Fresno Drug Crime Lawyer
Defending Clients Charged With Drug Crimes in Fresno County
Drug crimes are aggressively prosecuted in California—sometimes too aggressively. Individuals can be wrongfully accused of drug crimes as a result of an illegal search and seizure, an illegal sting operation, false information provided by an informant or a multitude of other mistakes by arresting officers. If you are facing a drug crimes charge, it is important to contact Visalia & Fresno drug lawyers.
At Schweitzer & Davidian, our Fresno drug crime attorney represent individuals throughout California's Central Valley and beyond who face a wide variety of drug charges involving marijuana, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine, ecstasy, prescription drugs and more. Our drug crimes lawyers work closely with their clients to build the strongest defense possible. Your concerns and interests are our top priority.
Drug Schedule Scale in California
In California, drugs are categorized into five schedules based on their potential for abuse and medical use. The drug schedule scale is outlined in the California Health and Safety Code, Section 11054-11058.
Here is a brief overview of each schedule:
- Schedule I: Drugs with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, such as heroin, LSD, and MDMA.
- Schedule II: Drugs with a high potential for abuse and a currently accepted medical use but with severe restrictions due to their potential for dependence, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.
- Schedule III: Drugs with potential abuse less than Schedule II drugs and currently accepted medical use, such as anabolic steroids and ketamine.
- Schedule IV: Drugs with a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and currently accepted medical use, such as benzodiazepines and some prescription stimulants.
- Schedule V: Drugs with the lowest potential for abuse and currently accepted medical use, such as cough medicines with codeine.
Learn more about California Drug Schedules
Types of Drug Crimes in California
In California, drug crimes encompass a range of offenses related to illegal drugs, including possession, sale, distribution, and manufacturing. Here are some of the most common types of drug crimes in California:
- Possession: It is illegal to possess illegal drugs in California, including controlled substances like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
- Possession for sale: If someone is found to be in possession of a large quantity of drugs, it may be assumed that they intend to sell the drugs, and they can be charged with possession for sale.
- Sale or distribution: It is illegal to sell or distribute drugs in California, including selling or providing drugs to another person or transporting drugs for sale.
- Drug manufacturing: Manufacturing drugs is illegal in California, including growing marijuana or manufacturing other controlled substances.
- Drug trafficking: Trafficking involves the transportation, sale, or distribution of drugs in large quantities, often across state or international borders. This offense is typically charged as a felony and can result in lengthy prison sentences and significant fines.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia: Possession of drug paraphernalia refers to possessing items that are used for consuming, storing, or manufacturing drugs, such as pipes, bongs, syringes, and scales. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor in California, and penalties may include fines and community service.
It's important to note that drug crimes can have serious legal and social consequences. If you're facing drug charges in California, it's essential to seek the advice of an experienced drug crime attorney in Fresno. Our team can help you understand your rights and develop a defense strategy that may help reduce the charges or penalties you face.
What is Drug Paraphernalia?
Many people are not familiar with what exactly constitutes "drug paraphernalia." The term encompasses a wide variety of items related to drug use, possession, or concealment but not actual drugs. For instance, items used to inhale marijuana, such as pipes or bongs, would be considered drug paraphernalia. Other items that could be considered drug paraphernalia are syringes, deceptive devices that hide illegal drugs, and crack pipes.
Drug paraphernalia charges are often add-ons when a person is arrested for another drug-related charge. Drug paraphernalia charges are usually misdemeanors under California law. They can be part of a package of charges resulting from a drug-related arrest, or they can stem from incidents such as a traffic stop in which police find the paraphernalia in a person's vehicle.
What are the Penalties for Drug Crimes in California?
The penalties for drug crimes in California vary depending on the specific offense, the type and amount of drugs involved, and the defendant's criminal history. Here are some examples of penalties for different drug crimes in California:
- Possession: Possession of a controlled substance in California is generally charged as a misdemeanor, and penalties can include up to one year in county jail, fines of up to $1,000, and probation.
- Possession for sale: Possession for the sale of a controlled substance is a felony in California and can result in up to three years in state prison, significant fines, and probation.
- Sale or distribution: Sale or distribution of a controlled substance in California is a felony and can result in up to four years in state prison, significant fines, and probation.
- Drug manufacturing: Manufacturing controlled substances in California is a felony, resulting in up to seven years in state prison, significant fines, and forfeiture of assets.
- Drug trafficking: Drug trafficking in California is a felony, resulting in up to nine years in state prison, significant fines, and forfeiture of assets.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia: Possession of drug paraphernalia is generally charged as a misdemeanor in California and can result in up to six months in county jail, fines of up to $1,000, and probation.
Defense For Drug Crime Charges
There are several defenses that may be available to individuals facing drug crime charges in California. Here are a few common ones:
- Unlawful search and seizure: If law enforcement officers conducted an unlawful search and seizure, any evidence obtained might be deemed inadmissible in court. This means that the prosecution may be unable to use that evidence against the defendant, which could lead to a dismissal of the case or a reduction in charges.
- Lack of possession: To be convicted of drug possession, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had actual or constructive possession of the drugs. If the defendant did not know that the drugs were present or did not have control over them, they might be able to use lack of possession as a defense.
- Entrapment: If a law enforcement officer induced the defendant to commit a drug crime that they otherwise would not have committed, the defense of entrapment may be available. To prove entrapment, the defendant must show that the officer's actions would likely induce a law-abiding person to commit the crime.
- Medical marijuana defense: California has legalized medical marijuana for certain medical conditions. If a defendant was in possession of marijuana for medical purposes and had a valid medical recommendation, they may be able to use the medical marijuana defense.
- Illegal stop or arrest: If the police did not have probable cause to stop or arrest the defendant, any evidence obtained from that stop or arrest might be deemed inadmissible in court. This could lead to a dismissal of the case or a charge reduction.
It's important to note that each case is unique, and the defenses available will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. If you're facing drug crime charges in California, it's essential to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and develop a defense strategy that may help reduce the charges or penalties you face.
Contact Our Fresno Drug Crime Attorney Today
At Schweitzer & Davidian, we will review every aspect of your arrest carefully and conduct our own investigation to determine if your constitutional rights were violated. Our comprehensive knowledge of California criminal laws allows us to catch law enforcement authorities who have overstepped their boundaries or identify prosecutors who are attempting to obtain a conviction with weak evidence. We are experienced trial attorneys who are always prepared to litigate when it is in a client's best interest to do so.
If you face drug crime charges or any other criminal charges, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We are ready to answer your questions and recommend the best course of action. For your convenience, we have offices in Clovis and Visalia.
Contact Schweitzer & Davidian today to schedule a FREE consultation with our drug crime lawyer in Fresno!
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