San Diego Drug Possession Attorney
Protecting the Rights of the Accused in San Diego, CA
Drug possession is a serious charge where even a minor offense, such as possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, can result in a misdemeanor. Although this seems like a minor crime, this could affect your reputation and ability to attain certain jobs and could result in harsher penalties for a second conviction. If you have been accused of drug possession, be sure to call on JD Law.
Our San Diego drug crime attorney offers a free consultation to discuss your case and to see how we can help you with your defense. With 30+ years of experience in the criminal field and a background in law enforcement, Attorney James N. Dicks has the know-how needed to build a sound defense.
Call our firm at (760) 630-2000 to set up your initial consultation!
Drug Possession Penalties in California
Most drug possession penalties will depend upon the amount and type of drug found in the accused person's possession. Some state laws on possession are harsh and can result in felony level charges. Possession for sale is a separate offense that often carries heavier penalties than a simple possession charge. In the United States, state and federal drug possession laws criminalize possession of a controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or LSD.
However, in the state of California, a first time drug offender may have alternative options available to them that can prevent them from experiencing harsh consequences.
Whether or not you are eligible for such programs depends on a variety of factors such as your criminal history, the jurisdiction, and whether or not the court determines if you are eligible. These options may include a deferred entry of judgment where one serves a period of probation in place of being prosecuted. Another option for some offenders is drug court, which focuses on reforming people who have been charged with drug offenses and returning them as productive citizens.
Arrested for Marijuana Possession in San Diego?
Although marijuana is considered a less serious drug than cocaine or heroin, a person is still subject to criminal penalties if they possess 28.5 grams or more. How a person is prosecuted for marijuana possession will vary depending on the amount involved, their prior criminal history, as well as their purpose for using it. For example, a person who possesses a small amount may receive lighter penalties than a person who possesses enough to distribute.
A person arrested for marijuana possession in California faces the following:
- Less than 28.5 grams of marijuana:
Punishable by a maximum $100 fine
- Concentrated cannabis:
Up to one year in jail and a maximum $500 fine
- More than 28.5 grams of marijuana:
Up to six months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $500
All across the nation, marijuana is becoming popular for recreational use; however, it is still considered illegal in a majority of states. A conviction for a drug crime can have a significant impact on your future. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony will depend on a number of factors, but having the right lawyer by your side can make all the difference.
San Diego Drug Possession for Sale Charges
Possession for sale differs from a simple possession charge in that the intent is different. Possession for sale refers to a person who has a certain amount of drug or other controlled substance in their possession with the intention to sell or distribute the drugs.
These charges carry heavier penalties than a simple possession charge. If you are found to be in possession of a large amount of controlled substance and/or drug paraphernalia, you will likely be charged with possession with intent to distribute or sell.
Although any drug possession charge requires the skilled defense of an experienced attorney, a possession for sale charge calls for a San Diego drug crime lawyer who can actively defend your rights and help you avoid a sentence and heavy fines. Law enforcement officers will likely look for one or more of several indicators to determine if you should be charged with possession for sale. Our founding attorney's background in narcotic investigations gives him the upper hand when it comes to preparing your defense.
Creating a Strategic Defense in Possession Cases
In any drug possession case, the prosecution must prove that the defendant actually had possession of the illegal substance on their person or property in order to secure a conviction. Not only that, but they must also show that the defendant had knowledge that the drug was in their possession. A skilled San Diego criminal defense lawyer may be able to disprove the prosecution's theories, using forensic evidence and witness testimony to prove a reasonable doubt.
Other defenses include the following:
- Demonstrating that an illegal search and seizure occurred
- Proving that your rights were violated in some way
- Showing that you did not exercise possession over the drugs
- Arguing that you did not know of the illegal nature of the drugs
Whatever your situation, our firm is here to work with you and help you prove your innocence. We can even negotiate with the prosecution to secure a favorable plea bargain when necessary.
Our San Diego drug crime lawyer can help you fight to avoid jail time or harsh penalties for possession. Contact JD Law today for a free consultation!