Articles Posted in Drug Crime

Six people were arrested in a Los Angeles drug raid at a marijuana dispensary. According to, the drug arrests occurred at the White Oak Healing Center in Northridge. Authorities say they conducted the raid after determining the center was a front for a large drug trafficking operation. Officers seized 20 pounds of cocaine, 75 pounds of marijuana and oxycodone pills. The 60-year male owner of the facility faces up to 13 years in prison and five others face up to a decade of incarceration if convicted.

Drug raids have been known to lead to wrongful arrests and excessive penalties. When the authorities arrest multiple people at one time, there is always the chance that a few of the suspects were not fully aware of what was happening or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Investigators working on these types of cases will have to ask a number of questions.

What evidence led the authorities to conduct the drug raid? Were the drugs legally seized during the raid? Were the suspects read their rights during the complicated drug bust? Is there sufficient evidence linking all of the suspects to the alleged crimes? While it is important to keep illegal drugs off the street, it is also important that individuals are not wrongfully arrested or convicted.

A total of sixteen people were arrested throughout Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties following a six-month drug ring investigation. According to a news report in The Ventura County Star, the Santa Barbara Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team seized 16 grams of rock cocaine and 12 pounds of methamphetamine during this bust. Not only were the 16 people arrested, but eight children were also removed from their homes under the Drug Endangered Children Program. The report states that warrants were served during the June 9, 2011 drug raid and that the authorities obtained $200,000 in cash and five handguns in addition to the drugs.

Major drug busts that result in the arrests of multiple people at numerous locations can become immensely complicated. Authorities do their best to make sure that those directly connected to criminal acts are penalized. Unfortunately, it is common in these types of cases for certain individuals to be penalized more than others and for some people to be wrongfully arrested for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Drug charges in California relating to possession and distribution often results in lengthy incarceration and heavy fines. Anyone facing serious drug charges would be well advised to immediately seek legal guidance before discussing the specifics of the case with the authorities.

On Monday, January 3, the California Supreme Court ruled that police searches of cell phones without a warrant are allowed under standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court, reports

The court was ruling on a case from Ventura County that involved a man who had been arrested and convicted on drug charges. When the man was arrested, police confiscated six tablets of ecstasy and his cell phone. A detective who did not have a search warrant discovered text messages on the man’s phone that talked about selling the drugs. The man admitted he participated in the drug deal, and also pleaded guilty to transporting a controlled substance. He was sentenced to probation. However, he appealed the use of his cell phone’s text messages as evidence on the basis that the detective did not have a search warrant.

Previously, U.S. Supreme Court rulings have permitted warrantless searches of a person’s personal property that are “immediately associated” with them when they are arrested, such as cigarette packages or clothing. In this case, the California Supreme Court found that law enforcement officers are able to search cell phones within 90 minutes following a person’s arrest under the Fourth Amendment, and upheld the man’s drug conviction by a 5-2 vote. Justice Ming Chin stated he believed the man’s cell phone was similar to clothing; therefore it was able to be searched.

A Ventura County man has been arrested for providing heroin to a minor who died later from an overdose. On May 22, 2010, a 15-year-old boy died after he overdosed on drugs, which officials say was provided by the defendant. According to ABC 7 News, the arrest was made on October 27 in Ojai following a four-month investigation. Police allege the Ojai man gave the teenager heroin and have charged him with providing controlled substances to a minor.

Selling or providing illegal drugs to a minor is a felony drug charge in California. Convicted offenders could face years of incarceration in a state prison and a strike under the California Three Strikes Law. Defendants facing felony drug charges would be well-advised to speak with a reputed criminal defense attorney to examine their legal rights and options.

In any drug crime case, it is critical to have skilled legal defense. The stakes in a drug crime case are extremely high, especial if a death is involved. A knowledgeable drug attorney will break down the evidence provided by the prosecutors and determine if any of the defendant’s constitutional rights were violated during the arrest, as many drug crime arrests are made illegally without proper warrants. In cases where the drug charges cannot be dismissed, a drug offense attorney will seek to have the drug charges reduced to a lesser offense. Depending upon the circumstances of the drug offense, defendants may also be able to avoid jail time through alternative sentencing, such as rehabilitation or community service.

Today, Lindsay Lohan is required to appear in person for a probation violation hearing for a drug test she failed last month relating to her DUI case. Lohan has been at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, voluntarily for the past three weeks since she was bailed out of jail on September 24. It is Lohan’s fifth time in rehab, and may affect whether Lohan appears in court tomorrow.

Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Steve Sitkoff is not involved in Lohan’s case but told, “The key here is her progress in treatment. The better she’s doing in rehab, the less likely Judge Elden Fox will throw her in jail. Judge Fox has to balance whether to help Lindsay with her addiction or punish her with jail. But if she continues to mess up by not following the court’s orders, he won’t hesitate to lock her up.”

There are a number of possible scenarios that may happen today. The famous actress may be found in violation and immediately sent back to jail, or she could be ordered to stay in rehab in lieu of jail. If her attorney provides a letter from the Betty Ford Center that details Lohan’s progress in rehab, she may skip the hearing altogether. There’s also a possibility Judge Fox may postpone the hearing to see how well Lohan does in treatment.

