Criminal Investigation of Drug-Related Cases
Drugs in the San Fernando Valley have been going on for the last 26 years that I've been practicing, and I'm sure a long time before that. The courts — San Fernando and Van Nuys — handle them very seriously, and the penalties can be severe.
This is especially true if there's any gang affiliation related to the drug trade, the person is selling drugs, or if any weapons are found. Those seem to be the main areas where they come down hard when someone's got a gun when gangs are involved.
Also, when you're talking about large amounts — major narcotics will usually get involved — and it's unlikely one of the Valley courts would handle it. It will probably be moved to downtown Los Angeles. Or, if it's on a big enough scale, the feds will get involved and be prosecuted in the Central District here in California.
Suppose you have a drug case, then you must contact an attorney like e who knows the court system, who has handled issues with the prosecutors in that court system, and can bring to bear all of the mitigating evidence related to you. The types of things that they're worried about are protecting the public from drug overdose and any violence that might occur during a drug transaction. So, the narcotic officers in the San Fernando Valley are tasked with investigating drug-related offenses.
They are notorious for trying to get people they arrest to cooperate with them and give them information about other people. I mean, to the point where they will say to somebody — especially somebody they view as a user — listen, if you tell us where you got this from, who you got it from — give us some information — we'll let you go, and they'll do it. They're not kidding about that.
But if you're a little more involved and you're selling it, and they're trying to go up the chain, and they say to you in a drug case, the Valley narcotics detectives — if you tell us who gave this to you, we'll get rid of your case.
I would be slightly leerier about that because they're often not truthful about that. You always want to get an attorney involved, especially when you're facing potential charges when you're talking to the police because the police will be a lot more evil than the prosecutors will be.
The prosecutors are lawyers. They know they have to be careful about what they say and do. So, they're not going to make any representations that aren't true.
So, if they tell you something, it's typically good, accurate information that you can take to the bank. Which, if you have a drug case pending or you're getting arrested for a drug case, and the detectives or police are telling you something, I would scratch my head on that one.
What are the Defenses for Drug Cases?
Make sure you go to an attorney before you decide about taking any deal where the police are making representations.
But if you have a drug case in the San Fernando Valley, you're in a much better resolution. A lot of these cases that you used to have to serve prison on are only done in county jail, and the percentages of time because of the issue of overcrowding in the county jail are a lot less than they used to be when I first started.
You also impact programs like Prop 57, Prop 47, and some other Propositions that have made drug cases straight misdemeanors where they used to be felonies. So, many good things are going on from a defense standpoint related to drugs in the San Fernando Valley and the courthouses. However, prosecutors and judges are still the same. They still believe that drugs are very harmful to society.
Some victims overdose, so they're looking — if they get an opportunity — to send people to jail or prison if they possibly can in some of these drug cases. So, you want to make sure that you're well represented and you've got an attorney who's handled your type of case in the Valley courts.
So, if you need help, this is something that's right up my alley. I've been handling these questions for 26 years. I've taken thousands of cases throughout the San Fernando Valley. Pick up the phone. Make the call. Get your case moving in the right direction.