Should Selling Crack Cocaine and Powder Cocaine Carry the Same Punishment?

August 18, 2014,

The federal Anti-Drug Use Act of 1986 created separate sentencing guidelines for crimes involving crack cocaine and powder cocaine. California adopted the same sentences a year later, resulting in crimes involving crack being sentenced 100 times harsher than crimes involving powder cocaine. Under the law, it takes one-tenth the amount of crack cocaine to trigger the same strict sentences as powder cocaine. 1 Possession%20of%20Drugs%20for%20Sale%202.jpg

In an effort to reduce severe prison overcrowding, California is rethinking overly harsh criminal sentencing, especially for nonviolent crimes such as drug offenses. The California State Senate recently gave initial approval to Senate Bill 1010, which would reduce penalties for possessing crack cocaine for sale so they would match the punishment for crimes involving powder cocaine. 2

The bill will soon be voted on by the California State Assembly. If passed, it will then go before the governor for final approval. 3

Reducing Penalties for Possessing Crack Cocaine for Sale (Senate Bill 1010)

Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11352, possession of crack cocaine with the intent to sell is currently punishable by three, four or five years in county jail and a fine of up to $20,000.

Introduced by State Senator Holly Mitchell, Senate Bill 1010 would reduce the penalties for possession of crack cocaine (also known as cocaine base) for sale to equal the penalties for possession of powder cocaine. If passed, sentencing for those convicted of possessing cocaine base for sale would be reduced to two, three or four years in county jail. 4

The proposed bill would also make it easier for anyone convicted of either of these possession of cocaine offenses to obtain probation in lieu of jail time.

Why Pass Senate Bill 1010?

Supporters of Senate Bill 1010 argue that California’s current laws have led to institutional racism, citing state statistics that show African Americans are imprisoned for possession of crack cocaine for sale at a rate of 43 times more than whites. Since the sentencing guidelines were adopted in the late 1980s, cocaine base has been associated more with African Americans in urban neighborhoods, while powder cocaine has been more popular among wealthy and middle-class whites. 5

According to supporters of SB 1010, sentencing guidelines have led to a culture of rehabilitation amongst whites who possessed powder cocaine and arrest and punishment for blacks who possessed crack cocaine. The Journal of the American Medical Association said the two forms of cocaine have essentially the same effects on the human body. 6

Should Penalties for Selling Crack Cocaine and Powder Cocaine Be Equal?

What do you think about California’s proposed new bill? Should possession of crack cocaine for sale carry the same punishment as possession of powder cocaine for sale? Do sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine promote racism? Should California pass Senate Bill 1010 into law?

Wallin & Klarich would like to hear your opinion on this matter. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.



1. [http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-cocaine-crack-and-powder-sentencing-disparit-20140811-story.html]
2. [Bills on crack cocaine, medicinal pot advance in California, May 28, 2014, http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-80341482/]
3. [Id.]
4. [Id.]
5. [Id.]
6. [Id.]

Thousands of Drug Offenders Could Get Sentence Reductions

July 25, 2014,

More than 46,000 federal drug offenders could be eligible for sentence reductions after the U.S. Sentencing Commission recently approved a plan to extend federal drug sentencing guidelines to current inmates. 1 Possession%20-%20Transportation%20of%20Drugs%20for%20Sale.jpg

Prisoners who are eligible for sentence reductions will not be released until November 2015, giving judges the time necessary to review candidates and allow prosecutors to object if there are concerns about any inmates. 2

The commission’s unanimous vote follows a decision made in April to amend sentencing guidelines in some federal drug cases involving non-violent drug offenders. Those new guidelines will now extend to thousands of inmates currently serving time in federal prison due to drug crime convictions. 3

Sentence reductions for non-violent drug offenders will help condense the overcrowded federal prison system without harming public safety. The commission’s decision is a step towards ending decades-long efforts to punish drug crimes harshly.

How Will Sentence Reductions Affect You?

Federal judges in California will be able to begin reviewing eligible cases in November. Congress has until Nov. 1 to reject the measure, but they are not expected to reverse the decision. 4

According to the Daily Journal, there are more than 2,500 estimated federal drug offenders currently serving time in the California prison system that may be eligible for sentence reductions. Sentences for non-violent drug offenders will be reduced by two years, allowing many of the eligible inmates to be released. 5

Delaying reductions by a year will allow for any public safety concerns about eligible inmates to be addressed and give convicted drug offenders time to apply for sentence reductions. The Federal Bureau of Prisons will begin notifying inmates about the application process.

