Many people accused of drug crimes, especially possession offenses, will face state charges. Any drug offense has the potential to limit your opportunities in life and cause significant criminal consequences, but some charges are much more serious than others.
There are some scenarios in which the circumstances leading to your arrest might put you at increased risk of a felony drug charge instead of a basic misdemeanor offense. Although California has a reputation for having modern laws relating to certain substances, like marijuana, there are still many rules that apply to both legal substances and prohibited ones.
What are some of the situations that may result in felony drug charges under California law?
When you have prohibited drugs
Possession of certain drugs, including certain prescribed medications, will lead to misdemeanor charges. The same is true of those who have too much marijuana in violation of state law.
However, possession of certain prescription painkillers, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, cocaine or ecstasy could lead to felony charges and the potential for several years in state custody.
When the police suspect you of selling the drugs
Perhaps police officers caught you with individually packaged drugs, making them suspect that you intended to resell those drugs to others. Maybe you have an active social life, and the frequent presence of visitors at your homemade police officers believe you conducted a drug trafficking business out of your living room. When officers have a suspicion of distribution or the intent to distribute drugs, they may push for more serious offenses, possibly felony charges.
Learning more about the rules that apply to drug offenses in California can help you better respond to pending charges.