If you were arrested or charged with drug possession, a Fresno methamphetamine defense lawyer can help you determine the best option to protect your future. Facing a meth possession charge can be terrifying, but it does not automatically mean you will lose your freedom or future. It may be possible to:
- Persuade the prosecution to drop the charges against you
- Agree to lesser penalties or probation in exchange for voluntary enrollment in a rehabilitation facility or other conditions
- Convince a judge or jury to dismiss your case or deem you not guilty
Fresno drug crimes attorney Mike McKneely works closely with all his clients, listening to their side of the story and working tirelessly to ensure the prosecutor, judge, and jury hear it too. Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer can develop a solid defense to fight your charges. We will protect your rights and do everything we can to help you achieve the best outcome in your case.
Call (559) 443-7442 for your initial consultation.
The Serious Nature of Meth Possession Charges
Under California Health and Safety Code § 11377, it is illegal to possess any amount of methamphetamine – even for personal use. The passage of Proposition 47 in 2014 makes a first offense simple meth possession a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
However, meth possession can also be a felony, based on the facts of your case. Factors the prosecution will consider when making this decision include:
- The amount of meth in question
- Whether the drug is for personal use
- Whether there is evidence of intent to traffic or distribute the drug
- The criminal record of the person facing the charges
The consequences of a felony conviction for making, selling, or trafficking meth are much more serious than the penalties associated with a simple possession conviction.
Penalties for a Meth Possession Conviction in Fresno
Depending on the facts of your case, you could face a wide variety of consequences associated with a meth possession conviction. Under California Health and Safety Code § 11377, you could face up to a year in a county jail based on a misdemeanor conviction.
Other possible penalties, both criminal and otherwise, for a meth possession conviction include:
- Enrollment in drug counseling
- Issues keeping your job
- Problems getting another job
- A criminal record that shows up on background checks for apartments and job applications
- Tarnished your reputation
- Relationship problems at home
If the prosecutors charge your meth possession as a felony, the consequences of a conviction could affect your life in much more serious ways. The state may opt to charge simple possession as a felony if you have prior convictions for certain crimes, such as a sex crime, murder, or another serious offense.
You may be able to avoid conviction. We will do everything in our power to prevent your mistake from destroying your future. We know good people make bad decisions and we will fight to make the judge and jury see that as well.
Possible Defenses Your Fresno Methamphetamine Defense Lawyer Might Use
We care about you and your future. We do not believe that one simple mistake or misunderstanding should ruin the life you have worked for. We will analyze your situation, evaluate the prosecution’s evidence against you, and build the best defense possible to acquit you of the charges or to reduce the penalties you face.
Prosecutors must prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – that you possessed a usable amount of methamphetamine. A successful defense requires injecting reasonable doubt into the minds of the judge and jury. Some of the more common defenses we use in meth possession cases include:
You Have a Valid Prescription
Amphetamines have a pharmaceutical purpose, and you can legally possess these drugs as long as you have a valid prescription. If we can show you have a valid prescription from your doctor and only had an amount of medication consistent with that prescription, we may be able to ask the prosecution to dismiss the charges against you without ever going to court.
You Did Not Know About the Drug
Some people who face drug possession charges were unaware they had drugs in their car, home, or even on their person. This can happen in a number of ways, but most commonly it occurs because the drugs belonged to someone else. Even if you were aware of the substance, but had no idea it was an illegal drug, we may be able to fight for an acquittal if we can raise reasonable doubt with the judge and jury.
It is easy to jump to conclusions when you find drugs in someone’s car or home. Police are not immune to this. The truth is, though, that mistaken identity happens all too often in meth cases. Police might not conduct thorough enough investigations, or the evidence could be misleading.
We fight this by arguing you never had contact with the drugs and were not aware of them. Often, we can identify the correct party and present evidence that demonstrates the drugs belonged to the other party. This could lead to a dismissal of the charges or an acquittal in court.
Mistakes or Misconduct by Police
Law enforcement officers are only human; mistakes happen. Occasionally, we even see police officers who intentionally violate your rights. Either of these situations provides us with a great opportunity to defend against the charges you face. If police officers violated your civil rights, we can fight to suppress evidence in your case. Some of the ways this might happen include:
- Illegal search and seizure; that is, searching your vehicle or home without your permission and without a search warrant
- Entrapment, which is when police draw law-abiding citizens into an illegal situation
- Failure to read you your Miranda rights
If we cannot convince the prosecution to drop the charges or it seems a conviction might be likely, we may be able to get the prosecution to agree to probation or other lesser penalties in exchange for you completing certain conditions.
Let Our Fresno Methamphetamine Defense Lawyers Fight for You
If you face California meth possession charges, we can help you understand your rights, build a strong defense, and fight to protect your reputation. Fresno methamphetamine defense lawyer Mike McKneely understands how scary it can be to navigate the criminal justice process alone. We will walk with you every step of the way, fighting for a dismissal or acquittal, or to minimize potential penalties if the prosecution has solid evidence against you. No matter your situation, we can help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. If you face marijuana trafficking charges in Fresno, you deserve to have a strong Fresno criminal defense attorney on your side. Mike McKneely from Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer can help you fight for an exoneration or minimize potential penalties. We can work with you to get the best possible outcome in your case, based on your own needs. Contact our office today at (559) 443-7442 for a free initial consultation, and learn more about how our team can help you.