Riverside county is number 11 on the list of most populated counties in the United States. With this many people living in the same area, an increased crime rate would hardly be surprising. Drug charges are common in Riverside County, because of its location and the sparse population in some of its cities. If you have been charged with a crime in Riverside County or the surrounding area, an experienced criminal defense attorney can explore the details of your situation and look for ways to fight the prosecution.
Unlike many other defense attorneys who have worked as prosecutors, Karren Kenney has always worked on behalf of individuals facing charges. She has handled a wide range of criminal matters, including white collar crimes, domestic violence, drug offenses, DUI, and shoplifting.
The possession and sale of controlled substances are prohibited in California. Under Health & Safety Code Section 11350, for example, it is a misdemeanor to possess controlled substances such as cocaine, crack, ecstasy, GHB, or prescription drugs that are not lawfully prescribed. Most first offenders qualify for a drug diversion program. Under Health & Safety Code Section 11351, it is a felony to possess illegal substances for the purpose of selling them. If you are convicted under this code section, you will not qualify for a drug diversion program.
Although you may be tempted to simply plead guilty for a misdemeanor possession charge, you should be aware that there may be multiple defense strategies available to you, and a prior conviction can substantially increase the penalties for any later charges. Often, police officers use faulty information to obtain a search warrant, ignore constitutional requirements, set up suspects in ways that violate the entrapment rule, rely on unreliable informants, or arrest suspects without sufficient evidence that the drugs belonged to them.
If police obtain a search warrant improperly, or fail to obtain a search warrant when they should have, a defense attorney may be able to get the evidence suppressed. Since drug crimes must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a loss of critical evidence can result in the dismissal of a case.
Most people associate “DUI” with drunk driving, but it is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs under Vehicle Code Section 23152(a). In fact, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of prescribed drugs if they have impaired your ability to drive safely. However, there are many rules that the police must follow in order to make their evidence admissible in a case against you. In many cases, a defense lawyer can show that rules were not followed or that an investigation was unreliable, which can lead to charges being reduced or dismissed.
An initial drug possession charge is a misdemeanor. However, for many people, a first offense can precede other charges down the road, and simply pleading guilty can prove to be a mistake. A criminal defense lawyer can help Riverside County residents charged with drug crimes or other offenses protect their rights against the prosecution. Contact the Kenney Legal Defense Corporation at (949) 536-7762 or via our online form.