Defending The Rights Of Clients Throughout San Diego County Since 1999

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Experienced Drug Defense Attorney

In the past decade, California has taken steps to correct overzealous prosecution and punishment for drug charges, especially those based upon simple possession. However, the Golden State is still quite serious about quashing the unlawful sale and consumption of drugs. Drug crimes such as drug trafficking charges, in particular, continue to carry long prison sentences and steep fines.

Taking An Individualized Approach To Challenge Drug Charges

The consequences of a drug crime conviction can seem overwhelming, but Turner Law has represented clients for charges that include a wide spectrum of illicit substances. Our firm seeks to serve you and fight for your rights in misdemeanor and felony drug cases. Our lead drug crimes attorney, Greg Turner, has dedicated his career to criminal defense, including positions as a public defender in San Diego County. His relationships with judges and prosecutors enable him to discover and fight for positive outcomes for your case.

Building A Strong Defense In A Drug Crime Case

Each drug arrest contains a unique set of circumstances. Mr. Turner uses his legal analysis skills to discover the route to the best defense for your case. Some of the factors he will consider when constructing the defense include:

  • What drugs were found during your arrest and where do they fall in California’s drug classification system for unlawful controlled substances
  • Whether you are charged with drug possession or trafficking – which greatly impacts the consequences the charges carry
  • Whether you are being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor
  • How well do law enforcement and the prosecution protected the chain of evidence or conducted lab analysis of the drugs
  • The potential for options that will avoid jail and a mark on your permanent record, which could include treatment through a drug court diversion program or having your sentence reduced to a charge that qualifies you for a diversion program

Drug crime convictions can alter your life. At Turner Law, we believe one mistake shouldn’t ruin your future. For a case consultation, call us in our San Diego offices at 619-436-4502 or use our online form.

Common Questions And Answers About California Drug Laws

Knowledge is power when it comes to challenging a drug crime arrest. California’s laws regarding controlled substances have changed in recent years, but it is a mistake to think an arrest on drug charges is anything less than a legal emergency. Drugs crime lawyer Greg Turner of Turner Law San Diego, APC has drafted some answers to drug-related questions heard in our offices in San Diego. The more information you have on this topic, the more effectively you can work with a criminal defense attorney if you ever face these charges.

Has California decriminalized possession of most street drugs?

Absolutely not. While adult use of cannabis and medical marijuana have been decriminalized, most other controlled substances – including synthetic versions and derivative products – are illegal to possess or sell. The least consequential misdemeanor charges can result in a sentence of $1,000 in fines, community service hours and possibly up to a year in jail. If you are charged with possession with intent to sell or drug trafficking, or if you have other types of serious felonies on your record, you may be facing the potential for spending decades in prison.
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Can I be arrested on a marijuana charge now that adult-use cannabis is legal?

It only takes one look at what has been legalized by Proposition 64 in 2016 to understand what remains illegal. That proposition and subsequent legislation allow for the following:

  • Possession of up to 28.5 grams of marijuana by adults 21 or older
  • Possession of up to 8 ounces of marijuana concentrate by adults
  • Consumption of cannabis products in a user’s private residence or in a public place licensed for cannabis consumption

If you possess more than the specified amount of marijuana (or other concentrate or cannabis), or you consume your marijuana anywhere else other than the locations mentioned, you are at risk of being charged with a drug crime.

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The police found drugs in my car. What defenses do I have at trial?

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, the amount of drugs and other factors, you may have several methods for challenging the prosecution’s case against you, including:

  • You may not have even known the drugs were in the car and thus did not have a means of physically controlling them, even though technically you were in possession of them.
  • The police stop or the search of your car may have been conducted unlawfully.
  • The laboratory where the drugs were analyzed may have made mistakes in measuring the amount or determining the substances discovered in your vehicle.
  • An undercover police officer or an informant pressured you into transporting the drugs, resulting in your entrapment.

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What is Proposition 47, and what impact might it have on my drug crimes case?

Proposition 47, passed in 2014, reduced the initial charges for many drug possession cases to misdemeanors and provided those serving a felony sentence for a drug possession conviction means to petition to be resentenced. What this means if you have a current drug possession charge pending in court, there is a good chance you may be charged with a misdemeanor-level offense rather than a felony. If you are serving time for a drug possession felony or have a loved one in that situation, exploring the possibility of resentencing with a criminal defense lawyer is now an option.

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I am a recreational drug user only. Why am I being charged with possession with intent to sell?

When law enforcement arrests someone on a possession with intent charge, they are attempting to demonstrate a pattern between the presence of drugs in possession of the defendant and other circumstances, including:

  • A large quantity of a controlled substance
  • Tools for measuring and packaging drugs (scales, small plastic bags)
  • The presence of a sizable amount of cash in small denominations
  • Firearms on the property
  • A high amount of foot traffic on and off the property

Your defense attorney can challenge the amount of drugs found on the property, any relationship between factors such as foot traffic and tools for packaging drugs (which are also found in many homes), or whether the search of your home was lawful. It is entirely possible your charge could be dropped to simple drug possession, which offers options that could keep you from having to serve time in jail.

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What drugs are illegal in California?

In California, the possession, use, and distribution of certain substances are regulated under both state and federal laws. These are considered “controlled substances,” and many are often referred to as “street drugs.” The illegal drugs commonly include, but are not limited to:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Hallucinogenic drugs LSD and magic mushrooms
  • Ecstasy (also called MDMA or Molly)
  • Opium
  • Peyote
  • Many synthetic drugs, including “bath salts”

Many prescription drugs are also controlled substances. They are legal when possessed by someone with a valid prescription and taken as directed. They are illegal when sold or otherwise distributed by individuals outside of a pharmacy or clinical setting. Commonly abused prescription drugs include:

  • Adderall, Ritalin and other ADHD stimulant medications
  • Anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines) like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Ativan
  • Prescription painkillers (opioids) like Vicodin, OxyContin, morphine, Dilaudid, etc.
  • Ketamine and other drugs with sedative properties

It’s important to understand that while marijuana/cannabis has been legalized for both medical and recreational use in California, there are still regulations concerning its use, possession, and distribution. Violating these regulations can result in criminal charges.

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What is drug paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia refers to any equipment, product, or material that is intended for making, using, distributing or concealing drugs. Examples of drug paraphernalia include items like pipes, rolling papers, and syringes, among others. In California, it’s illegal to sell, transport, import, or export drug paraphernalia. It is also illegal to possess paraphernalia if it’s intended to be used in a manner that violates drug laws.

Possession of drug paraphernalia is often used as an add-on charge to more serious crimes like drug possession or intent to distribute. Although it is a relatively minor offense (compared with other charges), it should still be treated seriously and addressed with the help of an experienced defense lawyer.

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Hire An Attorney Who Understands How To Fight For You

Our firm’s lead lawyer has handled 1,500 cases over his two-decade career in criminal defense. He understands the drug crimes in California’s drug laws, as well as developments in other areas of the law. For a consultation, call our offices in San Diego at 619-436-4502 or use our online contact form to get in touch.