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Drug Offense Defense in San Francisco

Being charged with a crime is a frightening and potentially life-altering experience, and having the right lawyer to guide you through the process can profoundly affect the outcome of your case. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges, you need the assistance of a seasoned drug crime defense lawyer to take action to defend you.

Types of drug crimes

Drug crimes can be filed at the state or federal level. When it is alleged that drugs are transported across state or national borders, the federal authorities get involved. Some of the most common drug offenses filed in state court include:

  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Possession with intent to sell
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Drug manufacturing
  • Prescription drug crimes
  • Delivery or sales of drugs
  • Drug trafficking

Drug Offenses in California

California Health and Safety Code, Uniform Controlled Substances Act (11000-11651), Chapter 6, Offenses and Penalties, outlines the penalties imposed on convicted drug offenders. Illegal street drugs are classified under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. The charges filed against you will reflect the amount of the drug believed to have been under your control, whether it is believed that you intended to sell the drug, and your prior criminal history. Even a misdemeanor drug offense conviction can lead to jail time, fines, and a criminal record affecting your reputation and future employment opportunities.

Marijuana crimes

Recreational use of marijuana is legal in California, and adults 21 or older can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis and are allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants. Any person caught with marijuana under the age of 21 can be charged with an infraction. However, it is still a crime to sell marijuana in the state unless a licensed dispensary.

If you are growing more than six marijuana plants, you may face up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. However, if you are alleged to have been in possession of a larger quantity of marijuana, have paraphernalia such as scales or bags, you are likely facing felony charges with heavy penalties imposed in a conviction. Federal charges may be filed against you if in possession of marijuana on federal property, such as an airport, post office, national park, or in a federal building.

Drug schedules

Drugs are listed in five categories in California, called schedules:

  • Schedule 1: Opiates, heroin, hallucinogenic drugs, and other substances or drugs with no current medical use and that carry a high potential for abuse.
  • Schedule II: Raw opium, morphine, oxycodone, cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, Adderall, Ritalin, and other drugs with a high potential for abuse.
  • Schedule III: Anabolic steroids, medications with less than 90 milligrams of codeine, ketamine, or testosterone.
  • Schedule IV: Psychiatric drugs such as Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Valium, Ativan, and others.
  • Schedule V: Drugs with a lower potential for abuse, found in preparations with limited quantities of specific narcotic substances, such as Lomotil, Motofen, Robitussin AC, and others.

Prescription drug crimes

The offense may be filed as a misdemeanor or felony based on the quantity and type of drug. California Health and Safety Code 11350 outlines the penalties for these offenses, which typically include fines, community service, or incarceration.

Defending a drug crime case: Your attorney matters.

If you are charged with a drug offense, you need the help of an experienced defense lawyer immediately. Do not answer any questions, remain silent, and wait for your attorney to arrive to assist you. Ensure you are represented by a skilled drug crime defense lawyer – the end result of your case, in large part, will be the direct result of the actions taken for you by your lawyer. Various legal actions could be taken to assist you in achieving:

  • Case dismissal
  • Reduced charge
  • Plea deal
  • Acquittal at trial
  • Alternative sentencing

Contact Hickey & Chung LLP for help.

If you are accused of a drug crime, you need an attorney that is fully versed in state and federal drug laws and who will seek every avenue to reduce the impact on your life, freedom, and future. Our legal team is exceptionally dedicated to the people we represent and should speak with you about your legal options before your case progresses any further in the system. Early intervention is vital.