Despite the large number of eligible cases, reviews of federal drug offenders are not likely to overwhelm defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges. Much of the work involved has already taken place, including evaluating the inmates criminal history and determining a sentence. However, a small number of cases are expected to require an additional investigation by attorneys and judges, such as cases in which the prosecutor no longer works for the U.S. attorney’s office.

Are You Eligible for a Sentence Reduction?

If you or a loved one is currently serving time in jail for a federal drug offense, you need to contact an experienced federal defense attorney immediately to discuss eligibility for sentence reductions. You may be able to be released from prison and reunite with your family earlier than expected.

At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled federal attorneys have been successfully helping our clients with federal drug crime matters for over 30 years. We can help guide you through the application process and give you the best chance to have your sentence reduced.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our experienced federal defense attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call our offices today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.



1. [ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/18/federal-drug-sentences-reduced/12842893/]
2. [http://www.activistpost.com/2014/07/us-sentencing-commission-votes.html#!bk9R1I]
3. [Id.]
4. [Id.]
5. [Id.]

How to Avoid Being Arrested for Possession of Cocaine if You are Visiting Justin Bieber’s Home

January 17, 2014,

As has been reported by a number of media outlets nationally, L.A. County sheriff’s arrived at Justin Bieber’s Calabasas, Calif. home on Jan. 14 with 11 cop cars and a battering ram. Armed with a search warrant, Bieber’s home was being searched for evidence that could connect the pop star to the crime of felony vandalism.

Bieber’s Friend Arrested for Possession of Cocaine

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During the search of the home, the cops encountered cocaine in “plain sight,” which was later linked to one of Bieber’s house guests and entourage members, Lil Za. Lil Za, whose real name is Xavier Smith, was arrested for suspicion of possession of a controlled substance (HS 11350 (a)) and was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

This is a serious crime and could lead to Smith doing jail time or, if he is very lucky, having to participate in a lengthy and expensive drug program. If you are arrested for possession of cocaine, you face up to three years in county jail or you can be placed on formal probation. However, you may be able to attend a drug diversion program in order to get the case dismissed.

Was Lil Za the Victim of Illegal Search and Seizure?

Whether what the police did in discovering the drugs during the search was legal or not will depend upon the specific circumstances of this case.

The cocaine was found in “plain sight,” meaning the officers could legally seize the drugs as evidence of a crime. However, it is not known how the police lawfully connected Smith to the cocaine.

Because the drugs were found in Bieber’s home, they could ask the District Attorney’s office to file drug charges against the 19-year-old star. For example, if drugs were found in Bieber’s private bedroom (night stand, private bathroom, etc), the D.A. could try to argue that Justin was in “constructive possession” of these drugs.

How the Southern California Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Can Help

If Smith retains an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows what searches are legal and what searches are unlawful, he will stand a good chance of beating these possession of cocaine charges. The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending persons accused of drug charges. If you are facing charges of a drug-related crime, we may be able to have the charges reduced or the case dismissed completely.

Wallin & Klarich will continue to follow the Justin Bieber incident along with the hundreds of media outlets who will be covering it. The major difference is that our lawyers know the law of criminal defense cold and can update everyone on what is likely to happen from a legal point of view.

If you are facing possession of cocaine charges or if you believe evidence being used against you may have been seized illegally, call our offices today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

Have You Seen Molly?

December 4, 2013,

Have you ever heard young people asking “Have you seen Molly?” You should know that they aren’t talking about the girl next door.

“Molly” is a street name for MDMA, short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. There are a lot of slang terms for MDMA. “Ecstasy” and "Molly" are the most common. Molly, however, is supposed to be free of adulterants, such as caffeine or methamphetamine. You might also hear “E,” “XTC,” “X,” “Adam,” “hug,” “beans,” “clarity,” “lover's speed,” and “love drug."

Molly aka Ecstasy is the “in” Club Drug

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Ecstasy is a very popular club drug. A "club drug" is a name given to a variety of recreational drugs that are typically found and used by partygoers to enhance their experiences at night clubs, “raves” (all-night dance parties), concerts and house parties. Club drugs generally provide a stimulating and hallucinogenic effect which makes many users feel euphoric.

Ecstasy users typically reach their peak “high” about an hour after swallowing or snorting the drug. Effects of ecstasy generally last between three to six hours.

Because there is no accepted medical use for ecstasy, its possession, sale or transportation is always illegal.

What is MDMA?

