Despite California’s reputation as a progressive state, its drug laws are not as lenient as you may have imagined. Law enforcement and prosecutors are aggressive when it comes to serious drug cases. It may not matter if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or were unaware an illegal substance was in your possession, or even if you have been struggling with addiction. The state will be looking for a conviction. Your best option is to contact a seasoned and understanding Oakland drug lawyer. You need an attorney who will look out for you as if you are family. You need attorney Elliot Silver on your side.
Regardless of the amount of drugs, the specific narcotic involved, or the circumstances surrounding your charges, by working with Silver Law Firm, you can review all your options and fight back. Unlike other firms, we realize drug crimes don’t exist in a vacuum – families are threatened, careers can be destroyed, and treatment programs need to be considered. When attorney Elliot Silver represents you, you won’t feel judged or let down. In fact, he’ll be your fiercest advocate.
If a drug charge is putting you at risk, let us help you and work to have charges reduced or dismissed as quickly as possible, so you and your family can get through this ordeal. Contact attorney Silver today at (510) 995-0000 to learn more during a free and confidential consultation.
Elliott was excellent right from the start. He explained his strategy for my husband’s felony drug case. The charge carried up to 15 years. My husband was sentenced to only probation/drug treatment. Elliot was honest, confident, genuine, and brilliant. I can’t thank him enough for helping keep my family together.”
Understanding Controlled Substances
Punishments for drug crimes vary widely in California. Some offenses such as those involving personal consumption or marijuana typically result in infractions or misdemeanor charges. On the other hand, drug crimes like trafficking, possession with intent to sell, and manufacturing can lead to felony charges and harsher punishments.
The seriousness of your offense will largely depend upon California’s controlled substance schedule, which is outlined in the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. This is based on the U.S. Controlled Substances Act which defines drugs by ranking them by their harmfulness, according to the government.
The controlled substances schedule includes:
- Schedule I drugs
The most dangerous and addictive drugs that are not considered to serve any medicinal purpose, including heroin, LSD, ecstasy, peyote, and marijuana.
- Schedule II drugs
These drugs are also highly addictive and may have some medicinal purposes. They include cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine, Adderall, Ritalin, and many prescription pain killers.
- Schedule III drugs
Substances that have the potential for abuse but are widely available through prescriptions. This Schedule includes testosterone, steroids, ketamine, drugs with less than 90 milligrams of codeine.
- Schedule IV drugs
These drugs have a lower risk of abuse and addiction, yet can be harmful. These include Valium, Ambien, and Xanax.
- Schedule V drugs
Most of these substances are available through a prescription but can be harmful if taken irresponsibly or in large doses. These include cough suppressants, antidiarrheal medications, and certain pain medications.
Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug in California; however, possession, sale, and other related activities related to marijuana have been decriminalized and the penalties have been greatly reduced.
California Drug Crimes
With over 20 years of experience defending individuals just like you who have been caught up in the criminal justice system, attorney Elliot Silver has successfully defended virtually every type of drug case. This level of skill and insight gives attorney Silver an edge in any courtroom and makes Silver Law Firm more than prepared to represent you against any drug offense.
Some of the most common drug charges (California Health and Safety Code Drug Sections 11350-11651) in California include:
Depending on the type and amount of drug you have on your person or within your control, you could face a misdemeanor or felony offense. Simple possession of an amount for personal use is considered an infraction or a misdemeanor. Felony offenses are charged when the drugs are found in larger quantities and allegedly possessed for sale.
Transportation of a Controlled Substance
You will face higher charges and punishments if you are caught transporting a controlled substance. If you cross state lines, you can expect the offense to be charged as a federal crime.
This offense includes the import, export, transport, distribution, and sale of controlled substances within the state. If there is evidence you participated in any of these crimes, you will be charged with a felony.
Manufacturing a Controlled Substance
It is illegal to manufacture a controlled substance without a valid license. If you are caught cooking drugs like meth, you will be charged with a felony.
Counterfeit Drug Offenses
It is illegal to make counterfeit prescription drugs. If you are caught manufacturing, trafficking, or selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals, you will be charged with a felony.
