Drug Crimes

Criminal defense attorney Karen E. Lockhart has been successfully representing individuals charged with drug crimes since 1993. Call Karen E. Lockhart at (951) 698-5191 for immediate assistance with your drug case. Consultations are available by telephone or in person. Weekends and evening appointments are also available. Consultations are always free and confidential.

Drug Crimes (Health and Safety code sections 11377 – 11382) generally consists of laws regulating cultivation, possession, possession with intent to sell, sales of, transportation, and manufacturing cocaine; methamphetamine, Ecstasy (MDMA); heroin, and prescription drugs.

While some of these drugs may be possessed or transported with a prescription, it is unlawful to sell or possess any of these controlled substances with the intent to sell.

Cultivation refers to the growing of marijuana.

Possession is just exactly that, the possession of a usable amount of a controlled substance, even a very small amount, will satisfy the elements of this charge.

Possession for Sale is a specific intent crime. What that means is that a person must possess the controlled substance with the specific intent to sell it. This is often charged just based upon the availability of “packaging” materials, phone number, cash, and sometimes quantity alone.

Sales is generally accomplished by a hand to hand sale to an undercover law enforcement agent, or to someone cooperating with law enforcement, commonly referred to as a “snitch.”

Transportation can be accomplished by the simple movement of narcotics from one area to another, usually in a vehicle or on a bicycle, and certainly by train, plane, or boat, although those type of cases are not common.

Manufacturing of controlled substances is most commonly seen cases involving methamphetamine.

Diversion and Drug Court

Drug offenders in the State of California have two programs available to them. Successful completion of diversion under Penal Code section 1000, if you qualify, will result in the dismissal of the charges against you without a conviction on your record. Diversion, as it is commonly called, consists of weekly classes, AA or NA meetings, and random drug testing. A guilty plea is required at the onset, and sentencing is postpones to allow for the completion of the program. The case is dismissed after 18 months as long as all of the requirements have been satisfied.

For those who do not qualify for that the diversion program, Penal Code section 1210 (often referred to as “prop 36) offers an alternative to jail, and is available to non-violent drug offenders, but not for drug sales or possession for sale. Resolution under this section does result in a criminal conviction and may require a period of custody time; however the case may be dismissed upon successful completion of probation. The treatment programs available are more intense and much longer in duration.

If you do not qualify for either program, an experienced attorney may be able to negotiate a disposition that includes in or out patient treatment in a court approved drug rehabilitation program.


Defenses can include lack of possession knowledge, lack of intent, the compassionate use act, and in some instances lawful possession.


Penalties for a drug crime conviction range from fines, drug diversion or treatment, custody time in jail, a state prison sentence, loss of driver’s license, the seizure of assets, and the requirement to register as a narcotics offender.

Drug Offense Representation

The charge of drug possession, possession for sale, sales, transportation, or cultivation can have extremely adverse consequences on your life, that continue for years. If you are charged with a drug related crime, immediately contact experienced drug crimes criminal defense attorney Karen E. Lockhart at 951-698-5191, located in Murrieta at the Murrieta – Temecula Border, for a free, confidential consultation.

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