3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a controlled substance, a narcotic drug regulated under California and federal law. MDMA is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it has:

  • A high potential for abuse, and
  • No currently accepted medical use in the United States.

Simple Possession of Ecstasy or Molly in California (Health and Safety Code § 11377)

If the police arrest you for possessing ecstasy or Molly for personal use, you will be charged with “possession” of a controlled substance pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 11377. This offense is what is known as a “wobbler” in California – meaning the prosecutor has the option of charging you with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on:

  • The facts of your case; and
  • Your criminal history.

A misdemeanor conviction for possession for personal use of ecstasy in California is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. A felony conviction for this offense is punishable by up to three years in jail and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.

In some cases, a person accused of a violation of possession of ecstasy (HS 11377) may be eligible to participate in a drug diversion program. If you successfully complete drug diversion, you are entitled to a dismissal of your possession charge.

Possession for Sale of Ecstasy or Molly in California (Health and Safety Code § 11378)

Possession with the intent to sell ecstasy is a felony. If you are convicted under California law, you can be sentenced to serve up to three years in jail and fined up to $10,000. Because this offense involves potential sales and not simply personal possession, you are not eligible for drug diversion.

Sales or Transportation of Molly or Ecstasy in California (Health and Safety Code § 11379)
Health and Safety Code Section 11379 makes sales or transportation of ecstasy a felony offense. If you are convicted of violating this California law, you face up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both a fine and imprisonment. If you transport ecstasy across more than two counties, your sentence can increase to three, six or nine years in prison plus the same fine.

Drug Trafficking of Ecstasy under Federal Law (18 U.S.C. § 841)

If you possess large quantities of ecstasy and/or import or export the illegal drug across state lines or U.S. borders (also known as “drug trafficking”), you may attract the attention of federal authorities and be subject to prosecution by the United States government.

Drug trafficking of ecstasy is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. If anyone is seriously injured or dies as a result of using the drug you face 20 years to life in prison.

Finally, a conviction for any ecstasy-related offense under either California or federal law could lead to your deportation or removal from the United States if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Wallin & Klarich Attorneys are Available 24/7 if You are Arrested on Drug Charges

If you or someone you know has been arrested for possession, sales, transportation or trafficking of MDMA, contact our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney from Wallin & Klarich could mean the difference between you serving a lengthy jail or prison sentence and a reduction or dismissal of your charges. Getting you the best possible result in your case is our only goal.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience defending thousands of clients facing prosecution on state and federal drug charges. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Continue To Seek Out New Business Models

August 21, 2013,

In California, the battle continues over the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries. Front and center is the issue of the scope of local zoning authority over medical marijuana facilities. Recently, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center (California Supreme Court – May. 2013), that the Compassionate Use Act (Prop 215) and the Medical Marijuana Program Act of 2004 do not preempt local ordinances that completely ban medical marijuana facilities.

What Medical Marijuana Advocates are Doing

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Despite the state Supreme Court’s ruling, medical marijuana advocates are actively pursuing unique cultivation and distribution models. Medical marijuana continues to present questions regarding public safety and land use. A great number of marijuana facilities have decided to shift their business model to mobile dispensary services in lieu of actual storefront operations. The state Supreme Court has been silent as to the extent which local regulatory structures would conflict with the Federal Controlled Substances Act. The Federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits all marijuana possession, cultivation and distribution.

Two major questions remain after the ruling in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center:

  • Can local governments regulate cultivation sites? and
  • Can local governments regulate the transportation of medical marijuana to patients?

Notwithstanding the decision in the City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, marijuana advocates continue to seek out new business models, legislative amendments and voter initiatives in an effort to increase sales of marijuana to the public.

How Wallin & Klarich Can Help with Marijuana Charges

The area of California medical marijuana law is highly complex. Marijuana crimes may trigger punishments for violation of both federal and state drug laws. Mobile marijuana dispensary services are the next issue for California as medical marijuana distributors have gone mobile. There is no doubt that both advocates and proponents of medical marijuana distribution will continue fighting its legality.

If you are in trouble with the law regarding Marijuana charges or if you have interest in bringing legal action to protect your business, it is critical that you speak to one of our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience in representing individuals charged with drug-related offenses throughout Southern California. Call Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839 for a free consultation. We will be there when you call.

I Have Been Charged With Possession of Drug Paraphernalia In Los Angeles. (11364 H&S)

March 11, 2013,

The Los Angeles Drug Paraphernalia Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience handling possession of drug paraphernalia cases in Southern California. Our attorneys have the skill and expertise to provide you with the best possible defense in your case.

