It is easy to immediately label someone a criminal if he or she has been accused of a crime. However, jumping to conclusions can be detrimental, as a person really may not be guilty at all. According to the law in California, those who face drug charges are innocent unless this is proven otherwise by an exacting standard of proof. Four individuals in our state recently found themselves in this situation.
The four Riverside County individuals were accused of drug trafficking. They were arrested and charged with 13 felony counts after allegedly engaging in trafficking illegal substances from Mexico to the center part of California. The four are said to have actually been part of a larger effort to carry marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine into the Golden State.
In addition, the individuals were accused of providing narcotics to a particular gang. A total of 11 people have been arrested in connection with the recent California drug crime investigation. More than $268,000 in cash and a large quantity of drugs were seized.
Drug trafficking is an especially serious crime. That is because this type of charge is a felony accusation, which is far more severe than drug charges related to mere possession. Because of the long-term consequences of a guilty finding, a conviction can only take place if enough proof supporting the drug charges is presented. In cases where the prosecutors' evidence appears to weigh heavily in favor of a conviction, an accused individual may choose to plead guilty in exchange for some form of favorable treatment regarding the charges and/or court sentence in California.
Source: blog.pe.com, "RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Four arrested on state drug charges", John Asbury, April 14, 2014