Drug Crimes

Penalties for Drug Possession

Although the usual is prison time if charged with a felony drug  crime, California does have a few substitutes for imprisonment. Here is a  list of possible alternatives:

  • Drug Court- This includes a one year agenda of random drug testing, 12 step programs, counseling and judicial review after admittance.
  • Proposition 36– This includes one year of treatment  for drug use. It includes halfway houses, outpatient, inpatient, etc.)  and is regulated by the Department of Health.
  • Deferred Entry of Judgment- This includes the  defendant pleading guilty and thereafter, 6 months of diversion program  treatment. If the defendant can maintain not getting arrested again for  an entire year, the case will be fully discharged.


Felony charges regarding possession of marijuana in 2014 downgraded  to reflect misdemeanor offenses instead of the previous felony charges.  These new statutes changes are not applicable to offenders that are  registered as sex offenders. Here is a list of the possible punishments  for possession of marijuana (also known as CDS):

  • Possession of any quantity marijuana is disciplined by imprisonment up to 1 year, fine up to $500.
  • Possession of less than 28.5 grams is disciplined by a fine of no more than $100.
  • Possession of more than 28.5 grams is disciplined by imprisonment up to 6 months and a fine no more than $500.
  • An adult in possession of less than 28.5 grams on the property of an  elementary, middle or high school in the duration of school hours is  deemed guilty of both misdemeanor charges and can be imprisoned up to 10  days as well as a $500 fine.
  • A minor in possession of less than 28.5 grams on the property of an  elementary, middle or high school in the duration of school hours is  deemed guilty and charged with $250 fine for first offense and up to  $500 and put in a juvenile facility upwards of 10 days.


Drug Crimes Under California law

Under California law, there are many crimes that can fall under the  drug crime category. The crimes range from simple misdemeanor to full  blown felony charges, which are the most severe of the charges. The  federal government categorizes drug possession charges by “schedule” and  is utilized in order to regulate the potential verdict of the offense.

Schedule I

Schedule I includes drugs that are deemed the most dangerous as well  as potential high risk of dependency and addiction. These drugs have no  medical value or use and incorporate heroin, mescaline, LSD and  marijuana.

Schedule II

Schedule II is high risk of dependency drugs that potentially can be  used medicinally. Methadone, cocaine, opium, amphetamines, prescription  opiates (Oxycontin and painkillers) and methamphetamine are examples of  these drugs.

Schedule III

Schedule III drugs are not as hazardous as the drugs in Schedule II  yes still have potential abusive risks involved. These drugs can include  testosterone, ketamine (also known as Special K), depressants and  anabolic steroids.

Schedule IV

Schedule IV drugs have clearly adequate medicinal use and only some  risk of dependency. These drugs can include tranquilizers, sedatives,  common prescriptions and clonazepam.

Schedule V

Schedule V drugs are the least addictive with an extremely low risk of habit and include Codeine and Tylenol.

The majority of drug possession charges in California are typically  misdemeanor drug crimes. Being in possession of a drug for non-medical  use and paraphernalia charges are the most typical. It is legal now to  possess under one ounce of marijuana, yet peddling is still not  permitted. Some examples of possible drug charges can be drug  possession, trafficking, distributing, possession to sell/intent to sell  and cultivation. If someone gets a felony drug charge such as the  aforementioned, there is a possibility of time in prison and it will be  forever engrained on the permanent felony record.

Contact Us Today!

For all the listed reasons, it is important to have great attorneys on your side.

The Law Offices of William R. Burgener, APC, are equipped to represent and defend the accused on all drug crime convictions. Mr. Burgener's talent is apparent due to the  sensitive nature of these cases and the special attention each defendant  receives throughout this tedious process.