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What Is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?

Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11364, it is against the law for you to possess an opium pipe, or any paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance. The law does not apply to needles or syringes that have been placed in a container for safe disposal.

“Drug paraphernalia” is broadly defined as all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are intended for use or designed for use, in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance. This broad definition covers everything from growing kits and scales to blenders and bowls, which makes it very easy to support the charges.

There are three elements to this offense:

1. You exercised control over, or had the right to control, the drug paraphernalia;
2. You had knowledge of the drug paraphernalia’s existence; and
3. You knew that it was drug paraphernalia.

What Punishment Could I Face?

If you are convicted of this offense you could face jail time. Possessing drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
You may also lose your job or professional license if convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia. We know how much you value your freedom, so we fight all cases like yours using every applicable legal defense.

What Are My Defenses For Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?

Your lack of knowledge of the existence of the drug paraphernalia is a legal defense to this charge, but the lack of knowledge must be substantiated with evidence. At Wallin & Klarich, we leave no stone unturned discovering the evidence that will lead to a dismissal of charges.

You may also have a defense if the object you possessed was not actually drug paraphernalia. In some cases, police officers may mistakenly believe that an item is drug paraphernalia. You need an experienced attorney from Wallin & Klarich to help you determine if the item you possessed was actually drug paraphernalia.

At Wallin & Klarich, we have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Victorville. We have successfully represented clients facing possession of drug paraphernalia charges for over 30 years. We have the knowledge and the know-how to win your case. If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, contact the experienced Los Angeles Drug Offense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839 for immediate assistance. We will be there when you call.

Can I be Criminally Prosecuted in California for Overdosing on a Controlled Substance? – Health and Safety Code Section 11376.5

January 16, 2013,

A recent California bill was passed into law that seems to recognize that drug addiction is more a disease than a crime. This is good news for those struggling with addiction.

This new law under Health and Safety Code Section 11376.5 states that if you overdose on illegal drugs, you will not face criminal prosecution if you seek medical help. Not only does this law protect you against charges for having drugs in your system, it will also prevent any prosecution for drugs or paraphernalia found in your physical possession.

This can also protect anyone who assists you or notifies the authorities of your drug overdose. The same protection also applies to them if they were found to be in possession or under the influence.

This law was created in response to the high rate of California deaths stemming from drug overdose due to the fear that any report to a hospital or local authority of a drug overdose would result in criminal prosecution. This fear had hindered any attempt to assist a person who suffered a drug overdose.

Drug addiction is a serious matter that can transcend beyond the authority of the law and the penalties it imposes. However, you still need to protect your rights and guard yourself against the pitfalls of the criminal justice system. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been in practice for over 30 years and can help you through the criminal process so you can focus on rehabilitation.

Wallin & Klarich has been helping those accused of drug crimes for over 30 years. If you or a loved one is facing a criminal case in Southern California call now at 888-280-6839 for a consultation. The Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers of Wallin & Klarich have offices located throughout the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties, we are able to be there for you wherever you happen to live. We will be there when you call.

In California it is No Longer a Crime to Seek Medical Assistance in “Good Faith” for Drug Overdose (Health and Safety Code 11376.5)

January 9, 2013,

Recently, California added Health and Safety Code section 11376.5, which states that if you are experiencing a drug-related overdose and seek out medical assistance in good faith, you will not be charged with a crime. In other words, you no longer can be charged with possession or being under the influence of the drug under California Health and Safety Code section 11550 if you seek out medical assistance in good faith for a drug-related overdose. You also will not be charged with a crime if you are experiencing a drug-related overdose and are brought to a medical facility by a loved one or person at the scene of the overdose.

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Prior to this new law, many people were hesitant to seek medical assistance for drug-related issues for fear of criminal charges and prosecution. Therefore, the prior law led to many unnecessary and tragic deaths. Now that the law has changed you are protected from the severe harm and consequences that can occur from drug use and should not hesitate to seek medical assistance should you be in such a situation.

The new law also requires that you do not obstruct medical or law enforcement personnel when seeking medical attention. This law does not apply to or change any law relating to selling, giving or exchanging of drugs.

If you are facing charges for being under the influence of or being in possession of drugs, it is important that you seek out an experienced and knowledgeable los angeles criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients in drug related matters. We have offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Orange County. Call us today at 1-888-280-6839 or visit our website for more information at www.wklaw.com. We will get through this together.

