Los Angeles Drug Possession While Armed Defense Lawyers
A criminal conviction for possessing drugs while armed in Los Angeles can lead to severe penalties, including monetary fines and even jail time. You can also likely experience numerous collateral consequences affecting many aspects of your life.
Following your arrest, retain a skilled criminal defense attorney to handle your case throughout the proceedings and advocate on your behalf. The Los Angeles drug possession while armed defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law can enter an appearance in your case and obtain the best possible result.
We can explore potential legal defenses to raise at your criminal court trial or enter into plea deal negotiations with the prosecuting attorney handling your case. Our legal team will do everything possible to secure a favorable result and lessen or eliminate the legal penalties and collateral consequences you would otherwise face.
Do not wait to discuss your arrest and charges with our Los Angeles drug crime defense lawyers. Someone is ready 24/7 to take your call.
Why Should We Represent You in Your Criminal Case?
Criminal convictions, including drug possession while armed, are a big deal. Given what you have riding on the line, you want a solid legal team fighting for your rights and advocating for your interests at every stage of the legal proceedings. The experienced and compassionate Los Angeles drug possession while armed attorneys at Chudnovsky Law can handle every step of your case and will work zealously in your legal interests.
Our legal team has over 65 years of combined experience successfully defending individuals facing serious criminal charges in the California Court System. In addition, many of our lawyers have previously worked as state district attorneys and prosecutors. Consequently, we know how prosecutors prepare their cases and use that knowledge to achieve favorable results for our clients.
Unlike many criminal defense attorneys and law firms, our legal team is not scared to take a case to trial and argue a favorable defense. Our lawyers have collectively defended more than 9000 criminal court cases and jury trials in the court system. During that time, we have also established effective working relationships with judges in the criminal court system and state prosecutors.
We use our knowledge, experience, and relationships to achieve favorable case results, including complete dismissal of their pending criminal charges.
Some of our successful case results have appeared in:
- CBS News
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- NBC News
- Los Angeles Times
- The Washington Post
- New York Daily News
Some of our most recent accolades and awards include:
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association
- 5 Star Ratings on Google Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach
- 10.0 Lawyer Rating on Justia
- 5 Star Peer-Reviewed on Martindale-Hubbell
- 10.0 Superb Rating on AVVO
- 5 Star Rating on Lawyers.com
- Rated best criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles & Orange County by Expertise
- 5 Star Rating on Findlaw
Common Defenses to a Criminal Drug Possession While Armed Charge in Los Angeles
Suppose you are currently pending a criminal charge for drug possession while armed. In that case, you will not receive any penalties unless and until a state prosecutor obtains a guilty finding or conviction against you.
Specifically, the prosecutor must satisfy every legal element of the underlying charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Since this is such a high burden to overcome, you can obtain a complete dismissal of your case if you argue a favorable defense at your criminal court trial.
You may be subject to various penalties if the prosecutor obtains a conviction against you. The presiding judge at a sentencing hearing will determine those penalties according to Section 11370.1 of the California Health and Safety Code.
Under that statute, possessing a drug while armed is a felony. Upon conviction, an individual can receive a maximum of four years of incarceration in a California state prison, a maximum monetary fine of $10,000, and a period of formal probation.
It is also important to keep in mind that the state prosecutor handling your case does not have the discretion to reduce your drug possession while armed charge down to a misdemeanor. Instead, it must remain a felony.
However, we can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your pending charge to a lesser offense, such as a misdemeanor simple drug possession.
Additionally, you might qualify for a period of felony probation as opposed to jail time. If a criminal judge grants you probation, you may spend one year in county jail then remain under supervision for three years. Also, during probation, you must undergo regular drug counseling and testing, attend monthly meetings with your probation officer, and complete a certain number of community service hours.
In addition to these potential legal penalties, you may experience several collateral consequences upon conviction for drug possession while armed.
First, you may have difficulty gaining admission to a college, university, or other educational program, given that you have a criminal conviction on your record. Similarly, you may have difficulty finding a job or a place to live. Finally, the chances are good that you will suffer significant harm to your professional and personal reputation in the community.
If you ultimately sustain a guilty finding or conviction on your drug possession while armed charge, we can represent you at your sentencing hearing and argue for a minor penalty in your case. We can also work to lessen or eliminate the collateral consequences you ultimately face post-conviction.
What Is a Possession While Armed Criminal Charge in California?
