San Diego Cocaine Crime Attorney
Being in possession of cocaine is a serious crime in California, as is selling or trafficking the drug. Federal law classifies cocaine as a Schedule II drug, which means that it is likely to be abused by people who use it, and while it may have some medicinal uses, those uses comes with strict limitations. In fact, while cocaine has been found to be effective in certain treatments, it is difficult to find a doctor that would use it in practice today.
Charged with a cocaine offense? Contact our San Diego drug defense team led by attorney James N. Dicks. JD Law is uniquely qualified to take on your case. Mr. Dicks is a California State Bar-certified criminal defense specialist, a former LAPD narcotics investigator, and a drug recognition expert with extensive training. Call us today for a free consultation at (760) 630-2000.
How Cocaine Affects the Body
Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the coca plant. It often comes in the form of a white powder that can be snorted, injected, or smoked. The feelings of happiness it can bring give cocaine its highly addictive qualities, although it can be an irritant to some people as well. Cocaine can result in high blood pressure, increased body temperature, and increased heart rate. The long-term effects of cocaine can be highly dangerous, as it can permanently alter the brain.
Cocaine Laws in California
The sale, use, and possession of cocaine in the United States are all illegal. Most offenses fall into one of two categories: possession and distribution. Cocaine possession has two different categories of its own: possession for personal use, or possession with the intent to sell.
- Possession for personal use typically includes small amounts of the drug carried on an individual, or within an area that the individual controls, such as a home. In 2014, Proposition 47 changed the personal use of cocaine from a felony to a misdemeanor offense. Under this new law, those found in personal possession of the drug may face up to just one year in county jail, unlike the three years in state prison they were facing under felony charges previously.
- Possession with intent to sell or distribute is common when an individual has been found with larger amounts of the drug. It is important to know that with this charge, a person does not have to be caught in the act of actually selling the drug. If the prosecution believes the amount is for more than strictly personal use, they may charge a person with a sale or distribution charge.
Those found guilty of selling, distributing, or attempting to distribute cocaine face far more serious penalties. If a person is found guilty of these charges, he could be facing two to four years in state prison. Those found selling the drug within 1,000 yards of a school, or selling in public, may face even greater penalties, including up to nine years in state prison if convicted.
Other California Cocaine Laws
Other than possession and sale and distribution, there are other cocaine crimes a person may be accused of. These include:
- Being in the vicinity of cocaine when a person is aiding, abetting, or assisting others in using it.
- Renting a space to tenants with the knowledge they are using that space to create or store cocaine.
- Producing, possessing, or selling cocaine in an area designed to keep law enforcement officials out.
- Building or using a compartment disguised as something else with the intention of transporting cocaine.
- Possessing or selling cocaine while being in possession of a loaded gun.
Even with the passage of Proposition 47, cocaine crimes in California are very serious. And even with a light sentence, these crimes will follow those convicted around for the rest of their lives.
If you have been charged with a cocaine crime, know that there are defenses, and that JD Law can help you with them. For a free consultation, call a San Diego drug crime attorney right away at (760) 630-2000.