If You Plead Guilty to a Felony by Mistake, You Will Never be Able to Reverse the Error

August 3, 2012,

Believe it or not, it REALLY MATTERS who you have as your criminal defense attorney. No case brings that point home better than the case of Mr. Miller, who in 2004 was accused of the unlawful possession of the prescription drug (valium) without having a doctor's authorization.

The DA wrongfully filed this crime as a felony offense. In fact this crime can only be a misdemeanor offense. Mr. Miller plead guilty to the crime as a felony because his lawyer did not realize that he could never be legally prosecuted for a felony.

Finally in 2011 Mr. Miller realized his error and he filed a motion to vacate his felony guilty plea. This felony on his record was preventing Mr. Miller from owning any firearms and he also was required to register as a felony narcotics offender. It sure would seem reasonable that he be allowed to withdraw his plea.

The court however didn’t agree with Mr. Miller. The court said that because he consented to the plea agreement he could not now set aside his plea to the felony.

Poor Mr. Miller had the wrong lawyer. His lawyer didn’t do the research that easily could have determined this was only a misdemeanor offense. The court of appeals has said “tough luck Mr. Miller” you are stuck with a felony on your record now for the rest of your life.

So the next time you are sitting around talking about whether it is important to retain a criminal defense lawyer who knows what he is doing, tell everyone in the room about poor Mr. Miller.

What is even more amazing is that the court of appeals would not allow Mr. Miller to set the record straight.

If you or a loved one is currently facing any type of drug charges in Southern California, make sure to contact the experienced law firm of Wallin & Klarich. Our drug possession defense attorneys have defended clients facing drug charges for over 30 years.

The Illegal Possession of Adderall Among our Youth

July 12, 2012,

The California drug possession defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have represented many client cases pertinent to juvenile drug crimes. With no doubt, many of these kids just need to be understood, and they need to be instructed upon the consequences of their actions.

I don’t intend to criticize or scold anyone with this video, but I do want to tell you a few facts about the illegal selling and purchasing of the prescription drug Adderall, for the punishment for possession of a controlled substance or prescription drug, such as Adderall, can be just as severe as that of cocaine or methamphetamine.

Although the Adderall pill is prescribed to individuals diagnosed with ADHD or other learning disabilities, young individuals and college students –who don’t necessarily suffer from a learning disability—seek the benefits of the Adderall pill to stay awake for a longer time and to increase their concentration during studying hours. However, some of these youngsters do not pursue honest alternatives nor abide by legal means to obtain the Adderall pill. For example, in order to persuade their doctors into providing them with an Adderall prescription, these kids lie about their learning conditions. In fact, The Huffington Post refers to Adderall as the “Most abused prescription pill in America,” especially among college students and young adults (Ricker & Nicolino, 2012). On the other hand, those that do not lie about their health conditions to obtain the pill choose to purchase the pill from someone who does possess an Adderall prescription.

The big question here is whether these kids know – or even care to know – about the consequences and repercussions that they may bring upon their lives as a result of the purchasing and selling of the Adderall pill. Expulsions, criminal records, and halts in their academic success are just a few of the issues these individuals are facing for engaging in this unlawful act.

If you or a loved one is currently facing drug crime charges for possession of a controlled substance in Southern California, call Wallin & Klarich today at (888) 280-6839. Our experienced Southern California criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended clients facing drug possession charges

Battle over Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Continues

July 11, 2012,

In yet another twist and turn, the California drug crimes lawyers at Wallin & Klarich provide you with another example of the ongoing battle over medical marijuana dispensaries in Calfiornia. The Los Angeles Court of Appeals ruled that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors could NOT ban all medical marijuana dispensaries in portions of LA County.

The Court of Appeals made clear that current California law controls over local regulations and that a city cannot pass a law that would in effect void a state law.

The battle now shifts to the California Supreme Court which will have to decide the issue. Courts of Appeals in different parts of California have reached entirely different results. This means that the conflict must be decided by our the highest court in California.

If this is not crazy enough, even if the California Supreme Court rules in favor of the medical marijuana locations, the federal government will continue to arrest people claiming that these establishments are in violation of federal law.

This legal matter is highly likely to end up before the US Supreme Court who will have to make the final call.

