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Drug Charges

Most drug charges in California are now prosecuted as felonies, with the exception of some marijuana offenses and possession of drug paraphernalia.   This is true whether the offense is characterized as possession for personal use, possession for sale or manufacturing and cultivation.   As a result, nearly all cases involving drug charges include the possibility of imprisonment in the state prison.  

Additionally, as felonies, these drug charges involve significant and devastating consequences in addition to imprisonment.   These consequences include: immigration issues such as deportation and denial of citizenship, potential loss of state licensing for nurses, doctors and real estate agents, to name only a few, registration as a narcotics offender, ban on firearms possession and ownership, loss of security clearance, loss of employment, as well as professional and personal loss.

Federal offenses involving drug charges expose those charged to significant prison sentences and carry the same negative consequences as state felonies.   While changes in the application of the Federal sentencing guidelines have helped alleviate some of the harshest sentences, excellent representation on Federal drug charges is extremely important.   The Law Offices of Matthew M. Horeczko provides you the excellent representation you need in both State and Federal court in order to avoid these extreme sentences.

Possession for personal use, or simple possession, is the knowing possession of a usable quantity or amount of drug.   Simple possession charges, while still felonies in California , are offenses which may be dismissed through completion of treatment programs.   The first of these treatment programs is Deferred Entry of Judgment or DEJ.   For an individual charged with a first offense of simple possession, DEJ allows for a dismissal of the charges upon completion of a program.   The second of these programs is commonly referred to as Proposition 36 or Prop 36.   This program allows individuals who do not qualify for DEJ to complete a program and again obtain a dismissal of the charges.   However, when an individual fails to properly complete Prop 36, jail time and probation, as well as state prison, remains as possible penalties.   Additionally, completion of Prop 36 still involves firearms prohibitions.

Possession for sale, direct sales, manufacturing and cultivation of drugs are felony offenses for which DEJ and Prop 36 do not apply.   As a result, these charges involve the possibility of prison sentences in excess of three years, dependent upon the specific charge.   Law enforcement and prosecutors are well aware of the availability to defendants of dismissals via DEJ and Prop 36 and have grown increasingly aggressive in charging drug offenses.   As a result, many drug cases are charged to include non-drug related charges in an effort to prevent the ability to utilize DEJ or Prop 36.   Also, many cases which in the past may have been charged as simple possession are now charged as transportation and/or possession for sale again preventing the ability to utilize the programs.  

This aggressive approach to prosecution must be met with the best possible defense, which is what the Law Offices of Matthew M. Horeczko brings to every case.   Drug charges begin with a search in nearly every case; persons, houses, cars, motorhomes, garages and other locations are searched.   You have the right to remain free of illegal searches.   The search must be examined and potentially attacked as a violation of your constitutional rights.   The Law Offices of Matthew M. Horeczko remain constantly vigilant to the changes in the law that impact your rights and the ability to aggressively and vigorously defend your rights and apply that knowledge and expertise to defend you.

Overcharging a drug case, adding unnecessary charges in a weakly veiled attempt to subvert the intent of DEJ and Prop 36, elevating simple possession to possession for sale or transportation are all examples of tactics utilized by the prosecution.   In order to counter these tactics, as well as suppress items found in illegal searches and successfully defend yourself, you need to contact the Law Offices of Matthew M. Horeczko.

Offices in Long Beach and San Pedro