Controlled substance offenses can be complicated and the penalties can be severe. If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, you need an experienced narcotics defense team on your side. Call 619-493-1207 today to speak directly to an experienced San Diego drug crimes lawyer for the defense of controlled substance offenses.
In general, it is illegal for any person to possess, possess for sale, transport, sell, manufacture or distribute any controlled substance unless he has a legal prescription or is in the legal chain of distribution.
Drug Crimes Practice Areas
Here are the types of controlled substance cases our drug crimes lawyers defend:
- Possession of Drugs
- Possession of Drugs for Sale
- Transporting Drugs
- Manufacturing Drugs
- Marijuana Offenses
- Medical Marijuana Defense
- Other Drug Offenses
- Being Under the Influence
- Prescription Offenses
- PC 1000 Sentencing
- Prop 36 Sentencing
Possible Criminal Defense Strategies For Drug Offense Charges
There are many defense strategies an experienced and smart San Diego drug crimes lawyer can use to get your charges thrown out or reduced significantly. One of the strategies is to look into how your were arrested. Often times law enforcement will make mistakes like not reading your right properly, using bogus search warrants, and entrapment. When these mistakes are discovered a lawyer can file for the evidences to be suppressed. Another defense that can be used is that you didn’t know about the drug or that the drug was a legal prescription.
State and Federal Jurisdiction For Drug Crimes
Certain acts are crimes under both federal and state laws and are then offenses against each sovereignty and punishable by both the Federal and State Government. Drug Crimes are an example. Controlled substances are regulated by the Federal Government under Title 21 of the United States Code and by the State of California under the California Health and Safety Code.
Since a single criminal act can violate both federal and state law at the same time, both governments can prosecute a defendant for the same offense. Believe it or not, Double Jeopardy does not apply to these dual prosecutions!
However, in general, possession offenses are prosecuted in State court unless the possession occurs on Federal Property. Crimes for sale, transportation, and/or manufacturing can go either way, though normally cases with greater quantity are more likely to be Federal Cases.
In some cases, the DEA and Federal Agents will be involved in a prosecution that ends up in State Court because the bust is deemed too small for Federal Court. The decision to send a case to either State or Federal Court has huge consequences for the Defendant.
First, Federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines are severe. An individual can end up serving years in a Federal prison for the same offense that ends up with only probation in the State court.
Second, State courts have Prop 36 sentencing for personal use cases.
Finally, in State court, the medical marijuana defense is available to certain marijuana offenses. While, the medical marijuana card is useless in Federal court.
An experienced San Diego drug crimes lawyer can explain the law better, so reach out to an expert for more details.
What are Controlled Substances?
Not all drugs are considered illegal, only those specifically described in the California Health and Safety Code. The law is specific as to what chemical compounds are outlawed.
Therefore, the slightest deviation in chemical makeup of a substance can result in it not being subject to criminal prosecution. The most common form of illegal drugs is cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and various amphetamines and meth.
In order to convict a person of any of the crimes related to controlled substances, the prosecution must show that the Defendant had knowledge of both the character of the substance and of its presence.
This means that the Defendant must have known that the substance was a controlled substance. The Defendant must have also known of the presence of the substance.
For example, if an individual is charged with possession of cocaine, it would be a defense if the person had reason to believe that the powdery substance was flour or sugar. If the Defendant did not know it was cocaine then he or she is not guilty.
Also, if the illegal substance is found in the Defendant’s car, but someone else put it there unknowing to the Defendant, then the Defendant is not guilty because he or she did not know of its presence.
Another essential element of any controlled substance offense is that the amount was of usable quantity. Traces or residue of a controlled substance that are useless for sale or consumption do not constitute sufficient evidence to convict someone for possession of a controlled substance.
When you hire a San Diego drug crimes lawyer, he or she job is to use their creativity put up a defense by spinning any of the above in your favor.
Contact A San Diego Drug Crimes Attorney For Consultation At 619-493-1207
To schedule a consultation with an experienced San Diego drug crimes lawyer by calling us today at 619-493-1207 form. You need a law firm who get results in San Diego county court rooms.