We Are Here to Serve You from Bail Hearing to Jury Trial
Escondido Drug Crimes Attorney
Drug Crime Defense in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos, and Vista
As in the rest of the United States, it is unlawful to produce, distribute, or even possess controlled substances in California. Some controlled substances are illegal in any scenario, but certain prescription drugs are also regulated, meaning you can get into trouble if you possess them without a valid prescription.
Any type of drug conviction, including simple possession, can result in life-changing consequences, so you must take these charges seriously. Hiring a capable defense representative as early as possible can help secure a favorable verdict or reduce the negative impact these charges can have on your life.
At Sterger Law Group, we are committed to ensuring our community has access to quality legal advocacy when arrested for a drug crime or any other criminal offense. Our experienced Escondido drug crime lawyer fights for the little guy and can provide you with the tenacious defense you need to protect your rights, freedom, and future. We will listen to your story and do everything we can to aggressively fight for your interests in and out of the courtroom.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, call (760) 280-7900 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Flexible payment arrangements are available, and we offer our legal services in English and Spanish.
Penalties for Drug Crimes in California
The penalties for committing a drug crime are often immense. In addition to incarceration and fines, a conviction may result in mandatory treatments, a driver’s license suspension, and a loss of firearm rights. Perhaps even more importantly, a drug crime conviction will show up in background checks, making it extremely difficult for someone to secure housing or employment opportunities.
Some drug offenses, including possession, can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in California. The severity of the charges will depend on the “Schedule” of the substance, the quantity of the drug involved, the specific circumstances of the case, the accused’s criminal history, and any other aggravating factors. Our team at Sterger Law Group will always make every effort to negotiate a lesser charge.
Our Escondido drug crimes attorney can defend you against many types of charges, including:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance. It is illegal to “possess,” or knowingly have control over, a controlled substance (including a prescription drug you do not have a valid prescription for). To be convicted, the defendant must have actual control over the controlled substance and knowledge that the substance existed and was unlawful to possess. Someone does not necessarily have to be holding or touching the controlled substance. The substance could be found in their bag, vehicle, or home. In many cases, possession is charged as a misdemeanor. Punishments include up to a year of incarceration and potentially thousands of dollars in fines.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell. Someone can face these more serious charges if there is evidence the defendant possessed a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute it to someone else. This offense is often considered a felony, and penalties include up to four years in prison.
- Trafficking of a Controlled Substance. Selling or transporting a controlled substance constitutes a felony in California. Minimum punishments include five years of prison time and up to $5 million in fines. Especially serious cases can lead to life in prison and up to $20 million in fines. The severity of the penalties will depend on the quantity of drugs involved, whether anyone was harmed as a direct result of the unlawful activity, and other factors.
- Manufacturing a Controlled Substance. A person unlawfully “manufactures” a controlled substance when they contribute to the creation or cultivation of any illegal drug. A conviction can lead to fines of up to $50,000 and up to seven years of prison time.
- DUI. Though many people associate DUI with alcohol consumption, these charges can also apply in situations where a motorist is driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. A first-time DUI offense with no aggravating factors can result in up to six months of jail time, up to $1,000 in fines, and other consequences. A felony DUI conviction can result in up to three years of prison time.
- Possession of Paraphernalia. It is unlawful to possess any tools or instruments used to consume, produce, or transport a controlled substance. Examples include cooking spoons, blenders, capsules, scales, and balances. Penalties include up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months of jail time.
- Forging a Prescription. It is a felony offense to forge a prescription, alter a legitimate prescription, use a prescription with a forged signature, or attempt to obtain a drug with a falsified prescription. Penalties include up to $10,000 in fines and up to three years in prison.