Drug Possession

Drug possession is possessing an illegal drug or controlled substance without the written prescription of a licensed physician, dentist, podiatrist or veterinarian. Criminal lawyers know controlled substances are defined and classified differently from state to state, but generally the drug statutes refer to narcotics, marijuana, and prescriptive drugs.

It is important to note that in many jurisdictions, you can be charged without actually physically possessing the illegal substance on you. For example, if someone in your car is carrying methamphetamine in their purse or pocket, the driver or owner of the vehicle can be charged — even if the driver or car’s owner had no clue the passenger had drugs. Our lawyers have successfully built winning defenses on this basis with expertly crafted strategies and talks with the prosecutor and detectives, even before any court hearing.



Drug Possession offenses varies according to the type, amount and geographic area of the offense. Simple drug possession involves small quantities, while having of large amounts may lead to being arrested for Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute or Drug Distribution.

If you are suspected of possessing a controlled substance or illegal drug for the purpose of selling it, you can be arrested for Drug Possesion for Sale or Drug Trafficking. If the amount of the drugs in your possession is sufficiently high, you can be accused of Federal Drug Trafficking even if you never intended to the sell the drug and intended it only for personal use.


Since the start of the “war on drugs” in the 1980’s, the government and prosecutinng attorneys aggressive pursue drug convictions. Drug possession is considered a “gateway crime” speculated to lead to engaging in other criminal behavior. Big drug busts are relished by prosecutors and politicians because that makes them look good and is great for their public image.

Citizens involved in drug possession, trafficking/distribution, or manufacturing are favorite targets of prosecutors because drug convictions are easy to get when someone is not represented by an expert lawyer. The prevalence of drug use leads many people to assume drug possession is a victimless crime. In fact, the defendant becomes the victim and without strong representation by a criminal lawyer, the defendant may end up in prison instead of proper treatement in a caring environment.

Drug possession has among the most aggressive sentencing guidelines in the justice system. Even minor drug possession can have an incapacitating effect on your record, loss of your drivers’ license and difficulty in keeping or getting jobs. Convictions on possession of controlled substances or on drug trafficking or manufacturing can lead to long prison times with mandatory sentencing guidelines. This is why a drug possession accusation must be fought with extreme skilled and vigorous defense by top lawyers.


The most common approach used by our lawyers for drug possession is to get it dismissed or substantially reduced without a court trial. Our lawyers use pre-trial defense strategies usually centered around the suppression or handling of evidence. This requires attorneys to have more than just knowledge of the law. It requires lawyers with specific experience in drug possession defense strategies backed by forensic experts who can conduct the research necessary to win.

Drug possession is aggressively prosecuted and carries severe penalties. Just a few grams of some substances can imprison you.

Drug possession can even lead to federal prosecution. The federal government has an entire agency dedicated solely to pursuing drug possession convictions. It is critical you determine whether you are facing federal charges or under federal investigation. Even a drug possession case made by your state can later be handed to the federal government. You need a lawyer experienced in drug possession cases to prevent this from happening, who is experienced in both state and federal defense.

Note that the federal penalties below are for drug possession for the first time. These may change according to new legislation read the federal sentencing guidelines on drug possession offenses and penalties for the most up to date statutes.

Federal Drug Possession Penalties

Substance Amount Penalty—First Conviction
Heroin 1 kg. or more Prison: not less than 10 years, not more than life.
Fine: up to $4 million.
Cocaine 5 kg. or more
Crack Cocaine 50 gm. or more
Methamphetamine 100 gm. or more
PCP 100 gm. or more
LSD 10 gm. or more
Marijuana 1,000 kg. or more
N-Phenyl-N-propanamide 400 gm. or more
Heroin 100–999 gm. Prison: not less than 5 years, not more than 40 years.
Fine: up to $2 million.
Cocaine 500–4,999 gm.
Crack Cocaine 5–49 gm.
Methamphetamine 10–99 gm.
PCP 10–99 gm.
LSD 1–10 gm.
Marijuana 100–1,000 kg.
N-Phenyl-N-propanamide 40–399 gm.
Amphetamines any amount Prison: up to 3 years.
Fine: up to $250,000.
Barbiturates any amount
Marijuana 50–100 kg. Prison: up to 20 years.
Fine: up to $1 million.
Hashish 10–100 kg.
Hash Oil 1–100 kg.
Flunitrazepan (Rohypnol, “roofies,” or “roaches”) 1 gm.
Marijuana less than 50 kg. Prison: up to 5 years.
Fine: up to $250,000.
Hashish less than 10 kg.
Hash Oil less than 1 kg.
Flunitrazepan (Rohypnol, “roofies,” or “roaches”) less than 30 mg.


Our defense strategies and our cadre of drug trial attorneys at both the state and federal level have saved our clients years of prison time.

LibertyBell Law Group was founded by a group of criminal defense lawyers who have a history of winning cases and getting the best plea deals. Our attorneys grew irritated with the fact that a huge number of people suffer life-altering consequences because they can’t defend themselves.

Our top lawyers united to level the playing field. We hand-picked only the foremost experts in drug possession defense. Our attorneys have extensive experience in drug possession cases.

Our veteran lawyers have all the resources they need to get the best possible ending for your case. Our powerful legal defense force of the best lawyers and experts is available and affordable to you.



You can now draw on a huge number of lawyers working together for one goal — getting the best possible result for you. Early intervention is the key to our mutual success.

Call us now at 855-LAW-PRO1 (855-529-7761) for a free consultation with one of our expert criminal lawyers.

