Orange County Drug Sales Lawyer

Orange County Drug Sales Lawyer

The aftermath of a drug-related arrest can be a challenging, frightening, and emotionally draining time. Here in Orange County, where narcotics and drug sale offenses are pursued and prosecuted aggressively, the stakes in these cases couldn’t possibly be higher for the everyday people who get caught up in them.

If you were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, are facing inflated charges for substances found on your person or in your vehicle, or are facing some other drug-related charge, you may feel caught and trapped, knowing that the full force of the state’s resources will be brought to bear against you, and worrying that you’ve already been tried in the court of public opinion. This is where the experience of a seasoned Orange County drug sales lawyer from an excellent law firm comes into play.

At the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, we are committed to providing the people of Orange County with unwavering, world-class defense services for controlled substance and drug offenses.

Orange County Drug Sales Lawyer and Possession with Intent to Sell

How Do You Beat a Drug Sale Charge in California?

First and foremost, it is vital to understand that every drug case is going to be different based on many different factors. This means that the most effective defense strategy can also look vastly different from situation to situation. Some of the key factors that will impact the overall shape of your court case (and, in turn, your legal strategy) include:

  • The type and amount of drug(s) involved
  • The quality and quantity of evidence the prosecution is able to bring against you
  • Prior criminal history
  • The specific charges brought against you
  • The quality of your defense attorney

Perhaps the single biggest part of this equation, in most situations, is the second element mentioned in our list above, the evidence collected by the state’s prosecutors. Evidence brought to court against you by the prosecution in a drug case can take many forms, including:

  • The Controlled Substance – There is a lot of variance in scale here, as this sort of evidence can be in the form of packaged units ready for sale, merely residue on the inside of a bag, or anything in between. In some cases, the prerequisite chemicals for manufacturing certain drugs are also illegal to possess.
  • Drug Paraphernalia – Physical evidence does not necessarily need to be the illegal substance itself. Syringes, pipes, or even large sums of money may also be used as evidence in court. The same goes for common packaging materials like baggies and digital scales. The prosecution will sometimes be overly aggressive in trying to connect every object in a person’s domicile or vehicle to drug trafficking activity, even if that person is, in reality, only a casual end user.
  • Testimony – Testimonial evidence in a drug case can take quite a few forms. If the defendant admitted guilt during initial questioning, for example, you can rest assured the prosecution will fight to get that evidence admitted to court. Testimony from eyewitnesses like confidential informants and undercover officers also plays a key role in many drug cases. Unfortunately, testimony from co-defendants and others implicated in drug charges is often also used as key pieces of the prosecution’s plan, as they try to get low-level drug users to turn on one another to drive swift, easy convictions.
  • Electronic Evidence – Today’s drug cases often involve digital evidence such as text messages, emails, videos, social media posts, chat logs, or phone records discussing drug transactions. In some investigations, video surveillance files or wiretap audio recording evidence from undercover agents might also exist.
  • Forensic Evidence – More “traditional” forensic evidence, like fingerprints on drug manufacturing paraphernalia or lab tests confirming the presence of narcotics, are also important pieces of many high-profile drug cases.
  • Vehicle and Residence Searches – When significant drug busts occur, the results of searches are often brought into court. These searches can yield physical evidence such as paraphernalia, drugs, or modifications made to a vehicle for the purpose of smuggling narcotics. Home searches can similarly yield evidence of illegal growing or manufacturing equipment.

When facing drug charges, it is important to remain calm and remember that the existence of evidence does not guarantee a conviction. The validity, relevance, and legality of every scrap of evidence should be thoroughly questioned by your defense attorney and challenged in court if necessary.

