Justia Lawyer Rating for Will Morehead
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State Bar of California
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Drug Crimes

Just as addiction issues are common, so are drug charges. Fortunately, it is far less common today for narcotics offenses to send defendants to prison than it was during the peak of the War on Drugs. At present, addiction is more often seen a disease best suited for treatment rather than incarceration. As such, a drug case is often a fixable problem and one which can prompt much needed attention on the defendant’s bigger issue of addiction.

Simple possession of illegal narcotics (Health and Safety Code §§ 11377, 11350, 11357, Business and Professions Code § 4060) or of paraphernalia (Health and Safety Code § 11364) is a misdemeanor, unless the defendant is a sex offender registrant (Penal Code § 290) or has certain prior violent convictions. Being under the influence of a drug (Health and Safety Code § 11550) is also treated as a misdemeanor.

Felony charges can be brought based on allegations of sales or transport activity or possession with the intent to sell or transport (Health and Safety Code §§ 11351, 11351.5, 11352, 11359, 11360, 11370.6, 11378, 11378.5, 11379, 11379.5). Such allegations are usually based on evidence of sales or transport activities, the possession of larger quantities of or individually packaged narcotics, cell phone data, or intercepted communications.

Felony or misdemeanor charges may also be brought based on allegations of drug manufacturing (Health and Safety Code § 11379.6) or unlawful cultivation activity (Health and Safety Code § 11358). Knowingly leasing space for manufacturing, storing, or distributing controlled substance can also result in a felony or misdemeanor charge (Health and Safety Code § 11366.5).

Defenses to drug charges include whether the seized substance was actually an unlawful narcotic, whether it was a useable amount, or whether the defendant had the required knowledge or intent. In addition, a motion to suppress evidence based on law enforcement’s violation of the Fourth Amendment or the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act can result in a dismissal in some cases.

If a drug case cannot be defeated, a defendant can often opt for treatment over traditional penal consequences and eventually earn a case dismissal under drug diversion, deferred entry of judgment, or Proposition 36 programs.

If a felony conviction is unavoidable, the penalties are generally less serious than those for felony crimes against persons. Possession with intent to sell carries a three-year maximum term, while actual sales or transport carries a maximum of five years. Manufacturing can reach up to seven years. A prior felony conviction for a drug-related crime can bring an additional three-year enhancement (Health and Safety Code § 11370.2). Another possible danger is drug offender registration (Health and Safety Code § 11590), which is required for sales offenses as well as any charge of being under the influence.

Drug crimes can become more serious if there is an allegation of a sale to or other involvement of a minor. There is a presumption against probation for furnishing phenylcyclohexyl piperidine (PCP or “angel dust”). There is the possibility of an enhancement of three to 25 years based on the amount for transport or sale of cocaine, freebase, or heroin. Any defendant personally armed with a firearm in the commission of a sales, transport, or manufacturing offense can face a weapons enhancement of up to five years.

If drug charges are threatening you or a loved one, an experienced attorney is needed to minimize any possible penal consequences and see to it that the right help is offered for any underlying addiction issues. Call me today for a free confidential consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Will is a fantastic lawyer. This isn't the first time I've had a run-in with the courts. Will is the hardest working and most thorough attorney I've worked with and absolutely went above and beyond in my case. Every possible avenue of defense from motions to appeals were worked, and though my case didn't end up with the strikeout win we all hope and wish for, I would have no hesitation to hire him again should I ever find myself needing a defense lawyer again. I highly recommend him if you find yourself needing help. Jesse
★★★★★
Will Morehead is a FANTASTIC attorney!!! He is professional, knowledgeable, personable and time-efficient. He answered my call immediately and after I explained my situation, he was able to give me an overview of the law as it related to my situation, and to project the possible outcomes. I felt immediately at ease talking with him. Christine
★★★★★
I worked with Will for about a year. He was able to help me receive my freedom. In order to do that, Will had to overcome multiple challenges and he overcame them all. I'm very happy to have worked with him, he's a very trustful hardworking man. I'm very greatful for everything he did did my family and I and will forever be. N.A
★★★★★
Will Morehead is masterful. He is truly masterful. Never mind that he is pleasant, he has the goods in spades. Remarkably talented and doing the work he was always meant to do, whilst ever refining a skill set that is already stellar. In my case, Will had to sift through, digest, edit and utilize loads of material with less than half the normal time to prepare. Chris
★★★★★
The best defense is indeed a great offense. Lighten your journey by retaining Will Morehead as your criminal defense shield. One of the brightest lights in the profession of legal advocacy, Will Morehead will forever be my "Warrior Will." If you are in need of Criminal Defense protection, it would behoove you to call out to him today. My case resulted in DISMISSAL by the Court on July 27, 2020. Melissanne