Drug Crime Attorneys in San Rafael, California
Drug charges are nothing to mess around with in California. Regardless of whether you are charged with federal crimes or violations of state penal codes, or charged with a misdemeanor or felony, convictions will have a negative impact on your future.
The best thing you can do if charged with a drug crime is to hire an experienced and tenacious criminal defense attorney like Attorney Josh S. Brownstein. He is a staunch and unyielding advocate for his clients in San Rafael, San Francisco, Marin County, Petaluma, Novato, and throughout the state of California. If you are facing drug charges, put Brownstein Law Group P.C. in your corner.
What Crimes Are Federal Drug Crimes?
Certain situations may result in being charged with a federal drug crime rather than charged by the State of California. Circumstances include a large amount of drugs involved, using the U.S. Postal Service to facilitate drug crimes, and importing, distributing, selling, or moving drugs across state lines. Federal charges may also apply if you buy or sell drugs on federal property or to a federal agent or informant.
Conviction penalties for federal drug crimes tend to be more severe than those under California penal law. For example, California’s Proposition 47 made drug possession a misdemeanor offense; however, you would be charged with a felony under federal law. Likewise, recreational marijuana is permitted under state law but still violates federal law.
What Are Drug Charges in California?
There are three broad categories of drug charges under California law: manufacturing, possession, and distribution. There are additional distinctions in each category. Manufacturing charges may result from possession of precursors, such as phenylacetic acid or large amounts of pseudoephedrine used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Furthermore, although you can grow up to six marijuana plants indoors for personal use under California law, you could be charged for growing more.
There are charges for possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana and for possession of Schedule I-V controlled substances. There are more serious charges and conviction penalties for possession with intent to sell. Note the word “intent.” You do not need to be caught in the act of selling drugs to be charged with possession with intent to sell. The prosecution merely needs to prove that due to certain circumstances, amounts, or equipment, such as scales or paraphernalia, that you intended to sell drugs.
Distribution charges include the sale or transfer of drugs, or the transfer or import of scheduled substances. There are enhancements to charges if minors are involved in any way. Again, the prosecution can use circumstances, amounts, and equipment as evidence that the drugs were for more than personal use.
What Are Drug Schedules?
Controlled substances are divided into five categories based on certain characteristics, such as acceptable medical use, risk of abuse, and risk of developing a psychological or physical addiction. Schedule I drugs are the most serious and Schedule V drugs are the least serious. For instance, Schedule I substances have no accepted medical use and pose a high risk for abuse. Examples include heroin, ecstasy, LSD, and marijuana. Schedule V substances present a low risk of abuse. Substances that include low amounts of narcotics comprise this category, such as Motofen, and Lyrica, and cough medicine with codeine.
What Are the Possible Penalties for Drug Convictions?
The penalties for possession of controlled substances charged as misdemeanors include up to one year in jail, community service, and a fine of up to $1,000. Fines rise with subsequent convictions.
Felony drug charge convictions are punishable by three to nine years in prison, depending on the specific circumstances, such as whether the crime involved a minor or transport of drugs across non-contiguous California county lines. You may also face probation and hefty fines.
Keep in mind that penalties are often affected by the amount of drugs involved, where they are on the drug schedule, and past convictions.
What Are the Possible Defenses Against Drug Charges?
By strategizing possible defenses, your criminal defense attorneys can seek to have your charges reduced or dropped altogether. Possible defenses include evidence that the drugs were, indeed, for personal use, that there was no intent to sell drugs, they were prescribed by a physician, or they were used to treat a medical condition. A skilled lawyer may also challenge the legality of a search and seizure, conduct of law enforcement, entrapment, or the laboratory analysis of certain substances.
Drug Crimes Attorneys in San Rafael, California
Facing drug charges can be overwhelming. You need to reach out to experienced criminal defense attorneys who will aggressively seek and raise potential defenses, challenge the evidence against you, and commit themselves to garnering the best possible results. Brownstein Law Group P.C. has proven to be that team of attorneys for hundreds of clients facing drug charges in San Rafael, California, and beyond. Set up a consultation today.