Seek Assistance From Experienced Drug Crime Defense Attorneys

The Law Office of Benjamin R. Greene & Associates provides criminal defense services to California clients accused of drug crimes in Bakersfield, Delano, and throughout Kern County. Substance abuse is a medical issue that merits treatment, but our society punishes it as a serious crime. Many people who do not consider themselves “junkies” may fall into the crosshairs of the war on drugs. A prime example involves prescription pills. Someone who has possession of another person’s prescription medication is exposing themselves to potential felony charges, even if they possess that medication for a legitimate purpose. If you find yourself in a situation like this, seek help from one of our skilled Bakersfield lawyers, immediately. While possession of a small amount of methamphetamine for personal use is charged in many jurisdictions as a misdemeanor, in Kern County as a matter of “policy” it is almost always charged as a felony.

First-Time Drug Possession Offenders & The Drug Diversion Program

The voters of California have passed into law a requirement that first-time drug possession offenders receive a drug diversion program. Under this program, the offender attends classes on the evils of drug addiction and is required to test clean—if they successfully complete the program, the charges are dismissed. However, without the assistance of a drug crime lawyer in the Bakersfield area, having the charges reduced or eliminated can be difficult. In years past, offenders were frequently sent to jail or even state prison if they missed three of those classes for any reason. Now, there is a second opportunity. Offenders who fail the diversion program are sent to a “Proposition 36″ program—a more structured program of rehabilitation—at the discretion of the probation officer. This program can include outpatient or inpatient treatment, as well as testing. Jail sentences are given for failures. After three failures, the offender is kicked out of the program and sentenced.

Zero Tolerance Policy

The harsh truth is that even people who do not use drugs would struggle to complete the Proposition 36 program. As a drug crime defense attorney in the Delano area can explain, it is a “zero tolerance” type of regime that imposes many requirements on the participants. They are required to phone in for random testing, which must be done within a prescribed period. They are required to attend weekly drug education classes. A tardy arrival is a missed class. And everything costs money.

A Team Approach is Vital

A team approach is the best method to assure success in the program. First and foremost, you must have someone to drive you. Drug offenses carry mandatory suspensions of licenses, and there are lots of places you are going to have to be. Driving on a suspended license is, of course, a separate offense and could decrease your chances of completing the program. Secondly, the assistance of a physician who is educated in treating drug addiction is very important. Kicking the habit is not easy, and the current system shreds active drug users like a cheese grater. If you absolutely don’t stop using and associating with people who use, you will ultimately end up in prison. Many people who get arrested for possession think they can stop using but will still hang out with users. This method is a sure path to failure. Sooner or later the temptation will be overwhelming.

Why you need a drug crime defense lawyer in Bakersfield

If you have been arrested and charged with possession for sale of transportation of drugs, the prosecutor will often attempt to keep you out of the treatment programs in favor of jail time. You really need a criminal defense lawyer in Delano, Bakersfield or an criminal defense lawyer local to your area. Frequently, our criminal attorneys are able to persuade the district attorney or the court to allow our clients to address the underlying issue of their drug addiction without wasting a prison cell on a nonviolent offender. We recently handled a case where our client was arrested and charged with transporting nine grams of methamphetamine. The offer the public defender conveyed was sixteen months in prison. We were able to persuade the district attorney to offer him outpatient treatment.