While the smoke has hardly settled from the victory celebrations of California's marijuana smokers' November victory to legalize the recreational use of pot in the state, Assemblyman Tom Lackey has thrust up a new roadblock that could land those who smoke and drive behind bars.
Every drug charge, even those that appear minor on the surface, can impact the rest of your life. This holds true both on a personal and professional level. For this reason, you need to understand your legal rights should you be charged with a drug offense. With the right information on your side, it's easier to employ a defense strategy that may help you avoid the most serious consequences.
Drug overdose incidents don't have to be fatal in many cases. If a person got medical care right away, he or she may live; without care that is given quickly, the chances of passing away increase dramatically. Every minute makes the danger greater.
Crime is often an act of desperation. It's nothing that the person would have done if he or she had not had outside factors to consider. There is a very interesting connection that can be found when looking at drug crimes, as the use of drugs and the need for money to purchase more often leads to other crimes.
Being charged with a crime is a serious matter, regardless of what crime you are accused of committing. Still, some crimes are more punishing -- and, thus, more serious -- than others, and in this regard drug charges are especially severe. People who are accused of drug crimes often deal with massive penalties that seem arbitrary. Mandatory minimums may be involved in your case, depending on the circumstances.
Last week an incredible bit of a news broke in regards to the criminal justice system, especially when it concerns drug charges and those who commit non-violent drug offenses. A group of senators put together a program that would change many of the unfortunate fundamental pieces to our drug crime system. And even more shocking, it was a bipartisan group of senators -- but we'll leave the political jokes to the late night TV hosts.
In many drug cases, you will hear the phrase "controlled substance." It may sound like a meaningless phrase when devoid of context; but within the world of drug charges, this is a very important term. Quite simply, a controlled substance is an illegal drug that has a detrimental impact on a person's health and well-being. Therefore, controlled substances are banned by state and federal governments.
Back in 2000, California voters were tired of too many people being sent to jail for minor and non-violent drug offenses, so they passed the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000, or Proposition 36.
What would you think about a system that would help people who were accused of drug crimes? Instead of the usual criminal justice system run-around, where they are thrown in jail or given critical penalties that prevent them from moving past the charges against them, they are instead given resources to help them improve themselves and avoid these sinister consequences that often lead people back into the criminal acts that got them into trouble in the first place.
"Drug crimes" is an umbrella term that applies to a wide variety of drug charges. No matter the charge, a drug crime is a serious offense to be charged with, and the person who is being accused of the crime needs to defend himself or herself accordingly. But what do these various types of charges mean, and what can the accused person expect from these myriad violations? Let's start with a couple of basic charges: "drug paraphernalia" and "drug possession."