If you’re searching for a criminal defense attorney that serves the Ontario airport in Ontario, California, you’ve likely been arrested or detained and need an attorney that can help you. We understand the regulations governing airport arrests and detentions and have assisted clients in difficult situations at the airport.
The most common reason for an airport arrest is a breach of California Health and Safety Code 11350(a) – the carrying of illicit substances. Many arrests during checks before boarding are also made due to passengers attempting to travel with legally owned firearms, in contravention of California Penal Code Section 12020(a). Since 9/11, security at the airport has risen, resulting in even more arrests.
Airport crimes are compounded further by the fact that federal, state, and international obligations might all overlap at an airport. Although most airport offenses are tried in state court, a few may reach the federal court.
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Common Causes of Arrest at Ontario Airport
Every year, around 4 million travelers travel through Ontario International Airport (ONT). Inevitably, arrests happen.
Some of the most common airport crimes:
Possession of marijuana, controlled substances, drugs, or drug paraphernalia
Possession of weapons, firearms, or their components
Possession of large sums of cash that cannot be accounted for
Having pre-existing bench and arrest warrants
What to do if Caught with Controlled Substances, Drugs, or Drug Paraphernalia at Ontario Airport?
Possession of a restricted drug is unlawful in California. Illegal substances include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, opiates, hallucinogens, and prescription medications not supported by a prescription. Possession of a restricted drug is typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor, resulting in a one-year prison term in county prison.
When a large quantity of narcotics is discovered, felony charges invoking Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale (Health & Safety Code sections 11351 or 11378) may be filed. A multitude of evidential facts, such as the amount of drug in possession, must be used to show the defendant’s intent to sell.
If you are suspected of drug trafficking, the prosecution may charge you with Transportation of a Controlled Substance (Health & Safety Code section 11352). This may result in up to 5 years in a state penitentiary. The prosecution only needs to show that the narcotics were moved.
If the amount is more than what is typically carried for personal consumption, a charge of possession for sale may be justified. The prosecution may press charges for possession of equipment such as scales, baggies, and even mobile phone messages may be considered as evidence. In most cases, the penalty is up to 5 years in jail.
Traveling with drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, and you don’t want to be boarding a plane carrying equipment that can be used for smoking, injecting, or manufacturing drugs. Even articles and items used to conceal or test drugs are categorized as drug paraphernalia. Examples of paraphernalia include pipes, spoons, syringes, weighing scales, capsules, etc.
My Rights Law knows the legal defenses available to counter the accusation of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Under certain circumstances, a defendant charged with illegal drugs possession at Ontario Airport, CA, may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program. You need the services of a skilled lawyer to leverage this mitigating opportunity that can result in charges being dropped.
What if I get Caught with Marijuana at the Ontario Airport?
Possession of any illicit substance at Ontario airport will result in arrest. Because California is a popular tourist destination, it is subject to strict TSA inspection.
Marijuana laws are constantly changing, and since recreational marijuana usage has been allowed by certain states, passengers have begun carrying it to the airport. Traveling with marijuana is, unfortunately, not a good idea. While marijuana is permitted in certain states, it remains unlawful under federal law. And, since federal law oversees air travel, flying with marijuana is prohibited to states where it is allowed. This means that even though medical marijuana is legal in California, you can still be arrested for possession at Ontario Airport.
You can legally use recreational marijuana in California. If you’re above 21 years and caught with the legally permissible amount at Ontario Airport, CA, the TSA may confiscate it. If the TSA catches you with amounts above the legally permissible limits or if you’re underage and cannot legally travel with weed, then you’re liable for action under Section 11357 of the California Health and Safety Code.
If you’re above 21, you can legally possess 28.5 grams of cannabis. However, up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500 awaits those who are caught in possession of more than the legally allowed 28.5 grams of pot.
What Happens if Caught with Weapons at the Ontario Airport?
Being caught with a firearm at an airport is a severe offense that may result in fines of up to $250,000 and a prison term of 10 years. Unlawful possession of a weapon, such as a knife, may construe a misdemeanor leading to a six to one-year term at a county jail. If the charge is deemed a felony, the defendant could be looking at a longer prison term.
People involved with guns or weapons crimes who do not have a criminal record can have their criminal charges dropped via a pretrial diversion program. Offenders, too, may be eligible to participate in a diversion program instead of facing criminal charges.
The diversion program entails satisfying certain requirements, such as attending courses or therapy for a certain time. Financial penalties and volunteer work may also be imposed. The weapon charges are dismissed upon completion of the program and if the offender’s record is free of other convictions.
Please speak with the criminal lawyers at My Rights Law to discover more about the benefits and drawbacks of diversion and give yourself the best chance at a favorable judgment.
Will I Get Stopped at The Airport If I Have a Warrant?
If you’re traveling by air and have a bench warrant or an arrest warrant against your name, you may be detained or arrested. The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) does its best to ensure secure travel for passengers, and to this end, it has in place strict measures. The chances of detention at an airport for a bench warrant are higher if you are traveling internationally, particularly when entering the country.
If you’re a passenger flying into or from Ontario Airport, CA, you may be detained but not arrested for a bench warrant. Depending upon the seriousness of the issue that necessitated the bench warrant, the detention may be long enough for you to miss your flight.
It is possible to clear airport security and fly with a misdemeanor warrant; it is a risk best avoided because an arrest over an outstanding warrant can never be entirely ruled out.
When travel with such warrants outstanding is unavoidable, you should hire experienced attorneys who can try and get a “stay” on the warrants so that you may travel without being arrested.
An open arrest warrant or a felony warrant will result in an arrest at the airport and imprisonment at the county jail.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits authorities from conducting excessive searches and seizures. My Rights Law’s lawyers have extensive expertise and understanding in contesting the constitutionality of airport searches. We’ve assisted our clients in obtaining diversion programs and have cooperated with enforcement agencies to avoid being charged entirely. The important element of a successful defense is to engage a criminal defense attorney as soon as feasible and begin developing a defense plan.
An Ontario, CA airport arrest can be an unnerving experience. The attorneys at My Rights Law have extensive expertise addressing instances involving numerous types of airport arrests. You must consult an attorney as soon as possible to begin preparing a proactive defense.
If you’ve been arrested at the airport in Ontario, CA, you must contact an attorney as soon as possible.
To book a free consultation, contact My Rights Law now at(909) 340-2000.
Government Information and Helpful Resources for Ontario, CA
Ontario International Airport, 2500 E Airport Dr, Ontario, CA 91761 Ontario Police Department, 2500 S Archibald Ave, Ontario, CA 91761 Ontario Airport Car Rental, Rental Car Rd, Ontario, CA 91761 Ontario Convention Center, 2000 E Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA 91764 San Bernardino County – West Valley Detention Center, 9500 Etiwanda Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739