Wallin & Klarich's highly experienced team of drug crime lawyers in California have successfully represented thousands of individuals facing drug charges in Southern California. If your loved one is facing drug crime charge, please contact Southern California's criminal defense attorneys of Wallin & Klarich. Call us at 888-280-6839 today.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owners Arrested by Federal Authorities

July 2, 2012,

The ongoing battle between California medical marijuana laws and the federal government’s laws which restrict such establishments heated up recently when six defendants, including the owners of medical marijuana dispensaries, were arrested on federal charges. Those accused should retain an experienced California drug crimes lawyer to defend them immediately.

While California state law allows for medical marijuana to be lawfully sold from “authorized” dispensaries, the federal government continues to threaten criminal and civil action against such businesses that do not close down their doors. Now the federal government has followed through with its threats, and six defendants face serious criminal charges including conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and maintaining a “drug-involved premises.”

Clearly those accused were abiding by the laws of the State of California. What has happened is a direct conflict with what California says is legal and what the federal government continues to argue is not legal under federal law. There is little doubt that this case will end up the appellate courts for years to come if those accused are convicted of any federal crimes.

Wallin &Klarich’s team of criminal defense attorneys in Southern California has been successfully defending those accused of drug crimes for over 30 years. If you or a loved one is currently facing drug charges in Southern California, please contact our team of professional criminal defense attorneys of Wallin & Klarich at 888-280-6839.

Federal Government Cracking Down on Landlords in Effort to Put Marijuana Dispensaries Out of Business

October 27, 2011,

While it is legal under California law to open and operate a marijuana dispensary it is not legal under federal law. For many years the federal government took little or no action to shut down these businesses. Then the federal government attempted to go after individual marijuana dispensary businesses with little success because they would succeed in closing one operation to only see ten others open up in nearby areas. Now the federal government has gotten serious and gone to where the money is.

Recently the federal authorities have taken legal action against the landlords that lease office space to these marijuana dispensaries with powerful results. Earlier this month US Attorney Andre Birotte announced the seizure of $135,000 from a local strip mall owner who had rented more than a third of his center to a row of marijuana dispensary businesses. It appears by the US Attorney going after the pocketbook of the landlords it is having the effect of closing down the marijuana storefronts entirely. This action happened in the city of Lake Forest. According to Attorney Jeffrey Dunn, whose law firm represents the City of Lake Forest in their efforts to shut down these businesses, “we don’t have a single dispensary operating in the city of Lake Forest” “They’re all closed after the federal enforcement actions.

If that wasn’t bad enough, according to Attorney Dunn, the City of Lake Forest is now going after the owners of the facilities and the landlord for up to $600,000 in legal fees and costs the city has incurred in their efforts to shut down the marijuana dispensaries. This certainly appears to be a full scale attempt to close down these facilities and by doing so it will also greatly impact the marijuana growers who supply these facilities with the marijuana they sell to their customers.

What will happen next is unclear? Certainly, those that have medical licenses to use marijuana are going to vehemently argue that this interferes with their lawful right to use a substance that has been deemed by their physicians to be medically necessary. We assume there will soon be major litigation that may end up in the United States Supreme Court at some point in the future.

We are interested in your comments on this major legal maneuver by the federal government. You have to wonder with so much federal crime occurring why the federal government would be spending such valuable resources to attempt to shut down what are considered lawful businesses under California law? Feel free to contact our law firm at 877-466-5245 or reply to this blog below. This is not an issue that will be going away anytime soon

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Farrah Fawcett And Ryan O’Neal’s Son Arrested And Jailed For Drug Arrest

August 8, 2011,

Redmond O’Neal was arrested and jailed in Los Angeles County after officers found herion in his car. O’Neal is the son of actors Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal. Officers say they foound herion in O’Neal’s vehicle after they stopped him for a traffic violation. O’Neal completed a drug diversion prpogram stemming from a previous drug arrest, and is currently on probation as a result of that arrest in Los Angeles County.

In California, possession of herion is codified under Health and Safety Code section 11350. This code section states that it is unlawful for anyone to possess specific “controlled substances” without a valid perscription. The most common examples of possessed controlled substances, as it relates to Health and Safety Code section 11350, include opiates, herion, and peyote.

A conviction of a Health and Safety Code 11350 is typically a felony. If convicted of this offense, the defendant faces up to three years in state prison on a first offense. The punishment that a person receives depends in large part to the circumstances surrounding the arrest, and the defendant’s convictions, if any.

There a number of defenses to that can be raised when someone is accussed. The most common defenses to an alleged violation of Health and Safety Code section 11350 are that the accused has a valid perscription, or that they did not possess any controlled substance, and as such, no violation has occurred.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, it is imperative you contact our firm. Hiring an experienced criminal defense law firm is the best way to ensure you keep your freedom. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people for over 30 years.