While the overall strength of a drug case hinges on the evidence collected by the state, any such case calls for quality criminal defense representation due to the seriousness of the potential penalties. The meticulous criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, can scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence thoroughly, identifying and exploiting any weaknesses. The state’s agents will want you to believe that their case is air-tight, but in reality, we may have many avenues available for challenging evidence, such as:

  • Challenging the legality of searches, seizures, detainments, and arrests
  • Calling into question the reliability of informants or witnesses who have a historical pattern of distorting the truth
  • Identifying issues with drug testing procedures or methods, such as the potential for misidentified substances or erroneous records

These are just a few examples of tactics that a defense lawyer might use to fight to get charges dropped or reduced. At the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, we pride ourselves on continuously evolving and building inventive defenses that meet the needs of a rapidly changing criminal justice landscape. We build totally customized defense solutions that aggressively challenge the prosecution’s case while fully considering our client’s specific needs and wishes.

What Is a 11351 Charge in California?

The State of California’s Health & Safety Code section 11351 forbids individuals from possessing certain controlled substances with the purpose of selling, making it a serious felony to do so. This particular code is considered a cornerstone in the state’s supposed fight against drug trafficking, which, in reality, all too often manifests as serious charges against low-level users who are otherwise decent and productive Californian citizens.

To be successfully charged under HS 11351, the state’s prosecutors must prove both possession of the substance and the specific intent to distribute it to other parties for profit. A quality criminal defense attorney can aggressively question any part of the prosecution’s case that does not hold up to the letter of the law.

What Is the Penalty for HS 11351?

Those who are successfully convicted under HS 11351 can face significant penalties. Per the code, punishment is in accordance with subdivision (h) of Section 1170. Specifically, this refers to imprisonment with a sentence ranging from two to four years.

Other common court-imposed penalties for drug convictions can include fines, probation, community service, and mandatory treatment programs. Certain extenuating factors, such as the type and amount of controlled substance, proximity to schools or children, or the use of violence, can also lead to enhanced penalties in drug cases.

California Drug Laws in Context

Narcotics represent a complex subfield of criminal law, and that can be especially true in California, where regulation and enforcement efforts may be more robust than in some other states. Empower yourself by understanding the various categorizations of drug crimes and the potential charges and penalties behind each:

  • Possession for Personal Use – This charge can be brought against someone who is found in possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription for that substance. This type of charge will typically be a misdemeanor offense carrying a fine of up to $1,000 and a maximum of one year in jail. Alternative sentencing that avoids jail time may also be available for first-time offenders.
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – We mentioned earlier that drug paraphernalia can be brought into a court case as physical evidence in a drug case, but what some people do not know is that merely possessing drug paraphernalia can, itself, be prosecuted as a crime. Paraphernalia charges are misdemeanors that can technically lead to up to six months in jail but are more often punished by fines or non-carceral diversion programs.
  • Possession for Sale –Possessing illegal drugs with the intent to sell them is a serious felony offense in California. In addition to the potential for two to four years of imprisonment, a conviction for possession with intent to sell can also come with serious fines to the tune of thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars.
  • Drug Trafficking – Drug trafficking charges are extremely serious and can be filed against an individual believed of transferring, transporting, or importing controlled substances into California for distribution. The penalties for a typical trafficking conviction can include up to five years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, but be aware that the sentences can actually increase in some cases based on the number of county and state lines that were crossed in the course of the illegal trafficking.
  • Drug Manufacturing – Drug manufacturing is exactly what it sounds like: the illegal creation, production, or compounding of controlled substances. Sometimes, prosecutors will try to stretch the definition of manufacturing to include other situations, such as individuals who operate sophisticated schemes to collect or re-sell prescription drugs. Fines for manufacturing can be up to $50,000, in addition to prison sentences of up to seven years.
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs – Just like driving drunk, driving under the influence of controlled drugs is strictly prohibited on California roadways. This includes operating a car, truck, motorcycle, commercial vehicle, or even your bicycle on any public roadway while impaired by illegal street drugs, prescription drugs, or even over-the-counter medications. Penalties for DUI convictions involving drugs will vary based on the offender’s prior DUI history and the circumstances of the particular case, but they will often include license suspension with mandatory “DUI school” education programs required to get it back.
  • Federal Drugs Crimes – Some serious violations of drug laws are also prosecuted at the federal level. Federal drug charges are often pursuant to investigations of large-scale trafficking and manufacturing operations. Penalties for federal drug charges will vary based on the nature of the crime and the quantity of drugs involved. In the most serious cases, offenders can face the prospect of life in prison.

