five, or seven years in jail; fines up to $50,000
Factors that Can Impact Your Penalties
Drug penalties are unique, and the penalties differ based on the following:
- The amount of drugs – Although laws for drugs like Marijuana are more lenient in California compared to other states, possessing over 28.5 grams of cannabis can result in criminal charges.
- The type of drugs – Drugs are classified by their potential for abuse and depending on the drugs in question, you will face different penalties.
- Prior convictions – Prior convictions may limit your defense options. First-time offenders may be eligible for pretrial diversion programs that might help avoid conviction.
- The location the drugs were found – If you were in possession or selling drugs in or near a school, you could face harsher penalties.
- Having a weapon – If you are in possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, you could be charged with a felony and face two, three, or four years in jail.
How Drug Penalties Changed Since Proposition 47
In 2014, California Proposition 47 was voted on to reduce certain felonies to misdemeanor offenses. Proposition 47 has impacted certain drug charges as well. For example, simple possession for personal use of a controlled substance is now a misdemeanor.
Contact a drug lawyer to discuss resentencing if you or a loved one is currently serving time for a felony offense that is now considered a misdemeanor. You may not qualify for your charge to be dropped to a misdemeanor if you are a registered sex offender or convicted of certain violent crimes.
How are Drugs Classified in California?
California classifies controlled substances into schedules. There are five schedules, and they are ranked based on the level of potential abuse. These schedules include:
Includes opiates or heroin
Includes drugs like opium or morphine
Includes drugs such as anabolic steroids or pentobarbital
Includes drugs like zolpidem or diazepam
Includes low doses of codeine
Some drugs are less severe than others and may result in lower penalties. However, a criminal conviction could still damage your reputation and limit employment opportunities.
Seth Morris Builds a Tough Defense
Your drug charges may seem high, and you may think you don’t have a chance in court. There are multiple ways to dismiss the evidence against you and create reasonable doubt, depending on your case.
The following arguments might be available to you:
There Was an Unlawful Search & Seizure
Law enforcement must have probable cause or a warrant to search your property. If neither of those exists, their search is unlawful. Therefore, all evidence obtained should be dismissed and won’t be counted against you.
The Drugs Were Not Illegal
There is a chance that the drugs in question are actually legal. This could include any drug you have a legal prescription for or substances that could have been mistakenly identified as drugs.
The Evidence Was Mishandled
If any evidence against you was improperly handled, tampered with, or in any way broke the proper chain of custody, you could have that evidence dismissed.
Law Enforcement Induced You to Commit the Crime
This is known as entrapment. In this scenario, law enforcement uses tactics to induce people into committing a crime they otherwise would not have committed. If this happened to you, the prosecution’s case would be unlawful.