Please feel free to contact Wallin & Klarich to discuss your case. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-466-5245 or go to our website at wklaw.com for more information.

I have been arrested for selling drugs. What can I do about it? – California Health and Safety Code Section 11351

December 27, 2010,

California law prohibits the possession of certain controlled substances or other illegal drugs for the purposes of sale. Such drugs include hydrocodone, PCP, cocaine, heroin, morphine, and codeine.Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11351, being in possession of drugs with the intent to sell them is a felony offense. A conviction can result in a two, three, or four-year prison sentence.A violation of HS 11351 is different from a simple possession offense (under California Health and Safety Code Section 11350) because the allegation not only includes unlawful possession but also the illegal intent to sell the drugs in possession. As a result, being in possession of drugs for the purpose of selling them is a more serious crime that is not eligible for any kind of drug rehabilitation program such as PC 1000 or Prop 36.When you are arrested for illegal possession of drugs, the intent to sell arises from an inference the police make when considering the circumstances of the arrest. You may be further accused of having the intent to sell if:


  • You were caught with a quantity of drugs that is larger than necessary for personal use,

  • The drugs were individually packaged for sale,

  • Police found a weight scale, business records, or other items associated with sale purposes,

  • There is an absence of drug paraphernalia – such as a pipe – that would indicate personal use,

  • And a number of other circumstances that would suggest an intent to sell the drugs in possession.


After you are arrested, you will be taken into custody where you will remain until your arraignment court date. However, if you can post bail, you will be released from police custody until your arraignment. It is possible to sufficiently post bail by paying up to 10% of the total bail amount, which can be done through a bail bondsman.If you are unable to post bail, you arraignment date will be scheduled within two court days after the arrest date. However, if you are released early by posting bail, your arraignment may be continued to a later date. This can afford you up to three months to find a criminal defense attorney who can help you through this matter.With an attorney on your side, you can significantly increase your chances of getting a reduced charge, a lenient sentence, or an outright acquittal. The earlier you obtain an attorney, the better your chances. For example, an attorney can negotiate with the prosecution about possibly reducing the charge to a lesser crime or dismissing your case altogether before it is even filed.If you are still required to appear at your arraignment, your attorney will also be there with you to advise you on the best plea for you to enter. Typically, the best plea to enter is "not guilty" or a request for a continuance in order to further assess the case and review the evidence. You would not have to appear at all to any court appearances if your attorney had been able to negotiate your possession charge down to a misdemeanor offense. This is a huge benefit because it means you would not have to take time away from work or school to wait at a courthouse to stand before a judge.After the arraignment, the court will normally schedule a pretrial hearing where your attorney will negotiate with the prosecution to bring about a beneficial resolution for both sides. Even if your attorney may not be able to negotiate a full acquittal, if he/she can reduce the charge to a misdemeanor possession charge, you will be eligible for a drug diversion program, which also leads to a full dismissal.To learn more about the process following an arrest, please visit us online at www.wklaw.com and click on "Criminal Process."If you are arrested for illegally possessing drugs with the intent to sell them, it is very important that you seek the knowledge and expertise of a skilled criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have been in practice for over 30 years and can help you achieve the best possible results in your drug possession matter. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at www.wklaw.com. We will be there for you when you call.

MILEY CYRUS SMOKING SALVIA NOT A CRIME UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW – PC 379

December 17, 2010,

On December 10, 2010, video allegedly taken by one of Miley Cyrus’ friends appears to show her inhaling smoke from a bong. Sources later disclosed that the alleged substance in the bong was not marijuana, but salvia.

Salvia is a psychoactive drug like marijuana, but unlike marijuana, it is completely legal to possess or use if a person is 18 years or older. (P.C. 379.) If a person is under 18 years old and possesses or uses salvia, the person may go to jail for up to six months and/or pay a $1,000 fine.

The video was allegedly taken on November 28, 2010, five days after Cyrus’ 18th birthday. If the video was taken after she turned 18 and the substance was actually salvia, Cyrus committed no crime.

The backlash against Cyrus has been fierce, but so far, Cyrus has yet to publicly comment on the video. She is currently shooting a movie and was the star of the Disney series Hannah Montana.

If you have been accused of possessing an illicit substance, but you are over 18 and the substance was salvia, then you are not guilty of a crime. Contact a Southern California criminal defense attorney immediately to help you fight this false drug charge.

