California Health and Safety Code 11350 – Possession of Drugs
When it comes to drug possession, I've been handling these types of offenses at the criminal level throughout LA County now for the past twenty-five years, and the bottom line is that the laws in LA have changed. The laws under California Health and Safety Code 11350 have changed, and it really seems to have to do with this push toward letting people out of prison who have not committed violent felonies.
So, there are a lot of drug offenders who are in prison and who have been let out of prison. There are a lot of drug offenders who are charged with drug possession in Los Angeles County who are in county jail as well. The bottom line is, the legislature and the People of the State of California have spoken through laws, through Propositions that
they do not want drug possession offenders serving years and years in prison and our county jails. They want to save the limited space that we do have in jails and prisons for violent offenders — people who are hurting other people and sex offenders.
So, drug possession laws have changed, and there are a lot of different things that can be done depending on the circumstances of your case to keep you out of jail or prison, to protect your criminal record, and to do all sorts of things that you could not do ten years ago for example. In the 1980s, when Regan was president, they came up with all of these drug laws that swept across the country. They're still serious about drugs, but people who are addicts and are possessing drugs are treated much less harshly than in years past.
Of course, if you're selling drugs, if you have weapons — if you're one of those dangerous individuals associated with the drug game in Los Angeles, those people are still going to be treated harshly. They're still looking at jail time, prison time and all the things that come along with possession for sales. But for the straight possession cases, a lot of times, we can get programs, we can protect your record, we can get matters dismissed.
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So, if you have a straight possession of drugs charge — no matter what the drugs — I mean the laws have changed now. Where possession of cocaine for years and years was a straight felony — could not be a misdemeanor — now it's a straight misdemeanor. Marijuana laws have changed. So, you need to get educated on it. If you or a loved one is in the system and has a possession case, get an attorney who knows what they're doing so the matter can be handled correctly, and you can get the best possible resolution for your possession of drug cases in one of the LA courts.