Controlled Substance

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance

Controlled SubstanceCalifornia statute (Health and Safety Code 11550) makes it a misdemeanor to be under the influence of any controlled substance as specified in Health and Safety Code Section 11054. Examples of controlled substances include, but are not limited to:

  • Heroine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • “Hallucinogenic substances”

Penalties and Punishments

Any person who is convicted of violating this statute shall be sentenced to serve a minimum of 90-days in county jail. In addition, the court may then place a person convicted under this statute on probation for a maximum period of 5-years.

Avoid or reduce the Penalty and Punishment

The charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor offense. An experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer, Lewis Khashan can defend you against the charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance in Southwest Riverside County — a conviction that can have significant adverse effects on your life. By evaluating the unique facts of your case, we will attempt to get the possession charge dismissed or reduced or dismissed.

Common Drug Arrest Scenarios

Drugs found in glove boxIf you are apprehended in “actual possession” that is a bit more difficult to defend, however, many defendants were charged for “constructive” possession. Constructive possession generally suggests a traffic stop where the drug was in the glove box, under the seat, or wedged between the seats of your car.

In other words, though the drug was not on your person, according to the prosecutor, you knowingly exercised some measurable control over or the right to control the drug, either directly or through another person or persons. In order for the prosecution to prove its case they must demonstrate that the defendant knew the drug(s) was (a) a controlled substance, and that (b) there was enough of the drug to constitute a usable amount. The typical elements of these offenses are as follows:

  • The defendant exercised control over –or the right to control– an amount of the drug;
  • the defendant knew of its presence;
  • the defendant knew of its nature as a controlled substance; and
  • The substance was in an amount sufficient to be used as a controlled substance.

When the controlled substance is found in the glove box, under the seat, or wedged between the seats of a vehicle the prosecutor invariably and logically argue that the driver/owner of the vehicle must have known about the substance (drugs) because they are the driver/owner of the vehicle –NO MATTER that there were other people in the car at the time. A skillful criminal defense attorney can counter that argument by explaining to the judge (or jury), how it would have been just as likely for a passenger to stash the controlled substance between or under the seat without the driver/owner ever being aware.

4th Amendment – Search and Seizure

One of the first thing every good criminal defense attorney should do in a case involving controlled substances is to examine “probable cause.”

Probable Cause

Probable Cause – A law enforcement officer is allowed to examine an individual for violation of the law such as when the officer pulls over a car for a traffic stop if there is some “acceptable reason” to for that traffic stop. If the substance was found on the Defendant after being pulled over while driving, was he/she legally stopped by the police officer? Did the stop occur because of a legitimate traffic infraction or was it because of the Defendant’s race? Or was the stop because the officer had a habit of stopping cars where there were 3 or 4 young males inside and “they must be up to no good.” Did the officer stop the vehicle because the driver or car seemed out of place in that particular neighborhood?

If the reason for the stop/detention of the Defendant was not legal under the fourth amendment then a good criminal defense attorney can move to suppress the evidence because of the 4th amendment violation under Penal Code Section 1538.5. If the court agrees that the officer was “fishing” (as is so often the case with aggressive policing) and grants this motion then the case can be DISMISSED.

Hire a private criminal defense attorney. Period!

Every case is different and every case has problems for both the defendant and the prosecution. If you default to a public defender, chances are your case will receive little if any effort to build a defense because Public Defenders almost always have SO MANY cases that they will have to open the folder just to remind them of your NAME on your court date. That is not a defense! That is just some overworked guy or gal who passed the bar and is now hitting the Starbucks before “showing up” and going through the motions of a criminal defense.

Pick up the phone. You may not be as “screwed” as you thing you are!

Lewis G KhashanTake control of your destiny. Invest in your future by hiring a private criminal defense attorney anytime the all-powerful government is about to decide what your freedom and future are going to be! Lewis Khashan is one such private criminal defense attorney who lives and works in the Temecula Valley and can spare the time to meet you, learn what happened, and then work with you to get the best possible result by helping you get your case dismissed, reduced or build the best possible criminal defense for the best possible outcome. Call him. You call is utterly confidential and you might feel relieved that you are not as “screwed” as you currently think you are.

Reasonable Legal Fees

Experienced criminal defense should not be out-of-reach of average people. We offer our clients reasonable fees. Getting experienced and knowledgeable legal help should not put you in the poor house. Our fees are extremely reasonable. Additionally, we accept credit cards and on a case-by-case basis can even make payment plan arrangements when necessary. .

If you’re looking for a criminal defense lawyer in the Temecula Valley who will passionately fight for your rights, protect your interests, and offer an expert advice to the predicament you find yourself entangled, you’ve found him.

Do you have questions about your case?

Please complete our Criminal Defense Case Evaluation Form for answers to your questions. For immediate assistance, call us today at (951) 225-4130 for a free, confidential consultation. Evening and weekend appointments available.

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