Under the Influence of Drugs – California Health & Safety Code 11550
I started practicing and defending these case in approximately 1994. If you got caught under the influence of drugs, a pretty much unwritten rule in Los Angeles county was that you would get a minimum of 90 days in jail.
In fact, the Health & Safety Code 11550 says that you must get at least a minimum of 90 days in jail and that actually meant that you do some time. Nowadays, 90 days in county jail in Los Angeles is a very small fraction of that 90 day time because of the overcrowding.
Another thing that I noticed is that the prosecutors and judges are not as insistent upon somebody actually doing 90 days in custody unless it's a circumstance where this particular person just continues to get conviction after conviction for possession of drugs and using drugs.
They figure that that particular person needs some time in jail in order to dry out. There's also programs in jail to help people dry out, help people get drug abuse counseling and all sorts of other things that will help them get off drugs.
Programs Are Available To Stop Abusing Drugs
The reality is though if you've got an under the influence case or any type of drug offense in Los Angeles county that if you want to stop using drugs it will come from you. There's all sorts of programs and Propositions and legislative acts that are available to help people protect their criminal record and stop abusing drugs.
But the first step, in my opinion, having done this for over twenty-five years now, is that the person themselves needs to want to get off drugs. Because if they don't then they won't and it doesn't matter if they go to the best program in the world, spend a bunch of money on drug counseling, drug intervention, live-in programs, out-patient programs.
They're going to continue to use if they do not come to that point in their life where they say, enough is enough. I'm done. I don't want to be involved with drugs anymore.
Once they say that and they mean it and it's real, now they're in a position to get off drugs and never go back to them again. Then they can start availing themselves of all of the great programs.
Some of these programs are set up so that you can put yourself in a position where you will not only not use drugs anymore and turn your life around, you can avoid a criminal conviction all together.
Avoiding a Drug Crime Conviction
This is huge for those people who don't have a criminal record and they've recently been arrested for drugs. Not having a criminal conviction and being able to wipe out your record, being able to stay out of jail or prison and get the help that you need and then being given tools and programs to help you get back in society and be successful is obviously very important anyone that is involved with drugs or any type of drug activity.
So, if you're being charged with being under the influence of narcotics, in my opinion, getting a drug crime lawyer is very important because that attorney will know their goal is to help you get rid of your substance abuse problem and help you protect your criminal record so you can move forward with a wonderful life.