In recent years, California has taken a stance on drug offenses and penalties that in some respects seems liberal. Penalties for some offenses have been reduced, and it’s now a misdemeanor to possess less than one ounce of most controlled substances. The state has moved toward more leniency when it comes to drug use, but at the same time continues to be tough on offenses related to drug transportation, manufacture, and sales.
Many drug-related offenses can carry serious penalties. If you’re convicted of a drug offense in California, some of the consequences you face may include:
- Incarceration in a county jail or prison
- Significant fines
- A permanent record as a criminal drug offender
- Inability to find a job or rent a house or apartment
- Inability to obtain a professional license, or your existing license may be suspended or revoked
- Inability to obtain an immigration visa, green card, or American citizenship, or your existing visa or green card may be revoked and you may be deported
- Ineligibility for federal financial aid for college
However, you’re not without options when facing drug charges. An experienced San Diego drug lawyer may be able to help, whether it’s by crafting a defense strategy to convince a jury of your innocence, or convincing a prosecutor or judge to be lenient and let you enter drug rehab or serve probation instead of going to jail.
Evidence in drug cases often is obtained through searches and seizures, and there may be constitutional issues with how the law enforcement officers in your case went about obtaining evidence. It may be that your rights were violated, and a good San Diego drug lawyer may be able to convince a judge that evidence obtained through illegal searches and seizures shouldn’t be used against you in court. If key pieces of evidence can be kept out of court, then your lawyer may be able to get your case dismissed or your charges or penalties reduced.
A Skilled San Diego Drug Lawyer for Your Case
Drug cases can involve complex legal questions. The law in California changes often, and it can be challenging for a layperson to keep track of the shifting landscape when it comes to drug offenses in the state. We’ve successfully resolved countless drug cases for clients in San Diego and the North County area and have a thorough knowledge of California drug laws, the courts in the area, and criminal process when it comes to drug cases.
When you call us for a consultation, we’ll thoroughly evaluate your case and advise you of your best options for a defense. When you hire us to represent you, we’ll be your voice in court, and work to get you the best possible resolution to your drug charge. It’s our job to listen to your side of the story and make sure that it’s heard in court, and once your case is over, our goal is to leave you in a position to move on and rebuild your life after the stress of a criminal drug case.
- Defending San Diego Drug Crimes — Depending on your circumstances, you may have several different options for defending your case. Learn more about common defenses to San Diego drug charges.
- Drug Diversion & Sentencing Alternatives — You may be eligible for a diversion or alternative sentencing program, such as completing substance abuse treatment, under some circumstances. A San Diego drug lawyer can explain your options.
Our help isn’t limited to you actually being charged with a drug offense. We can help from the moment you discover you’re being investigated related to drug charges. We can advise you how to handle being interviewed by police, or when law enforcement officers want to search your home, vehicle, or other property. When we’re brought in early in the investigation process, we may be able to help you avoid charges altogether.
- Being Investigated for Drug Charges — More information about what to do if law enforcement officers are investigating you in connection with drug charges is available on this page.
Types of Charges We Handle
There are numerous drug offenses defined in California’s Penal Code. We handle a broad range of case types, including:
- Possession of Cocaine — Cocaine possession in most instances is a misdemeanor, but penalties can increase if you have previous convictions.
- Possession of Meth — Methamphetamine is a commonly used drug that can cause serious health consequences for people who become addicted. Prosecutors tend to be aggressive about meth cases, and if you’re found in possession of any amount of meth you face possible jail time and hefty fines.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance — The use of some controlled substances, such as heroin, is on the rise in the United States, and prosecutors are taking a tougher stance when it comes to drug possession cases. Possession is a misdemeanor, and if convicted you may face jail time and fines.
- Manufacturing Drugs or Narcotics — The illegal manufacturing of controlled substances is a serious felony in California. If convicted, you may be sentenced to years in jail and a fine of tends of thousands of dollars.
- Transportation or Sale of Controlled Substances — It’s a felony crime in California to transport, sell, import, furnish, administer, or give away an illegal controlled substance, or even to offer to do any of those things.
- Possession of Controlled Substances For Sale — When you possess controlled substances with the intent to sell them in California, you can be charged with a felony. If convicted, you face significant jail time and fines.
- Prescription Drug Crimes — Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in the U.S. The illegal possession of prescription drugs and prescription drug fraud are serious criminal charges in California.
- Counterfeit Drug Offenses — Offenses related to counterfeit drugs are just as serious as those related to other controlled substances. A conviction can lead to severe penalties in California.
- Operating a Drug House — A conviction for operating a drug house can have lasting negative consequences.
- Drug Paraphernalia — Possession of pipes, bongs, or other items defined as drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor that can carry jail time and fines if you’re convicted.
- Juvenile Drug Offenses — Drug offenses can ruin a juvenile’s future. A San Diego drug lawyer can help get a juvenile’s life back on track.
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs — Driving under the influence of drugs is a form of DUI and can be punished harshly in California.
Charged With a Drug Offense in California? Call a San Diego Drug Attorney Today
If you’ve been charge with a drug offense, you should speak to a skilled and experienced drug attorney in San Diego. Jessica McElfresh is a skilled drug attorney who can sit down with you and go over the intricacies of your case. We have a strong track record of resolving drug cases and we will work to defend your rights as well. Call us today at or reach us through our online contact form.