Riverside Criminal Defense Drug Charges
Whether you're charged with drug trafficking or simple possession of a controlled substance, our criminal defense team can help you fight the charges effectively.
Common Riverside County drug charges include:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance (Health & Safety Code § 11350)
- Possession of Narcotics for Sale (Health & Safety Code § 11351)
- Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance (Health & Safety Code § 11352)
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Health & Safety Code § 11364)
- Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance (Health & Safety Code § 11550).
There are many defenses available to someone charges with a drug crime. Most importantly, an experienced criminal defense attorney will look at your case to ensure that the police did not violate your Fourth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution during the incident. Drug trafficking cases often involve searches that may be contrary to your Fourth Amendment rights. A criminal defense attorney can determine if any entrapment occurred, whether the police relied on an unreliable snitch in obtaining a search warrant or searching a vehicle, and whether a search warrant is lawful.
Start Building Your Defense Plan Today
Contact our team of criminal defense lawyers today to begin developing a defense to any drug charges you are facing. We will meet with you to discuss your case and all potential defenses and options you may have.
Drug Diversion and Drug Court
Penal Code section 1000 allows individuals accused of certain drug offenses to enter a drug diversion program, wherein they are "diverted" out of the criminal court system and into a drug rehabilitation program. The diversion program typically involves the accused entering a plea of guilty to the charge, entering a drug rehabilitation program, and, upon successful completion of the drug rehabilitation program, the court will dismiss the charge completely.
In deciding whether an individual is eligible for drug diversion in Riverside County, a judge and prosecutor look at: (1) whether the defendant is charged with an offense specified in Penal Code § 1000; and (2) the defendant's social history.
Eligible Charged Offenses for Drug Diversion in Riverside County
Typically, the charge must involve personally possessing or using drugs, and not possessing them for sale or actually selling them, and the crime must not involve any allegations of violence or threatened violence. Offenses that typically qualify an individual for drug diversion in Riverside County are:
- Health & Safety Code (HS) § 11377 (possession of controlled substance);
- HS § 11364 (possession of drug paraphernalia);
- HS § 11365 (knowingly being present in a place of drug use);
- HS § 11550 (under the influence of a controlled substance);
- HS § 11368 (forging or presenting a forged prescription to obtain drugs - if for personal use);
- Vehicle Code § 23222(b) (driving while in possession of marijuana);
- Penal Code § 647(f) (drunk in public - if under the influence of drugs or drugs and alcohol);
- Penal Code § 653f(d) (soliciting drug sales - if for personal use).
Social History Eligibility for Drug Diversion in Riverside County
In addition to being accused of one of the above offenses, an individual must not:
- Have any prior drug-related convictions;
- Have probation or parole revoked without completing terms and conditions;
- Have participated in a drug diversion or DEJ program within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense; and
- Have any prior felony convictions within five years prior to the alleged commission of the charged offense.
Riverside County Drug Court Program
Pursuant to Penal Code § 1005, individuals accused of the above specified drug crimes may participate in the Riverside County drug court program. The drug court program is identical to the diversion program, except that individuals are not required to enter a plea of guilty before entering the treatment program.
Both programs offer significant advantages for individuals accused of drug crimes. Most importantly, drug court and/or drug diversion allow individuals to avoid a conviction for drug offenses, that can result in significant consequences. However, the drug rehabilitation programs are serious, and require participants to submit to regular urine screenings. These programs make the most sense for individuals with an actual substance abuse problem, and a desire to stop using. In such circumstances, drug court and diversion can change lives.