Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

In 1992 I was charged with drug chrgs, I faught the case for a yr, and was given a civil addict commitment number instead of a felon number. Recently I relapsed and was arrested again in 2009. I seriously need help with my drug problem. in the last few months ive managed to OD twice however I was blessed with the help of the people whom love me that pulled me back out of these near fatal deaths. In my most recent case the prosecution is charging me with sales, and are refusing me a prop 36 program because the prior felony. im confused I was told that, that arrest in 92 would be looked upon as a civil addict commitment and not a felony. What and how do I obtain the proper help? prison is not the answer, you can even ask the local hospital that struggled four long hours trying to pull me out of a coma I slipped into by a mixture of drugs i took to escape all this worry and depression over problems. please help me

Asked on 9/26/09, 8:18 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Marshall Law Office of Robert L, Marshall

It appears that the real problem is the nature of your new charges.

Probation under Proposition 36/Penal Code 1210 provides treatment instead of incarceration for people convicted of nonviolent drug possession offenses. You wouldn't be eligible if convicted of selling drugs or possession for sale.

Some prior convictions can disqualify a person from Prop 36, but it doesn't sound like your 17 year old case is one of them.

You need an attorney to help you. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, the judge will appoint a public defender.

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Answered on 9/26/09, 10:16 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Help?? Unless you're competent to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor trying to put you in jail, most people hire an attorney who can. The attorney can determine what defenses and legal arguments are available to you, and how to use them in plea bargaining or at trial. If you are serious about doing so, feel free to contact me. If you can't afford private counsel, apply for the public defender.

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Answered on 9/27/09, 5:42 pm
Jacek W. Lentz Law Offices of Jacek W. Lentz

There is no connection between the DA's decision to pursue sales charges and your past conviction. A possession with intent to sale case is based on facts and circumstances of your present case, which could be described as indicia of sales, such as presence of significant amounts of drug, cash, scales, packaging materials, incriminating text messages, etc. The fact that you OD-ed is evidence of your personal consumption, rather than sales, and should help you in your case. You must contact a lawyer for a more detailed consultation regarding your chances and facts of your case.

Jacek W. Lentz, Esq. 213.250.9200

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Answered on 9/28/09, 6:14 pm

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