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Riverside:

(951) 667-5293

Orange County:

(714) 758-5293

who you hire can make all the difference

Mr. Donath has spent his entire career defending people and standing up for the rights of the accused.

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  • former deputy public defender

    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

  • award winning certified criminal law specialist

    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

  • a true passion for defending the accused

    Your lawyer should have a passion for defense, not just a passion for money. Reputation, vigor, and determination go a long way in this business.

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Riverside Drug Possession Attorney

Drug possession charges can arise from traffic violations, being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, or from other criminal charges. The circumstances surrounding drug possession largely affect the seriousness of charges and sentencing. Whether your possession case is simple or part of a larger claim, the Riverside drug possession lawyers at the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC, can help you protect your rights and your future.

Many people view drug possession as a minor crime. Depending on the type of drug, the amount, and the circumstances, it may be. However, simple possession can still lead to a misdemeanor conviction and end up on your permanent record. It can prevent you from finding gainful employment or obtaining licensing in the state. A qualified Riverside drug possession attorney can help get minor charges dropped or reduce in more serious cases.

Why You Should Hire a Drug Possession Lawyer

Don’t face a criminal charge as serious as drug possession alone. Going in without an attorney or with a subpar public defender can set you up for failure – and potentially a prison sentence. The only way to feel 100% confident in your case and hopeful for the future is with a standout criminal defense lawyer by your side. A lawyer can do many things you can’t by yourself, from negotiating reduced charges to creating a strong defense. If you’re still on the fence about hiring an attorney, here are six reasons it’s a good idea:

  1. They know things you don’t. Unless you have a background in drug crime law, you need a lawyer to defend you. Our attorneys have years of education and real-world experience to support your case. Without an attorney, it will be up to you to research related laws and piece together a defense. We have the knowledge you need for strong arguments, a sensible defense, and your best possible chance of case dismissal.
  2. They have time for your case. Court-appointed public defenders know what they’re doing and are committed to justice for their clients. That being said, they are usually busy and overbooked. A private lawyer, on the other hand, has the quality time to dedicate to you and you alone. Focused, personal attention to your drug possession case can make all the difference in its outcome.
  3. They can keep you out of jail. A drug possession conviction in Riverside could result in weeks or even years in jail. During this time, you’ll likely lose your job, break ties with friends or family members, and suffer other losses. By the time you get out, your life could be very different from the way it is now. A great defense attorney can maximize your odds of avoiding jail and reducing your sentence to probation instead.
  4. They provide a buffer between you and the prosecution. Some prosecutors may take to strategies such as lying, intimidation, and even unlawful practices such as influencing witnesses or tampering with evidence to win their argument. A defense attorney can protect you from actions the prosecution may take to convict you of a drug possession crime, and help you learn what to say and what not to say in court. A skilled lawyer isn’t afraid to go up against prosecutors.
  5. They can preserve your future career. A drug possession conviction – even a minor one – can impede your ability to get a job in the future. Many employers won’t even offer interviews to job candidates with criminal histories; especially those involving drug crimes. However, it is against California law for employers to make hiring decisions based on arrests that didn’t end in conviction. A lawyer can help you avoid conviction and safeguard future employment opportunities.
  6. They provide peace of mind. Your lawyer can negotiate a satisfactory plea bargain or help you plead not guilty while you focus on yourself and your family. With an attorney taking care of your case, you won’t have to worry about its status, your court date, or what you will say to prosecutors. Your lawyer will take care of everything on your behalf – and with better success than you could alone.

Finally, a lawyer can give you hope. We know your situation can feel scary and hopeless, but it’s not the end of the world. A drug possession charge is something you can put behind you with the right lawyer. Instead of making decisions out of fear, make them with coolheaded confidence after receiving counsel from a defense attorney. Only a lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to guide you through your case. Contact us today.

Is Drug Possession in Riverside, CA now a Misdemeanor?

Not all drug possession has been changed, but several charges for simple possession of drugs are now considered a misdemeanor for most, but not all, people.

The following offenses have been modified:

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Health and Safety Code 11350
    Possession of a Controlled Substance – Health and Safety Code 11377
    Possession of Concentrated Cannabis – Health and Safety Code 11357

Therefore, if you were arrested and charged with possession of Cocaine, Crack Cocaine (Cocaine base), Heroin, Peyote, GHB, Codeine, Vicodin, Concentrated Cannabis, Methamphetamine, Ketamine, PCP, or certain Steroids, your charges may now be automatically a misdemeanor by law.

For some people, however, these charges may still be charged as a Felony against certain individuals based on prior criminal history.

If a person has previously been convicted of several particular child molestation charges, Murder, Attempted Murder, Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated, Solicitation of Murder, Assault with a Machine Gun on a Peace Officer, or any serious or violent offence punishable in California by life imprisonment or death, or is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code Section 290(c), then drug possession may still be treated as a Felony in California.

Call our Riverside drug possession attorneys at (951) 667-5293 to discuss your situation – the call is FREE.

Fighting Drug Possession Charges in California

Possession of marijuana or paraphernalia is a misdemeanor in the state. Possession of hard drugs such as heroin, meth, and cocaine may be a felony. Having prescription drugs without a valid prescription is also a felony. These charges can lead to extended prison sentences.

Being accused of drug possession can be scary because the consequences vary from case to case. There may not be a universal consequence for the charges you face. With the right legal defense, that range of penalties can be a good thing. Our experienced Riverside drug possession lawyers may be able to:

  • Have the charges dismissed If the police did not use the appropriate protocols when they discovered the controlled substance or if you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, we may be able to have the case dismissed entirely.
  • Use proposition 47. Under Proposition 47, passed in late 2014, some nonviolent drug possession charges are misdemeanors instead of felonies. Misdemeanor charges may be the first step in having a case dismissed or arguing for alternative sentencing.
  • Defer judgment. In some cases, you may be able to plead guilty and enter a rehabilitation drug program. After a successful probationary period, the charges against you will be dropped.
  • Pursue drug court sentencing. Drug courts were created for reform and rehabilitation rather than incarceration. Drug court sentencing is often less severe and may include random testing as well as counseling, treatment, and consistent employment.

The Uniqueness of Drug Possession Charges

The factors that will determine the outcome of your case include the amount of controlled substance in your possession, the drug’s classification (for example, cocaine is always more serious than marijuana), your criminal history, and the circumstances of evidence confiscation and arrest. Because there are so many defining factors in drug possession cases, there are numerous defense strategies that may prevent you from being convicted or from receiving unnecessarily harsh punishment. Contact an expungements lawyer in Riverside to see if you are eligible to have your conviction taken off the record.

In some cases, it is impossible for the prosecution to show that only one individual had possession of the controlled substance. If a vehicle with multiple people gets pulled over, for instance, it may be difficult to determine which individual (if any of them) was actually in possession of the drug. We may also prove that certain people had no knowledge of the drugs and cannot be held liable for the consequences.

Hiring A Riverside Drug Possession Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC, we have a deep understanding of the drug laws and courts in California, which allows us to craft a strong defense strategy in the best interest of our clients. If you have been charged with possession, you can fight to protect your future, and we can help. Our Riverside drug possession attorneys believe in the fair treatment of all individuals who enter the judicial system for drug-related crimes, and we work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the best possible outcomes. Contact us any time of day or night to get started.