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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 Sales and Possession for Sale Lawyer

Accusations of selling drugs or possessing them with the intent to sell can easily impact your life for years. The Drug Enforcement Agency arrests more than 30,000 people annually for the alleged sale and possession of narcotics. More than 32% of all inmates in state prisons across the country were under the influence of or in possession of drugs when arrested; in federal prisons, it is above 25%. Cocaine, heroin, and marijuana are three of the most commonly seized drugs. If you have been charged with a crime, contact our Riverside drug sales lawyer immediately.

Under California law, a person found in possession of an ounce or less of non-concentrated cannabis could be charged with a minimum $100 fine. Selling illegal drugs (or intending to) usually involves increased fines and jail times. For possession, the type of drug is a factor. Penalties for these crimes also depend on how much was confiscated in addition to other circumstances. For example, jail time may increase if you are accused of intent to sell near a school. Depending on the situation, possession with intent to sell may be a felony.

If you are accused of drug sales or possessions to sell, contact our drug sale attorneys in Riverside today for a free consultation to build your case today.


Is There a Defense?

At the law offices of award-winning defense attorney Graham Donath, our Riverside drug sales lawyers’ job is to defend you so an accusation has the least negative impact possible. There are several defensible reasons why individuals may be carrying drugs at the time of their accusations. These include:

  • Medical necessity. California has the largest network of businesses in the nation serving medical marijuana patients. The state legislature is working on the rules to govern this booming industry. If you have a medical cannabis prescription from your physician, bring it along with any other evidence (such as medical records) to your consultation.
  • Doctor’s prescription. This could apply to medical marijuana as well as any narcotic that, when taken improperly, could result in addiction. If your physician prescribed you a narcotic but did not warn you of the addictive potential, tell your attorney. Additionally, tell us if you suspect your physician knowingly increased your dosage of an addictive narcotic or prescribed one for you even though your medical history indicated such a prescription would harm you.
  • Problems with lab analysis. This could occur if a faulty medical lab test came up positive for drugs, if results were misread, or if the lab made any other mistake.
  • Unlawful search and seizure. Tell your attorney if you believe you were searched unlawfully or if a search resulted in unlawful seizure of drugs. Describe the circumstances in as much detail as you can remember.
  • Improper police conduct. The police should not abuse their subjects in any way. Let your attorney know if law enforcement physically harmed you during a search or if you believe they manipulated lab results or other tests to show you were using drugs.

Punishment for Drug sales and Possession with Intent to Sell After Prop 47

Generally, the state of California establishes punishment for drug possession based on the type of drug and amount found on the person or property. However, sentencing regarding drug charges changed dramatically in 2014 when California voters passed Proposition 47. Under this new law, many drug possession offenses are misdemeanors and subject to lesser penalties.

Under California law, a defendant facing possession of any controlled substance with intent to sell could face up to 4 years in jail and fines up to $20,000. Crimes regarding crack cocaine carry harsher punishments – up to five year’s prison time.

Under Prop 47, however, possession with intent to sell may reduce to a misdemeanor charge under California law by adjusting the crime to simple possession. Defendants may also be eligible for a drug diversion program, which was previously impossible.

This does not automatically apply, however. Only a seasoned drug crime attorney in Riverside can help defendants navigate the legal process and advocate for reduced sentencing. Proposition 47 makes lesser sentencing possible, but defendants still require the help of a lawyer, ideally one that specializes in drug sale charges.

The provisions of Proposition 47 also apply retroactively, which means a person currently serving jail time for possession with intent to sell may be able to have his or her sentence reduced retroactively, even to time served in some cases. If you’re facing criminal charges for possession with intent to sell, your first step is to contact a Riverside drug crime lawyer to learn more about your legal options under Prop 47.

What Is a Drug Diversion Program?

Drug possession attorney

In some cases, a defendant may be able to enter a drug diversion program in lieu of traditional courts. Also called drug court, these programs seek to take the load off an overwhelmed criminal justice system and help identify those who might be vulnerable to substance abuse. California drug courts can divert defendants from the traditional justice system into a system that provides counseling, treatment, and other options to those related controlled substance related charges.

Drug diversion courts can help defendants avoid the social stigma of the traditional criminal justice system. This makes re-entering society easier, as well as finding employment. Those who struggle with substance abuse can also find essential resources like rehabilitation, counseling, and learn positive coping mechanisms. An experienced Riverside criminal defense attorney like Graham Donath can help defendants explore their legal options and rely on drug diversion courts over the mainstream criminal justice system whenever possible.

Recreational Marijuana Laws and Possession with Intent to Sell

In 2016, California voters also decriminalized marijuana under Proposition 64, also called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Under the law, anyone over the age of 21 may consume or possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana in a private residence or any establishment that has a valid license. However, it is still unlawful to possess more than this amount, and discovery of excess amounts of marijuana may still lead to possession with intent to sell charges under California law. People may grow up to six plants for personal use in their homes, but drug possession lawyers in Riverside warn that this could lead to criminal charges. Penalties may be harsher when possession with intent to sell occurs on the grounds of a school, daycare center, or other areas where children are present.

If you’re facing drug-related charges like possession with intent to sell, you have options under California law. Propositions 47 and 64 fundamentally changed the way the criminal justice system handles these offenses. However, taking advantage of them requires the assistance of an attorney. Contact Riverside criminal defense attorney Graham Donath today to discuss your legal options.

What to Do Now?

Do not destroy evidence. If you face charges of possessing drugs or intending to sell them, trying to destroy evidence could make you look suspicious and increase the charges and penalties you face. For example, destroying evidence could upgrade an alleged crime from a misdemeanor to a felony. Do not voluntarily submit to drug tests or another testing, and do not communicate with law enforcement officials unless your drug crimes attorney is present. Gather any documents that might help your case, such as a written statement from your doctor testifying to the medical necessity of the drugs in question.

Contact Our Riverside Drug Sales Lawyers Today

If you face charges of drug possession or intent to sell in Riverside or Orange County, contact our Riverside criminal defense attorneys immediately. Donath is a board-certified specialist in criminal law – one of only a small number in California – and he has successfully defended many drug-related cases.