A city councilman from Perris has been detained on charges related to his alleged possession and use of methamphetamine, authorities reported on June 24. Officers of the Perris Police Department reportedly detained the man that morning at a hotel in the 500 block of Redlands Boulevard in the small southern California city. According to the hotel staff, the councilman had appeared in the lobby and asked for the police to be called in regards to a theft. When the staff informed him that they could not do so, he instead called the police himself.
Upon arriving at the hotel, police allegedly observed signs of intoxication from the 28-year-old councilman. A search of the man's hotel room allegedly led to the discovery of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Police ultimately detained him on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Penalties for possession of methamphetamine in California vary based on the offender's criminal history and the quantity of methamphetamine seized by law enforcement, and they typically include a significant prison term. Aside from the legal consequences of a conviction on felony drug charges, the man could lose his office as councilman in the event of a conviction.
A criminal defense lawyer in a case like this one would likely attempt to cast doubt on the evidence of the defendant's alleged crimes. The attorney might attempt to argue that law enforcement had illegally searched the man's hotel room, potentially rendering the physical evidence inadmissible in court. If the evidence against the man is strong and the search is deemed just, his defense attorney might instead opt for a plea negotiation in order to potentially mitigate the penalties of a conviction.
Source: NBC Southern California, "SoCal City Councilman Arrested on Meth Charges", Jason Kandel and Ryan Bourgard, June 25, 2014