Gina Tennen

Gina Tennen


At A Glance

  • Expert legal strategist.
  • Experienced in both prosecution and defense.
  • Relentless fighter for her clients with results to prove it.
  • Received the National Top 100 Trial Lawyers Award
  • Featured in Time Magazine’s “Leaders of Criminal Defense” in the 100 Most Influential People edition.

Executive Managing Attorney Gina Tennen is a renowned leading advocate of personal liberties. Her meticulous trial preparation and exceptional ability to pursue every possible defense has earned her the admiration of clients and respect from prosecutors, judges, and other criminal attorneys all over the nation.

Lawyer Tennen began her career as a Senior Law Clerk for one of the toughest District Attorney’s offices in the country where she gained remarkable experience in juvenile crimes, elder abuse, parole hearings, child abuse, sex and other serious crimes. Her experience at the District Attorney’s Office armed her knowledge and case strategy in exploiting the other side’s weaknesses for the client’s advantage and building a rock solid defense. Criminal attorney Tennen’s experience on both sides and brilliant maneuvering throughout is evidenced in her winning track record. In fact, even before earning her law degree, she was instrumental in getting excellent results on several criminal cases outshining her peers.

A consummate strategist and top criminal attorney, lawyer Tennen works tirelessly on many high profile criminal cases. She is known as a relentless fighter who never gives up on any case. Whether the case is hers or handled by another criminal defense attorney from LibertyBell Law Group, no matter how small the case may seem she asserts that every client deserves the right to the best legal representation.

It is her deep belief and what she has built her entire career and lifelong dedication to that there is always hope for every client and every avenue should be pursued regardless of the time and energy it takes. For criminal attorney, Gina Tennen, devoting the finest criminal defense for clients is a habit and talent that you must apply and do all the time.

You demand the best defense. Take hold of your life and speak to our defense attorneys by calling 855-LAW-PRO1 (855-529-7761) now.

Founder Gina Tennen and all the defense attorneys at LibertyBell Law Group uphold that when the bell rings, it rings for life and liberty for all.

Diana Ivanova

Associate Attorney & Director of Client Affairs
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Diana Ivanova is an Associate at LibertyBell Law Group, who specializes in complex criminal matters in state and federal courts nationwide.

Ms. Ivanova’s aggressive defense of her clients’ freedoms and rights has earned her a reputation as both a zealous and successful criminal defense trial attorney in all criminal defense matters. She provides tenacious representation in both state and federal courts for those facing serious charges of sex crimes, federal violations, drug crimes, homicide, violence, white-collar crime, DUI and more. Ms. Ivanova has also successfully litigated some of the largest violence crimes in Los Angeles.

Even if an arrest has been made, Ms. Ivanova focuses on getting charges dropped before formal charging in court. It is important for a criminal defense professional to intervene early and aggressively, as she does.

Ms. Ivanova is a member of multiple legal associations. In addition to being a tough and fearless advocate in criminal defense cases, she genuinely cares about her clients and fights each case with unparalleled skill and determination to obtain the best possible outcome.

Call 855-LAW-PRO1 (855-529-7761) to speak to Diana now. You may also email her at info@LibertyBellLaw.com.



  • Gina was like a lioness protecting her cub.

    I hired Gina and her team for my son who was facing 10 years for something they said he did when he was 17 years old. Gina was like a lioness protecting her cub. She did not stop. She fought hard and was able to defend the charges. We are so grateful to her and her team. They gave us our son. He recovered his life!
    – L. W.
  • Best defense lawyers in the country.

    I hired this law firm in 2014 for my son who was facing 16 years in prison for a felony robbery. Lina Helou answered all our questions. I was extremely distraught regarding what my son was facing but Lina comforted me and told me that it would be okay. And thank goodness LibertyBell saved my son from going to jail and they were able to obtain only 3 years of probation. I could not have hired a better law firm for my son and if you want the best defense call LibertyBell Law Group. Thank God for this great group of lawyers.
    – V. J.
  • A great team of lawyers.

    I do not have enough words to describe how incredible the experience with this firm was. They work very hard to make sure you have winning results. I could not have asked for better service from the moment I called, until my case was over. I was glad I made the right choice. Thank you again LibertyBell Law Group!
    – S. O.
  • She took her time to review all of my evidence and proved my innocence.

    My father had found this group through his company and coworkers. I was assigned Gina Tennen and I cannot explain in just a review on how gratefull I am to be working with her. My case was an accusation of unlawful sex. This had looked extremely bad on my part since I was in a fraternity and she was in a sorority. During these times with Greek life, there are too many bad stigmas surrounding these organizations. Gina had believed in me and knew that I was innocent and that these accusations just were not true. She took her time to review all of my evidence and proved my innocence. I totally recommend this law group because they are willing to put in the work to help your situation.
    – C. D.
  • Gina always kept me fully aware of how the case was proceeding.

    When I first heard I was under a criminal investigation, I initially thought I would try and resolve this in the best way possible, without legal representation, as we were all interested in a "just" outcome. I quickly discovered that was not the case and contacted Gina at Liberty Bell. She clearly described the expectations and the choices available to me. She was always available to me, and when I called, if she couldn't talk with me at that time, she would quickly get back to me. Gina always kept me fully aware of how the case was proceeding. Her fee's were stipulated up front, as well as what those fees covered and what they did not.
    – S. B.
  • Attorney Gina Tennen was on point from day one.

    Attorney Gina Tennen was on point from day one putting pressure on the sherrif's office to get things handled. With Child molestation accusatinos being thrown around Gina and Attorney Castro were great at keeping the pressure on and had no charges filled. The DCFS indications were appealed and we won with flying colors. Great service, great work, and will use again for all legal matters.
    – A. B.