You can end up facing incredibly harsh penalties if you are accused of a drug crime in San Diego, CA. The possession of controlled substances can be punished with fines and jail time. The results of a conviction can be even harsher if you are accused of attempting to sell drugs to someone else.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group are ready to help you take on any drug crime charge. You can reach our drug crimes lawyers in San Diego right now to get the assistance you need to construct a strong defense. Improve your odds of resolving these charges successfully by contacting us today.
Types of Controlled Substances in San Diego
There are many different types of controlled substances in San Diego. Some of these substances are prescription medications, which you are allowed to possess if you have a valid prescription. For example, some people are allowed to legally possess:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
However, you can face criminal charges if you are found with these medications and do not have a prescription. Other controlled substances are not used medically. As an example, you can face criminal charges if found with heroin for any reason.
For a free legal consultation with a drug crimes lawyer serving San Diego, call (310) 928-9347
Marijuana Is a Controlled Substance in San Diego
You should be aware that marijuana and concentrated cannabis remain controlled substances in California. While the usage of marijuana and marijuana products has been partially decriminalized, the state has set limits on how:
- Much marijuana leaf you can possess
- Much concentrated cannabis you can possess
- Many marijuana plants you can grow
If you exceed legal limits on marijuana possession, you could face criminal charges for marijuana cultivation or intent to sell marijuana.
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Other Charges for Drug Possession in San Diego
You can face drug possession charges if you are found with a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Drug possession charges generally only apply to small amounts of a controlled substance. If you are convicted of drug possession, you could face:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
- Summary probation
Note that sometimes the courts in San Diego will use more specific charges to prosecute drug possession. You could be charged with possession of Vicodin, possession of meth, and other similar crimes.
Charges for Selling Drugs in the San Diego Area
Selling a controlled substance is generally punished more severely than drug possession for personal use. There are two major charges used to prosecute the sale of drugs in California. These charges are possession for sale and drug trafficking.
Of these two charges, drug trafficking is considered more severe. This is because drug trafficking is often prosecuted in the federal court system. Let’s go over the penalties for both charges so you can compare them for yourself.
Possession for Sale Penalties
- Fines of up to $20,000
- Prison time of up to four years
- Formal probation
Drug Trafficking Penalties
- Fines of up to $5 million
- Prison time of up to 40 years
- Formal probation
As you can see, drug trafficking is punished much more harshly than possession for sale. However, even with the lesser charge, you are looking at serious time in prison and steep fines.
You should also be aware that these penalties are for a first-time drug trafficking offense. The penalties can increase severely if you are arrested for a subsequent drug trafficking offense. You may need to work with a San Diego drug crimes lawyer if you are accused of drug trafficking in San Diego.
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San Diego’s Charges for Drug Paraphernalia Possession
Thus far, this article has focused on charges related to the direct usage or sale of a controlled substance. You may also face criminal charges if you are found with certain tools associated with drug usage in San Diego. These tools are often called drug paraphernalia. Common examples of drug paraphernalia include:
- Cocaine spoons
- Crack pipes
- Some needles
A drug paraphernalia conviction can leave you facing:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to six months
- Summary probation
While these penalties may seem relatively minor, the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group understand how disruptive they can be for your life. Let us start investigating the charges against you today to increase the chances of resolving the case in your favor. We are ready to dig into your case and construct your defense now.
Scheduling of Different Drugs
When considering the potential consequences of a drug offense, you must also be aware of how that drug is classified. There are five different levels of drug classification known as “scheduling.” The drugs are rated based on their potential medical use and the possibility of abuse and addiction. Schedule I drugs are considered the most dangerous.
Schedule V Drugs
Schedule V drugs have an accepted medical purpose and show low potential for abuse. These drugs can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies. They are considered to be the safest level of drugs.
Schedule IV Drugs
Schedule IV drugs still have a widely accepted medical value. However, the potential for abuse is slightly increased. Many prescription medications like Xanax and Ambien fall under this category.
Schedule III Drugs
Schedule III drugs are still used for medical purposes. However, the potential for abuse or dependency is once again increased. These drugs require a prescription for legal use.
Schedule II Drugs
Schedule II drugs contain a mixture of drugs with and without accepted medical use. The potential for abuse and dependency on these drugs is considered high. Illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine fall under this category, along with legal painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin.
Schedule I Drugs
Schedule I drugs are considered to have no accepted medical use and a high risk for dependency and abuse. Drugs that fall under this category include heroin, LSD, and marijuana.
Some of these schedulings are questionable and have led to high controversy. This is particularly true of the continued classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Despite this drug having been legalized for both medical and recreational purposes in California, as well as many other states.
Marijuana remains on the list above painkillers like oxycodone and fentanyl despite the rising number of deaths attributed to these drugs in the growing opioid crisis. While you can legally buy and use marijuana in the state, if you stray outside of what is allowed by the law, you could be facing the highest level of punishment due to this drug’s high classification.
Defenses Against a Charge
There are many common defenses that can be used against various drug charges. Some of the most used arguments include:
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Lack of possession
- Mistaken identity
You Can Speak with a San Diego Drug Crimes Attorney
Boost your odds of successfully resolving a drug crimes charge in San Diego by contacting the Simmrin Law Group right now. You can easily get the help you need by completing our online contact form or calling us.
Our team of drug crimes attorneys in San Diego is ready to start going over your legal options with a free initial case evaluation.