A article reported on Thursday, September 23, that Lindsay Lohan had failed a drug test and was ordered to appear before a Beverly Hills judge on Friday. The well-known actress was reported to have tested positive for cocaine and amphetamines. In anticipating that Superior Court Judge Elden Fox would order more rehab for Lohan instead of giving her a jail sentence, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Steve Sitkoff told People, “Judge Fox is a compassionate judge who might choose to help her with her addiction versus just punishing her with jail.” According to Lohan’s probation terms, she could face 30 days in jail if she failed to take a drug test or got a positive result.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday, September 24 that Judge Fox ordered Lohan to jail for violating her probation by testing positive for a controlled substance. It was the Judge’s decision as to whether Lohan would be sent back to drug rehabilitation for treatment or face jail time. Judge Fox stated that additional information was needed from probation officials regarding Lohan’s condition before a revocation hearing could take place. Lohan was then ordered into custody without bail. The court date has been scheduled for October 22.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to feel under the spotlight when facing drug charges in Los Angeles. Being accused of a drug offense can be an intimidating process, leaving several individuals unsure about his or her legal rights. Addiction is a very serious and complex issue that should be thoroughly evaluated in drug crime cases to help the accused establish a healthy way of rejoining society as a productive contributor. Too often the social stigma that comes along with a drug offense overshadows a person’s need for rehabilitation and treatment.

Five people were arrested in a Southern California drug bust on September 10, 2010. According to an ABC News report, the suspects face many charges including possession of narcotics, violation of probation and parole, being under the influence of controlled substances and possession with intent to sell. During the raid, authorities found marijuana plants, methamphetamines and evidence, which they say, showed intent to sell the drugs. An investigation is underway.

Drug charges in California are very serious and result in harsh penalties. It is illegal to possess, sell or transport any type of narcotic or controlled substance. State and federal laws prohibit it. When it comes to marijuana, the state of California allows the drug for medical use only. The severity of the penalties in drug crimes depends upon a number of factors. Possession with intent to sell, for example, results in stricter penalties than possession for personal use only. The amount and type of drugs found may also determine the charges in these types of cases.

A skilled Orange County drug crime defense lawyer will have an understanding of California’s “search and seizure” laws and will conduct an investigation to determine if any rights were violated during such police raids. If you have been charged with a drug offense in Southern California, please contact a knowledgeable drug crime defense attorney at Sitkoff & Hanrahan. Call us at 1-866-430-8383 for a free and comprehensive consultation.

California’s Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, known as “Proposition 36,” was passed by California voters in 2000. Proposition 36 allows people receiving their first or second nonviolent, simple drug possession conviction to seek treatment instead of going to jail. By taking Proposition 36’s treatment option, over 36,000 California residents get help for drug addiction each year instead of going to jail.

Californians who are eligible for Proposition 36 treatment must meet certain criteria. First, they must not have been convicted of a violent or serious felony, including manufacturing or selling illegal drugs. Second, they must be on their first or second conviction for drug possession or being under the influence, be on probation for drug possession or being under the influence, or be on parole for a nonviolent felony.

Under Proposition 36, a judge in charge of sentencing an eligible person may choose to place that person on probation and require that he or she complete a drug treatment program. The length and intensity of the drug treatment program varies with each individual case. Once the treatment program is over, their attorney may petition the court to dismiss the drug charges.

A 35-year-old woman from Sonora, California was arrested on drug charges after officials found 5.3 grams of methamphetamine, syringes, drug paraphernalia and a marijuana cigarette after pulling her over for another violation. According to a news report in, the woman faces serious California meth drug possession charges.

Whenever drugs are confiscated, a California drug crime defense attorney will be needed to investigate whether an individual’s rights were infringed upon. A police officer cannot simply search a vehicle for drugs without probable cause. If illegal items are visible to anyone looking into a car window, they may be eligible to be seized by police. But without having facts to justify a search, items that are hidden in the trunk or glove compartment are harder for police to obtain.

Even when illegal drugs, such as Meth or Cocaine are found, a drug lawyer can play an important role in court. There are often alternative sentencing options available to people charged with a drug crime. Community service, rehabilitation and weekend jails may be some viable options for a person facing jail time and other serious penalties. A drug crime attorney in California can be a valuable asset in a possession case by reviewing all possible options for someone charged with a drug crime. California drug crime convictions carry severe penalties. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

ABC News reports that 11 High School students in Ventura County could face drug charges after the arrest of a Thousand Oaks teen; who officials say, had marijuana in his vehicle and marijuana plants at his home. Police say the 18-year-old sold drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, Xanax and Vicodin to students at Westlake high school. Investigators say additional drug arrests are possible in this case.

You do not have to be found selling drugs to be charged with intent to sell. When the amount of drugs discovered is determined to be more than what one person can reasonably use, or if the manner in which it is packaged suggests that it is going to be shared or sold, that person faces “intent to sell” charges. One of the first steps a Los Angeles or Ventura County drug crime defense lawyer will perform is a thorough review of how the drugs were found. Everyone has a right to privacy in California. Police officers require a warrant or probable cause to search for and seize drugs from a suspect or vehicle.

Simple possession of marijuana in California is a misdemeanor. Even a first-time offense of possession with less than one ounce can lead to a $100 fine and jail time. However, cultivation, sale, distribution, transportation and selling drugs to minors all carry potentially life-changing penalties. Having an experienced drug crime defense lawyer on your side can make a huge difference in your drug case.

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