What kind of charges are we facing in a California possession case? 10 Answers as of January 23, 2011

Two of my friends got pulled over. It is said that there were drugs in possession on one of them and it was found in his mouth. But all they have proving that is an empty bag. He was never drug tested to prove their theory. What kind of charges could he be facing? Or how can we beat this case?

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Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
If no drugs were ever seized, and only an empty baggie was found in your friend's mouth, then he has a very excellent case. There was no blood test and therefore no toxicology for an 'Under the Influence' charge. This was most likely a case of the officers being angry that they did not find the drugs they suspected that they would find, so they made an illegal arrest to punish your friends. Hopefully, your friends did not admit to possessing any controlled substances. There does not appear to be much the District Attorney can do, based upon the facts you provided.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/23/2011
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
Your answer depends on what type of drugs were involved. Without that information, I cannot fully evaluate the cases.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
I would suggest sitting down with an attorney to discuss this matter. This does not sound like the type of charge that you can or should try to settle by yourself.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
Each of your friends should get a separate lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca
Law Offices of Philip P. De Luca | Philip De Luca
On the face of what you say, it sounds like a very defensible case. If no drugs were recovered, it will be impossible for the prosecution to prove possession. The prosecution must prove each and every element of the alleged crime beyond reasonable doubt. Sounds interesting, yes and very defensible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    If they can prove he possessed a usable quantity of a controlled substance, then they can charge him. If they never tested it, how do they know what it was or how much there was?

    What they can potentially get him for is Penal Code section 135 - destruction of evidence. Either way, if he's charged with any criminal offense, he needs an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Anywhere from simple misdemeanor to felony[s], depending upon all the facts and evidence. Youll know the actual charges filed when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. When arrested and charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Defend the charges. Go to court, enter a not guilty plea, set up and attend the court hearing[s] and trial date[s]. File evidence suppression or other motions as applicable. Raise all the available defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for motions, diversion, plea-bargaining, or at trial. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain for you, or take it to trial. If serious about doing so, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    No dope, no conviction. I am assuming it was pot and even if the judge believes the cop that your pal ate a roach there is a $100 fine which does not go on your record. If the morons didn't drug test you win.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation | Sally S. Chan, Esq.
    A possession case, depending on each individual's criminal history, is normally charged as a misdemeanor in Los Angeles County so long as the amount, and other evidence does not support a possible possession with the intent to sell.

    A misdemeanor can come with a maximum sentence of one year.

    Whether or not your friend can fight the case really depends on the facts. Your friend needs to speak to an attorney and let the attorney fully review all the facts, reports, evidence, etc. and evaluate the courtroom /DA it is with.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    Desert Defenders
    Desert Defenders | John Jimenez
    If all that was found in his mouth was an empty bag, the prosecution may not have a case for drug possession.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2011
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