Substance abuse causes a myriad of issues for individuals every day, whether it’s battling addiction, fighting drug charges, or dealing with the consequences of a drug conviction.
In an effort to deter offenders from committing drug crimes, many states impose strict penalties for the possession, manufacture, and distribution of controlled substances. In fact, many drug crimes carry potential penalties more serious than penalties imposed on offenders accused of other crimes like DUI.
If you are facing a drug charge in San Diego, hiring a drug crime attorney to represent you against those charges can offer the best opportunity to avoid the most severe consequences of a conviction.
Drug Laws in San Diego
An important classification for drug charges involves the schedule of the drug involved.
The federal government created five drug schedules based on the accepted medical use and potential for abuse and addiction of the substances in each category. The government considers Schedule I drugs the most serious, while Schedule V drugs are the least serious.
Schedule I drugs include:
- – Heroin,
- – LSD,
- – Ecstasy, and
- – Peyote.
Schedule I drugs reportedly have no accepted medical use and a high propensity for psychological or physical dependency.
Schedule II drugs include:
- – Cocaine,
- – Vicodin,
- – Methamphetamine,
- – Oxycodone,
- – Fentanyl, and
- – Ritalin.
The government considers these substances to have a high potential for abuse, though not as high as a Schedule I drug. Additionally, many of these drugs have accepted medical uses.
Schedule III drugs include:
- – Testosterone,
- – Anabolic steroids, and
- – Ketamine.
The government considers these substances to have a lower abuse potential than Schedule I or II drugs.
Schedule IV drugs include:
- – Xanax,
- – Valium,
- – Ambien, and
- – Tramadol.
Schedule IV includes many prescription medications.
Schedule V drugs include:
- – Robitussin,
- – Lyrica, and
- – Lomotil.
Consumers can purchase many Schedule V drugs over the counter at pharmacies.
Possession Drug Crimes
The California Health and Safety Code prohibits individuals without a prescription from possessing any Schedule I – V drug. An exception would be Schedule V drugs that are readily available over the counter.
Possession with Intent to Sell
The California Health and Safety Code also prohibits purchasing or possessing controlled substances with the intention of selling narcotics.
The potential punishment changes depending on whether you are charged with simple possession of a controlled substance or possession with intent to sell. For possession with intent to sell charges, you could face up to four years in state prison.
Transporting with Intent to Sell
The most serious possession offense involves transporting a controlled substance into and around California with the intention of selling or providing the drug to others.
This statute carries a maximum prison sentence of five years in state prison, enhanced to nine years if you transport the controlled substance across more than two county lines.
Being Under the Influence of Drugs
California also prohibits individuals from being under the influence of the controlled substances described above, as long as he or she does not have a valid prescription.
California considers being under the influence of a controlled substance a misdemeanor, which carries the potential for up to one year in county jail and five years on probation. Additional convictions under this statute result in more serious penalties for the offender.
Defenses to Drug Charges
Many legal defenses exist that can help individuals charged with drug crimes avoid criminal responsibility. The most common defenses for drug charges include:
- – The drugs were found during an unlawful search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment;
- – The drugs did not belong to you;
- – The substance confiscated was not an illegal drug; or
- – The officers committed a civil rights violation against you during the arrest.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, one or more of these defenses may apply.
Presenting a strong legal defense can result in the dismissal of your charges or the prosecutor offering a plea deal allowing you to plead guilty to a lesser charge.
Regardless of the crime you are charged with, you deserve a San Diego drug crime charge lawyer that will zealously advocate on your behalf and fight to obtain the best result possible.
Contact Us Today to Speak to a San Diego Drug Attorney
Having a San Diego drug attorney can make or break your case. A drug charge lawyer can offer several advantages, including:
- – Negotiating with the prosecutor to lessen your charges or have your case dismissed;
- – Providing detailed explanations of the charges filed against you; and
- – Preparing a strategy to defend against your drug charges.
At the Law Office of Mark Greany, we understand that facing criminal charges is a serious matter and holds serious consequences for the accused. Our managing Attorney Mark Greany offers expert knowledge in the area of criminal law and brings a passion for civil liberties and justice to the table.
When your freedom and liberty is at stake, hire a San Diego drug crimes attorney who is dedicated to providing you the best defense possible. Reach out to the Law Office of Mark Greany today for a free consultation.