In California, Section 11370.1 of the Health and Safety Code makes it illegal for an individual to possess certain types of drugs, along with an operable and loaded firearm. Controlled substances that apply to this statutory provision include PCP, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.
For a prosecutor to legally prove that you are guilty of this offense, they do not need to establish that you used the firearm to threaten someone – or that you actually discharged the gun. Instead, the prosecutor can simply show that you had a qualifying controlled substance in your possession, along with a loaded firearm.
Moreover, if a prosecutor obtains a conviction against you for this offense, you are not eligible to participate in a diversion program, including a deferred entry of judgment or DEJ.
As in any criminal case, the state prosecutor has the sole legal burden of proof for obtaining a conviction.
To prove that you are guilty of drug possession while armed, the prosecutor must demonstrate that:
- The controlled substance at issue was an illegal substance to possess
- You possessed a usable amount of the controlled substance at issue
- You were fully aware that the substance was a controlled substance
- You had an operable and loaded firearm in your possession that was both available for immediate use and accessible at the same time you possessed the controlled substance
If you are currently pending a Los Angeles drug possession while armed charge, we can review the facts and circumstances of your case, including the circumstances of your arrest, and determine whether to argue one or more legal defenses at your criminal court trial. We can then pursue a successful course of action for your case.
Potential Defenses You May Raise at Trial
In any criminal case, the accused individual does not need to satisfy any legal burden of proof. However, they can raise one or more defenses to their pending charge at trial. A successful defense may negate one or more legal elements of the prosecution's case, preventing the prosecutor from satisfying their legal burden of proof. Therefore, the accused individual may ultimately get a complete dismissal of their case.
You can argue several legal defenses in response to a criminal charge involving drug possession while armed.
Those defenses may include:
- That the firearm at issue was neither operable nor loaded
- That you did not know that the substance you possessed was a controlled substance
- That you were unaware of the firearm's presence, such as in a home or vehicle that you did not own
- That a police officer violated your Fourth Amendment constitutional right against unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures
In some situations, we can argue that a police officer or investigator violated your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. For example, if you invoked your right to the presence of legal counsel post-arrest, but the police officer continued asking you questions, any incriminating statements you made might be subject to suppression at your criminal court trial.
We can determine which defenses we can raise in response to your drug possession while armed charge and, if appropriate, argue the applicable defense on your behalf in court.
Negotiating a Favorable Plea Deal With the State Prosecutor in Your Case
Instead of asserting a legal defense in response to your drug possession while armed charge, we can negotiate a fair plea deal with the state prosecutor who is handling your case.
As part of a plea deal, the prosecutor may offer you a probation period, or they may reduce your criminal charge in exchange for a guilty plea. If the prosecutor offers you probation and you complete all the required terms, any conviction for the underlying offense may go away.
However, you should be aware of certain legal rights you waive if you plead guilty to a criminal charge. For example, you will waive your constitutional right to a trial by jury and your right to appeal your case.
Also, if you decide to move forward with a plea deal, you must appear in court and place your plea deal on the record. Specifically, you will need to state, on the record, that you agree to the deal voluntarily, freely, and willingly. You must also say that no one coerced you into accepting the plea deal.
Our legal team can advise whether it is worthwhile to accept a pending plea deal from the prosecution in your case or take your case to a criminal court proceeding and argue a defense.
If you have one or more strong legal defenses to your pending criminal charge, you may be better off taking your case to trial. However, if you do not have a robust legal defense, accepting a plea deal from the prosecution may be the better option.
Our legal team can negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf and obtain the best possible deal in your case.
What to Do Following a Criminal Arrest
If a police officer arrests you for drug possession while armed, invoke your rights to remain silent and call an attorney during any questioning. Otherwise, prosecutors may use anything you say against you when your case goes to trial.
Once you invoke these rights, call our firm for help. We can begin your defense representation immediately when necessary to protect your rights.
Talk to a Los Angeles Drug Possession While Armed Defense Attorney Today
If you are currently pending criminal charges for drug possession while armed in Los Angeles, you must retain a skilled attorney to represent you as quickly as possible. If you wait too long to seek legal counsel in your case, an attorney may not have time to speak with witnesses, formulate strong legal defenses, and thoroughly prepare your case for a trial. Additionally, if you show up to court without an attorney, the judge is not obligated to postpone your case. Instead, they can make you proceed forward without an attorney.
At Chudnovsky Law, our experienced team of attorneys can enter an appearance on your behalf right away and begin advocating aggressively for your legal rights and interests.