Drug manufacturing, distribution and trafficking are serious charges. The penalties include prison sentences plus fines. That’s why the accused needs to find a drug crime attorney in Santa Clarita, CA. Attorneys protect clients’ rights and challenge the evidence against them.
Finding an Attorney
A drug crime attorney in Santa Clarita, CA should be from the area. Local attorneys know the lay of the land at the courthouse. Hopefully, the attorney is familiar with the judges and prosecutors handling the case. Prosecutors are more willing to negotiate with attorneys they have a rapport with. The defendant must also be comfortable with the attorney. Indeed, the defendant must share a lot of personal information with the attorney.
Private attorneys are expensive. Some attorneys charge by the hour and others have a set fee for a case. The set fee is based upon how many hours the attorney thinks will be spent on the case. In any event, private attorneys want an up-front retainer. Usually, the retainer is a large portion of the fee.
Understanding the Charges
Possession is the most common drug charge. The prosecutor must prove the defendant knowingly had drugs to get a conviction. Furthermore, possession charges can be actual or constructive. For instance, actual possession means drugs are found on one’s person. An example of constructive possession is the cops finding drugs in your car. It doesn’t matter whether the drugs belonged to a friend. Possession can lead to the police filing more serious charges.
A defendant accused of possession can also be charged with distribution. Distribution means the defendant is caught selling illegal delivery substances. Trafficking does not automatically mean drugs were taken across state lines. Rather, trafficking charges are brought when someone has a very large quantity of drugs. Finally, manufacturing charges involve growing marijuana or chemically producing drugs.
Defenses to Drug Charges
The attorney can challenge the chain of custody in a drug case. The chain of custody details where drug evidence is at every step of the investigation. It’s problematic for the authorities if there’s a lapse in the chain of custody. Attorneys also challenge the validity of searches. If you have a case, make an appointment by visiting an attorney’s website and go to where directed to “click here”.