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July 2015 Archives

Are "Drug Possession for personal use" cases still serious?

Drug possession for personal use cases are still very serious.  Even though simple possession for personal use of a small quantity of illegal drugs are misdemeanor charges, they still carry possible jail time up to a year, up to $1000 fine and some drug charges carry registration as a drug offender with local law enforcement.  Illegal drugs are not just methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine and mushrooms, but also include prescription drugs like vicodin and oxycotin without a prescription.  Since Prop 47 reduced all of these charges to misdemeanors, people are often cited and released initially rather than taken to jail and given a Court date.  These charges can also effect you driving privilege, immigration, employment, licensing, education, career choices and many other aspects of your life.

What is a criminal "battery" charge?

A criminal "battery" charge is a misdemeanor offensive touching.  The charge does not require any injury whatsoever.  It could be a shove, a punch, a slap, a grabbing or any rude or angry touching.  It has to be unlawful and intended, not accidental and not in self defense. Words alone, like name calling, do not justify any unlawful touching.  The California Penal Code (PC) section is 242.  That charge carries up to 6 months jail and $1000 fine.  Additionally, it is one of those charges that prohibits gun ownership or possession for 10 years.  If there is a weapon involved or injury, then it could be a felony.