Regardless of what sort of drug charges you’re facing in Orange County, the most effective way of reducing charges or minimizing the consequences of a conviction is going to be working with a qualified criminal defense attorney who has experience with California drug cases. The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, are ready to help see you through this challenging period in your life and help you get things back on track.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Drug Offenses in California?

For most drug offenses in California, including most of the situations that would be prosecutable under HS 11351, the statute of limitations is three years. This means that the state has three years from the date of the alleged offense to file its charges. If the state attempts to file charges against you more than three years after the date of an alleged drug offense, this is a serious procedural error, and your defense attorney may be able to have the charges dropped by the court entirely.

Be aware that while the three-year rule is broadly applicable, certain circumstances can change the statute of limitations. As one example, minor possession charges that are not punishable by imprisonment (e.g., small amounts of illicit cannabis) have a one-year statute of limitations, creating a significantly smaller window for the prosecution to take action against the alleged offender.

The Importance of Working with a Great Criminal Defense Lawyer for Possession with Intent to Sell

Drug offenses, especially narcotics sales and other serious trafficking accusations, can carry significant social, personal, and professional repercussions in addition to serious criminal penalties. As a criminal defense firm with a hard-earned reputation for successfully helping persons accused of drug sale offenses, we understand the nuances of California’s controlled substance laws and can leverage our vast knowledge and comprehensive array of legal tools to defend our clients’ interests assertively.

The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, is not just another law firm in the crowded marketplace of Orange County legal services. Working with us represents you making a commitment to your own future, freedom, and reputation. It’s a commitment that goes two ways, as we’re equally committed on our end to handling your case with a personal and empathetic touch, remaining focused on delivering the most favorable outcomes possible, and fighting tirelessly until we achieve them.

Christopher J. McCann: Poise, Professionalism, Dedication, & Results for Clients

With over 15 years of well-earned private practice reputation now under his belt, Christopher J. McCann, sole proprietor of the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, stands out not just due to his in-depth knowledge of criminal law, Orange County courts, and the state’s complex drug laws, but also his unparalleled dedication to serving his clients. Testimonials from his many satisfied clients, as well as professional accolades like the Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine “Rising Star” award, speak volumes about his legal prowess and penchant for results.

McCann’s top-notch legal education from esteemed institutions like Pepperdine University and the University of Michigan has also been instrumental in shaping his highly analytical yet client-focused approach to law. Moreover, his active membership in professional associations like the California Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association ensures he stays up to date on all of the tools and strategies involved in this ever-changing field of legal practice.

In addition to powerful defense for narcotics charges, McCann and his firm also offer services for Orange County residents facing charges related to:

  • Theft, robbery, larceny, fraud, etc.
  • Financial crimes and so-called “white collar” crimes (embezzlement, forgery, etc.)
  • Assault and battery
  • Sex offenses
  • Juvenile offenders
  • Parole and probation issues
  • DUIs, DWIs, and other criminal charges related to motor vehicle operation
  • Domestic violence

No matter what sort of criminal issue you’re facing in Orange County, the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, can help you through this challenging time. Even if your narcotics case is extremely complex and involves additional criminal charges, our comprehensive criminal defense services may be the key to a better outcome.

No matter where you’re being tried in Orange County, it’s likely that Attorney McCann can help. He has active bar admissions to the following court systems:

  • State of California
  • S. District Courts, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • Federal Claims Court
  • Federal 9th Circuit Appeals Court

The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC – Your Trusted Orange County Criminal Defense Resource

Facing serious drug charges can leave you feeling isolated, uncertain, and anxious. The state of California takes drug crimes seriously and will bring the full resources of the state’s criminal justice apparatus to bear against you when trying to score convictions. You owe it to yourself to respond with high-powered legal representation of your own. The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, can help you develop and implement a solid criminal defense strategy, steering your case towards the optimal outcome and helping you get your life back. Reach out today for help with your drug sales case.


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