Do not, under any circumstances, agree to speak to law enforcement or consent to a search of your person or vehicle. If law enforcement arrests you or otherwise searches you or your property without your permission, do not physically resist, but clearly and unequivocally express your objection to the search. This may help your defense if the search yields other incriminating evidence.

If you are accused of a drug crime, you will need an experienced Southern California drug crime attorney to help you with your case. At Wallin & Klarich, we have helped people accused of drug crimes for over 30 years. Call us today at (888) 280-6839 or visit us at our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

Judge Openly Skeptical of Los Angeles Marijuana Law – Health and Safety Code Section 11357

October 4, 2010,

Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mohr is skeptical about the propriety of several provisions in LA’s new marijuana laws. Mohr expressed his concerns at a hearing last Tuesday for lawsuits filed by collectives and patients challenging the constitutionality of the city’s new law.

Especially perplexing to Mohr is a provision that requires collectives – many of them marijuana dispensaries that supply pot for “donations” – to make patient lists openly available to law enforcement without search warrants.

“That makes me very nervous,” the judge lamented. “If I am a patient, that [recommendation] is as private as any document in my doctor’s office. How can you say this does not violate my right to privacy?”

In the provision’s defense, Deputy City Attorney Jane E. Usher said the provision is necessary to deter distribution of medical marijuana for illegal purposes. Mohr remained unconvinced.

Possession of marijuana, if not for medicinal purposes, is a criminal offense in California under Health and Safety Code Section 11357. A conviction under this law may result in imprisonment in county jail for up to six months if you were in possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana. In most cases, however, you may not get a jail sentence, but will likely pay a fine between $100 and $500.

If you qualify, your attorney may also be able to arrange for you to enter a drug diversion program that may allow the court to dismiss the charges against you upon successful completion of an applicable rehabilitation program. This means you can avoid jail time and a conviction on your criminal record.

If you are facing marijuana possession charges, it is very important that you seek the expertise of a skilled drug defense attorney who can help you avoid conviction. At Wallin & Klarich, our Southern California Attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling drug possession cases and will work hard to present the best defense for you. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at www.wklaw.com. We will be there for you when you call.

Treatment of Substance Abuse For Prisoners Can Lead To Less Drug Crime And A Lower Prison Population

April 27, 2010,

Most people would likely agree that drug crimes were a major contributing factor in the alarming increase in the number of Americans currently incarcerated in the various penal institutions in the country. The overpopulation in our prisons is partly due to the increase in drug crime rate. At Wallin & Klarich, our drug crime attorneys have seen a significant increase since our firm started over 30 years ago.

America’s so called “war on drugs” perhaps began when then President Nixon declared to Congress that drugs were a “serious national threat.” Nixon officially declares a "war on drugs," identifying drug abuse as "public enemy No. 1." It was also Nixon who created the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1971. In 1986, President Ronald Regan appropriated $1.7 billion dollars as part of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 to fight the drug war. The bill also created mandatory minimum penalties for drug crimes, which are increasingly criticized for promoting significant racial disparities in the prison population because of the differences in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine.

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Drug Charges - California Health and Safety Code 11358

March 27, 2010,

According to a report by KTLA, Shaun Rothwell, 30, Shane Dearth, 29, and Thomas Nichols, 30, all of Los Angeles, were arrested in Torrance, California. The three were taken into custody after a marijuana hydroponics farm was found by police in a building located on the 17100 block of Figueroa Street in Gardena. Rothwell, Dearth, and Nichols were each charged with “marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale and theft of electricity” according to the story. The police recovered over 300 marijuana plants and 15 pounds of marijuana ready for sale.

Drug charges like the ones about can lead to serious penalties if a person is found guilty. These types of drug charges will be felonies due to the volume of drugs found and the intent to sell the drugs. A conviction can be punishable by up to 3 years in state prison.

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What Can Constitute "Possession" for the Purposes of Possession of a Controlled Substance? Health and Safety Code Sections 11350 & 11377

March 21, 2010,

Under California law, a person is recognized to have “possession” of a tangible object when they have personal charge or control of, or exercise the right of ownership or management over the tangible object.

It is important to understand that possession of a controlled substance in California may be actual or constructive. Constructive possession is not as straightforward as actual possession, but constitutes possession nonetheless.

"Constructive possession" can apply in situations where the controlled substance is not found on the defendant's person (pockets, jacket, etc). Although there is no actual possession, constructive possession can occur if actual possession of the controlled substance can be inferred from the surrounding circumstances.

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