5 Categories of Drug Crimes & What To Do About Drug Possession Being charged with a drug crime is no joke. Penalties for committing a drug crime in San Diego are severe, especially since federal drug laws can come into play in addition to California drug laws. California penalties for drug crimes can result in:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $1,000 fine
- 3-5 years in state prison
Here are five categories of drug crimes and some advice for when it’s best to call an experienced drug attorney to help you in your case, so you can get the best outcome possible at your trial.
- Denial of federal benefits (school loans, grants, licenses, etc.) for 1-10 years
- Forfeiture of personal property and real estate
- Civil penalties of up to $10,000
- For federal drug trafficking convictions, 20 years to life in prison and fines up to $8 million
1. Drug Possession Any Schedule I Drug Possession is highly illegal. These drugs are dangerous when abused and have no legal medical purposes. Examples are:
Any Schedule II Drug possession—without a valid prescription and without following the prescription guidelines—is illegal. Examples are:
- GHB (Can be rarely prescribed)
- Methaqualone (Quaalude)
Marijuana possession charges are complex, given the variety of possible charges with the drug as well as recently changed California law. When it comes to possession of marijuana and controlled cannabis, it is illegal. However, medical marijuana possession is legal with a license.
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
2. Drug Paraphernalia A drug paraphernalia crime is described as being in possession of, selling, importing, or exporting any equipment that is used to prepare, inject, inhale, or conceal illegal drugs. Many times, drug paraphernalia is designed to look legal, and may even have a label that states it should only be used with tobacco. However, one can still be charged for possessing the following items (but not limited to):
- Rolling papers
3. Drug Manufacturing/Delivery If a person is involved in any step of the production process or delivery of an illegal drug, they can be charged with drug manufacturing under state and federal laws. Examples include:
There are, however, new laws that pertain to the legal cultivation or manufacturing of medical marijuana in the state of California.
- Possessing cannabis seeds
- Growing marijuana plants
- Creating illegal controlled substances through chemical processes or in a laboratory
4. Drug Dealing/Drug Distribution Drug dealing generally refers to small-scale sales of illegal drugs. This drug crime usually consists of a one-person operation, selling a small amount of illegal drugs. Drug distribution deals with any attempt to move or sell a larger amount of drugs, determined by weight, in any manner. One need not be caught in the act of exchanging money for drugs to be charged with possession with the intent to distribute.
5. Drug Trafficking Federal drug trafficking can include charges for manufacturing, distributing, and possession with the intent to distribute a large amount (by weight) of drugs. One can be charged with drug trafficking even if they are not caught in the act of transporting drugs across state or national lines. The penalties for drug trafficking can be severe, but vary depending on the following:
- The type and amount of drugs involved
- The location where the defendant was apprehended
- The defendant’s criminal history
When to Call a Drug Attorney Defending a drug charge can be complicated. With federal, state, and local drug laws in play at the same time, it can take a monumental effort to know your rights and keep drug crime penalties to a minimum. However, don’t despair. An experienced San Diego drug attorney such as Bradley Corbett knows the ins and outs of all the drug crime laws and will work hard at defending your case in order to get the best possible outcome. For a free case consultation, contact drug attorney Bradley Corbett today!
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.