Prescription Drug Crimes
If there is evidence you illegally possessed, transported, or sold prescription medications, you will be charged with an offense. You could be charged with additional crimes if there is evidence you tampered with the labels or these drugs lead to another person’s injury or death.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
You are not allowed to own or carry with you any pipe, device, or instrument that enables you to smoke or ingest a controlled substance. If you are caught with the tools to use an illegal drug, like a glass pipe used for meth, you will typically face a misdemeanor charge.
Medicinal and recreational marijuana is now legal in California; however, the plant is highly regulated. If you step outside the law regarding marijuana whether you are a grower, business owner, or medicinal or recreational user, you may be confronted with infraction, misdemeanor, or felony charges.
If there is evidence you possessed a small amount of meth for personal use, you will face a misdemeanor offense. However, if there is evidence you manufactured, trafficked, intended to sell, or possessed a large quantity of meth, you may face a felony.
Possessing a small amount of cocaine for personal use is a misdemeanor offense. If there is evidence you possessed a large quantity for sale, were trafficking, or sold cocaine, then you will face a felony and much stricter punishments. Many of these crimes result in asset forfeiture of cars, houses, or cash related to the crime.
Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Silver Law Firm today.
Potential Penalties and Collateral Consequences
There has been a recent trend in California to take a more relaxed stance towards certain drug offenses. This largely stems from seeing drug use as a medical or addiction issue rather than a criminal matter, which is progress in the right direction. However, the state still maintains a strict position on offenses related to the manufacturing, transportation, or sale of drugs. Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor will depend on the specific details in your case, but if you are convicted of a drug offense, you may face some or all of these statutory punishments and collateral consequences:
- A permanent criminal record
- Time in jail or prison
- Court costs, fines, and other fees
- Difficulty obtaining a job
- Difficulty obtaining rental housing
- Ineligibility for federal financial aid
- Disqualification from obtaining or retaining a professional license
- Changes to your child custody or visitation schedule
- Inability to obtain a visa, permanent resident status, or citizenship
- Registration as a drug offender
Defending Against California Drug Crimes
Despite California’s relatively liberal position on some drugs, many drug offenses are taken very seriously by prosecutors who will pursue your case to the fullest extent of the law. That means if you are facing a wobbler offense, prosecutors may push for the felony charge and punishment instead of the misdemeanor. However, with an attorney by your side, you have a greater chance of reducing the charges and minimizing the potential punishments.
The evidence in drug cases is often obtained by using informants, surveillance by law enforcement, and subsequent searches. This could seem open and shut if you are found in possession of narcotics or accused of drug trafficking. Your attorney will always present you with options. Information passed on to law enforcement is often inaccurate because snitches have their own agendas and typically point to others as a way to escape criminal charges themselves. If your rights were violated or the drugs in question were not processed, examined, or cataloged properly, a skilled drug lawyer can argue the material was illegally obtained and get the drug evidence thrown out. If key pieces of evidence can’t be used by the prosecution, this puts you in a much better position to see your case dismissed or your charges or penalties reduced.
Contact Our Drug Charges Defense Attorneys
The landscape in California drug cases is constantly changing, and trying to handle the matter alone or with an inexperienced attorney is perilous to say the very least. If you are facing criminal charges related to illegal drugs, contact an Oakland drug crimes lawyer at Silver Law Firm as soon as possible. From your initial consultation to the moment your case is resolved, we’ll always offer an honest appraisal of the facts and what it will take to overcome the hurdles in your case.
Whether you have been charged with a crime for growing one too many marijuana plants or trafficking a container full of a controlled substance, we are here to be your voice in court. Our priority will always be to obtain the best possible outcome in your case, which may be an acquittal, avoiding incarceration, or entering a drug diversion program.
Attorney Elliot Silver is available to every client as if they are his only one. From texts, emails, or calls, you can trust in a quick response and an in-depth conversation about your issue. Contact Silver Law Firm online or call (510) 995-0000 to schedule your free initial consultation.