A Drug Offense Can Be Charged as an Infraction, Misdemeanor, or Felony
If you have been arrested for a drug offense, depending on the drug and whether it was possessed for personal use or sales, you could be charged with an infraction, a misdemeanor or a felony. Recently, under Prop 47, many drug offenses that were felonies have now been reduced to misdemeanors. For example, possession of cocaine (HS 11350) and possession of concentrated cannabis (HS 11357(a)) were once felonies and are now misdemeanors. Also, possession of 28.5 grams of marijuana or less is now an infraction and with a valid prescription, it can be dismissed. However, possession for sale of marijuana is still a felony. Common misdemeanors drug charges include possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine (prop 47 reduction), and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Drug Diversion: DEJ and Prop 36
Some people convicted of a drug offense can have their conviction dismissed after successful completion of a drug program, payment of a fine and a probationary period where there are no new arrests. There are two types of drug diversions: DEJ and Prop 36
DEJ (Deferred Entry of Judgment)
- If you have been charged with a drug offense, have no prior drug convictions, possessed the drug for personal use and you have not been charged with a violent crime, you may be eligible for a dismissal. Under DEJ, you would plead guilty to the drug offense, however, your sentence, or “judgement”, would be deferred for at least 18 months. If you successfully complete a drug program and probation conditions, your guilty plea would be withdrawn and your case will be dismissed.
- If you have been convicted of a drug offense for the first or second time, possessed the drug for personal use and have not been charged with a violent crime, you may be able to accept a drug treatment program in lieu of jail. At the end of the drug treatment, and a probationary period, you can ask the court to dismiss your conviction.
Drug offenses that have been reduced from felonies to misdemeanors under Prop 47 include:
— HS 11350, possession of cocaine
— HS 11377, possession of methamphetamine
— HS 11357(a) possession of concentrated cannabis
If you have been accused of a drug crime or possession of drugs, you must contact the Law Office of Heena Patel for immediate representation. Attorney Patel has successfully protected her client’s facing drugs charges from potential jail or prison time by achieving countless dismissals.