To fight the charges, you need the most knowledgeable criminal defense attorney and one with extensive experience representing individuals with a range of drug offenses.
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Riverside Drug Crime Lawyer John L. Michels successfully represents individual defendants charged with drug crimes for over two decades. A former prosecutor with the Riverside County District Attorney’s office, Mr. Michels is highly familiar with the policies and procedures of the District Attorney’s office concerning these crimes.
John L. Michels has represented defendants ranging from third-degree misdemeanors to drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, and distribution of illicit drugs.
What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor drug charges?
Almost all states have both misdemeanor and felony drug charges, although there are some exceptions to this rule. If a criminal act involves drugs, several charges may be issued.
Understanding the difference can be of benefit to the accused.
Misdemeanor drug charges
Misdemeanor drug charges usually carry a lesser punishment in terms of sentence length if a conviction occurs. Misdemeanor charges also come in degrees. A first-degree charge carries the harshest punishment and is connected with more severe crimes.
Second-degree usually involves fines, and the accused may also face up to one year in prison. And a third-degree offense has the least in terms of sentencing. But multiple third-degree offenses can mean a jail sentence.
Misdemeanor cases can be as long as felony charge cases, but they usually can expedite the matter. So while they sound less complicated, you need a lawyer with drug charge experience – the process is lengthy and complex.
Felony drug charges
Felony drug charges are usually the ones that will see someone go to jail. Some prosecutors might be willing to offer a deal if specific circumstances like drug trafficking operations or drug manufacturing are in play. Your lawyer will be the person who can negotiate the best deal on your behalf.
First-degree felony drug charges are reserved for aggravated circumstances, like when someone is killed, or there are additional charges. This type of charge has huge fines and some prison time requirements. Depending on the factors, it may be enough for a life sentence.
Like misdemeanors, felony drug charges also have a range of degrees; the fines and length of time in jail will vary.
Felony convictions typically lead to state or federal prisons, and frequent transfers are possible.
To fight both misdemeanor and felony drug charges, you need a lawyer with enough experience to attach the case with knowledge – and use the right strategy to protect the individual’s rights – reducing the charges and minimizing possible fines.
What are felony drug charges?
A felony drug charge or felony narcotics charge usually involves cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs.
It comes as a surprise to many people that this also includes a wide range of prescription drugs.
For the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, you will be facing an infraction. Yet, any amount of THC concentrate, over a pound of marijuana, or hash becomes a felony.
While those caught in possession of any of these drugs and some others will be arrested and charged with a felony, not everyone will receive a criminal conviction.
Fighting a misdemeanor and felony narcotics charge requires you to share all of the information with your lawyer.
Was the drug search legal?
One of the most important questions you will be asked is about the drug search itself. Your drug defense attorney will need to establish if the search was legal and if the drugs in question were from an illegal or legal search.
If the drugs were from a search of a person, vehicle, or home, that isn’t established as legal. It means that all of the evidence obtained during the search must be suppressed.
This rule is called the exclusionary rule, and it means that the police cannot benefit from violating your constitutional rights.
When a criminal defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights are violated, the evidence found cannot be used against the defendant.
If law enforcement unlawfully searches your car, house, or person without a warrant or probable cause, anything seized was done so illegally. Proving this can see your case dismissed and is one of the most effective ways to fight a misdemeanor and/or felony narcotics case.
If, however, you are found to have narcotics during a lawful search, then a seasoned lawyer will fight this case for you.
It is improbable that without a knowledgeable lawyer with experience in narcotics charges, you will be able to make that argument.
Lack of clarity in drug cases
A lack of clarity and awareness also aids the case in a positive way for the defendant. For example, if there are five people in the car and a small bag of illegal drugs seized when a vehicle is pulled over, it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt who they belong to.
While everyone in the vehicle will be arrested, not everyone will be charged. It is possible that only the person in possession of the drugs knew they were there.
It must be proved that the person knowingly possessed the illegal substances. The best drug lawyer in Riverside will be able to act on your behalf and give you the best chance of avoiding charges.
The best drug crime lawyer, John L. Michels
When you need to have the best in your corner, John L. Michels is it. John has a depth of experience in a vast range of drug crime issues. What sets John apart is that he has a proven track record and is an award-winning riverside criminal defense attorney.
You or someone you love may have been charged with a drug crime in Riverside and are looking for the best attorney to handle the case. It doesn’t matter if the issue is a simple possession charge or a more severe charge like drug trafficking or manufacturing – John L. Michel’s is the best lawyer for your criminal defense.
All drug charges have one thing in common – you need the best drug crime lawyer in Riverside, and that’s John L. Michels.