Los Angeles Drugs and Alcohol Crimes Attorney
Being charged with an alcohol or drug crime in Los Angeles can lead to a wide range of outcomes. From misdemeanor drinking in public to felony narcotics sale, possible sentences can range from a dismissal to state prison time. For these reasons, hiring an experienced and committed criminal defense law firm is essential.
Spolin Law’s success handling alcohol and drug crime cases is based on our holistic approach: we focus on getting an outcome that will best help our clients to be successful going forward. This can include seeking a case dismissal, negotiating a favorable plea deal with a prosecutor, securing a drug or alcohol treatment program instead of jail time, and, if appropriate, seeking a not-guilty verdict at trial.
Spolin Law is led by former prosecutor and award-winning attorney Aaron Spolin. Mr. Spolin has been on the winning side of hundreds of criminal cases, and he personally handles each alcohol and drug case. To learn more about how Spolin Law can help defend you, and for a free consultation, call (310) 424-5816.
Most Common Drug & Alcohol Cases We Handle:
- Drug Possession
- Drug Sale
- Marijuana Crimes
- DUI (Driving While Intoxicated)
- Transportation of Drugs
- Possession of Drugs on School Grounds
- Juvenile Drug Offenses
- Public Intoxication
Legal Defenses to Drug and Alcohol Charges
The following legal defenses can result in the dismissal of the case, a reduction of the charges, or a not-guilty verdict at trial. Call Spolin Law to learn whether any of these defenses apply to your case. (310) 424-5816.
- Lack of Ownership/Possession: Law enforcement will often arrest someone who is located nearest to a stash of illegal drugs. If the drugs are not yours, you may raise this lack of ownership/possession defense. For example, if you are a passenger in a car that is pulled over and drugs are found under your seat, you may raise this defense to fight drug-related charges based on the contraband under your seat.
- Personal Use: If caught with drugs with no intent to sell, distribute, or deliver, you may be able to get sale or distribution charges dismissed, resulting in a less severe possession charge. Thus, the “personal use” defense is applicable when charged with sale or distribution crimes. It is a defense that can be raised in legal motions to a judge or in argument to the jury.
- Necessity / Defense of Others: If you are transporting an illegal substance to remove it from an unsafe place or take it away from someone else to protect that person, you may be able to raise this defense. For example, if you find heroin on a playground where children are currently playing, and you choose to move the heroin from the playground to a nearby garbage can, you may have a legal defense to charges of possession or transporting illegal substances.
- Entrapment: Successful establishment of entrapment is a tricky task, requiring proof that the offense was due to coercive or overbearing police action and the accused was not inclined to commit a crime. For example, the entrapment defense might be effective if an undercover officer begged you (a law-abiding citizen) to bring a large amount of marijuana to a woman undergoing chemotherapy, who supposedly need the marijuana to manage her pain. Attorneys with full understanding of California’s entrapment law must prove that officers pressured, threatened, or bullied the offender into committing the crime, not just proposed the opening.
- Illegal Search and Seizure: An illegal search is not technically a “defense” to a drug or alcohol crime; however, it can result in a dismissal of the case. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects against illegal search and seizures. Experienced lawyers familiar with drug and alcohol offenses will demand the court suppress evidence obtained in such a fashion. Such a suppression of illegal evidence can result in a dismissal of the case.
Punishments for Drug and Alcohol Convictions
The following are some of the punishments for drug and alcohol crimes if the accused is found guilty or pleads guilty. A dismissal, dropped charge, or not-guilty verdict results in no punishment.
The justice system here in Los Angeles is not lenient when it comes to punishments for drug and alcohol offenses. The sentences administered, especially for drug sale, license some of the most severe penalties. Although alcohol and drug offenses are sometimes seen as less serious crimes by the general public, the court takes penalization seriously. Many of the offenses result in hefty fines, frequently followed by time in jail. Drug and alcohol crimes charged with intent of manufacturing can lead up to $75,000 in fines, trailed by 30 years of prison. Substantial increase in punishment can be expected if it is not the offenders first crime. Due to the stark consequences of enhanced punishment if previously convicted of a crime, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney protect your rights. California law also allows prosecutors to add “enhancements” to drug or alcohol charges, which can add prison time if the underlying crime involves certain prohibited conduct (for example, a drug sale conducted to raise money for a criminal street gang).
Alcohol and drug crimes can lead to detrimental collateral consequences, if deemed a felony. In the state of California, those convicted of a felony, even a low-level felony, are denied the right to vote. Driving privileges are subject to change, and sometimes can result in the loss of a driver’s license for a period of time. If convicted of a DUI, insurance rates can increase a considerable amount. Employers, landlords, and anyone running a criminal record background check can obtain conviction records, and these prospective employers, landlords, etc. may deny jobs, housing, and services if you have been convicted of an alcohol or drug offense.
Hiring The Right Lawyer Can Make a Huge Difference
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can be the difference between a favorable or unfavorable outcome. This is especially the case with alcohol and drug offenses, where, for example, a drug treatment program can replace jail or an outright dismissal can avoid a prison sentence.
Spolin Law handles alcohol and drug crimes with a comprehensive approach. We seek dismissals, dropped charges, and not-guilty verdicts whenever possible. Besides negotiating with prosecutors, our firm also frequently files motions to suppress illegal evidence if law enforcement has broken the law to find evidence. We are led by Aaron Spolin, an award-winning defense lawyer and former Assistant District Attorney.
For more information about your drug or alcohol case, and to learn what can be done to fight and potentially win the case, call us for a free consultation at (310) 424-5816.