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San Diego Drug defense attorney

Defending Drug Charges in California | Zentz & Zentz

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San Diego Drug Charges Defense lawyer

Drug possession and drug trafficking are among the most common criminal charges in California. It is estimated that nearly 70% of people imprisoned in the state are convicted of a drug-related charge. Not only are San Diego drug laws strict, navigating the complex legal system once you've been arrested can also be a challenge. Whether you have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance or accused of a federal drug trafficking offense, you need to hire an experienced San Diego defense attorney.

At Zentz Law, we provide clients with comprehensive, uncompromising defense strategies against San Diego drug charges, including distribution, possession, sale and trafficking of controlled substances. We specialize in fighting charges associated with heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs. Here's what you need to know if you are facing a drug charge in San Diego.

The Difference Between Drug Possession and Drug Trafficking

Both drug trafficking and drug possession charges begin with you being arrested for having drugs in your possession. However, the charges are vastly different, and it is essential to understand both offenses' intricacies. The intent is a crucial factor in determining whether you are charged with drug possession or drug trafficking. In trafficking cases, courts must prove the intention to distribute or sell controlled substances across state or national lines. You can also be charged with drug possession with intent if you are suspected of selling narcotics without crossing state or national lines. Those accused of drug trafficking are often part of a criminal organization rather than individual drug distributors.

On the other hand, a drug possession charge means illegal narcotics were found on your body or in your car. Drug possession charges are also commonly filed against individuals who are caught using drugs at the time of contact with law enforcement. Prison sentences for those convicted of drug possession start at one year, while those convicted of drug trafficking typically face a minimum of five years in prison and hefty fines.

Possession With Intent To Sell Charges

Being charged with drug possession with intent is more serious than being charged with simple drug possession. Law enforcement officers may charge you with drug possession with intent if they find the following:
• A large amount of a controlled substance in your possession
• Tools such as scales or plastic bags in your possession
• A sizeable amount of cash in your possession
• Weapons on your body or in your car or home
• Evidence of heavy foot traffic in and around your property

Your defense lawyer can challenge your possession with intent to sell charge by disputing the number of drugs found in your possession or questioning the lawfulness of the search of your home or car.

San Diego Drug Possession Laws

California state possession laws include two categories: simple possession and possession with intent to sell. California law separates offenses related to controlled substances from crimes related to marijuana. State law also separates violations related to phencyclidine and methamphetamine.

Possession for sale

The California Health and Safety Code regulates the substances for which an individual can be charged with possession for sale. You can be charged with simple possession if you are caught with an unlawful narcotic in your possession. You can be charged with possession for sale if the courts believe you were engaged in drug dealing activities.

Penalties after Prop 47

Penalties for drug possession charges vary greatly depending on the drug type, the amount found in your possession and the purpose you had for the drugs in your possession. In 2014, sentences for drug possession changed when California residents passed Proposition 47. This law states that many drug possession offenses can only be charged as a misdemeanor. Further, the law allows individuals already serving time in prison for drug possession offenses to petition the court for resentencing or sentencing leniency.

Recreational marijuana decriminalized

In 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, decriminalizing recreational marijuana use. The law states that adults over the age of 21 may buy, possess and consume up to 28.5 grams of marijuana. Marijuana must be consumed in a private residence or in another licensed facility to be lawful. Using marijuana in public or while operating a motor vehicle is still illegal. Further, possessing or using marijuana on the grounds of a daycare center, educational facility or youth center while children are present remains illegal. Additionally, individuals are permitted to grow a certain amount of marijuana within a private residence. Medical marijuana use remains lawful as long as it is authorized by a medical professional.

California Drug Crimes Defense

Even if you have been charged with a drug offense in California, you still have certain rights. You have the right to fight the charges against you in a lawful trial and maintain representation in all legal proceedings. At Zentz Law, we are committed to helping defendants navigate the complex California legal system. Our team of lawyers can assist you in filing pretrial motions, gathering evidence and preparing a defense for a trial. It is possible to get an order from the court to suppress the admission of specific evidence into court consideration. Limiting the amount of evidence against you is a primary concern, and we want to ensure your constitutional rights are maintained during all stages of the process. Our attorneys will work to get the best outcome in your case. Whether you want to accept a plea bargain or defend yourself in front of a jury, we can advise you of your rights and provide you with the most comprehensive representation possible.

Contact Zentz & Zentz Attorneys at Law Today

If you are fighting San Diego drug charges, you need to hire an experienced defense attorney. Our legal team is experienced, knowledgeable and committed to ensuring all of our clients are defended adequately before and after trial. You do not need to fight your legal battle alone. Contact Zentz & Zentz today for assistance. We take simple drug possession, possession for sale and drug tracking cases. Don't risk your family's future by fighting the charges without an experienced attorney by your side. Call us today to receive a no-obligation quote.

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