California is the most populous state in the United States, which is why it is not unheard of to see drug crimes every day. California, according to statistics, is home to approximately three million people who are addicted to illegal drugs today, with 10% of then suffering from mental and physical drug abuse symptoms. In 2012, drug abuse took the lives of about 11 people every day living in California and the problem continues to grow. Southern California, especially, is known to be a hotspot for drug addiction because of the drug transportation that takes place between southern California and Mexico on the border.
In 2012, a study conducted on drug use in California found that the growing epidemic was mostly caused by “an increased awareness of the right to pain relief, the support of various organizations supporting the use of opioids in large doses, and finally, aggressive marketing by the pharmaceutical industry.” Young adults are known to be some of the biggest users of heroin in California.
Changes in Possession Laws in 2000
In 2000, California voters passed something known as the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, also known as Prop 36. This law states that each person who is arrested for non-violent drug offenses should be offered opportunities for treatment instead of just serving a prison sentence. This was put in place due to the harsh sentencing laws that are taken into consideration when you are charged with even possession of heroin, which is a felony and could land you in jail for several years on any other occasion. Prop 47 went on to eliminate prison sentences for simple possession if you have no prior convictions, though they can still choose to impose a prison sentence. Usually, you will see probation and a fine of up to $70.
Heroin possession is not charged as harshly as sale or trafficking, which could send you to prison for years and impose huge fines of thousands of dollars. No matter what, if you have been charged with heroin possession, you should have a criminal defense attorney on your side who understands the laws in these cases. We can help you in your time of need.