Santa Fe Springs, CA Drug Charge Lawyers
Drug-related offenses are the largest category of misdemeanor arrests in the state of California – about 1 in 4 of every arrest is for using, selling, making, or having drugs. If you have been arrested on a drug-related charge (possession, trafficking, manufacturing, or something else), then the consequences of conviction are serious. It could lead to jail time, or fines. It will go on your permanent record, which could make it hard to find employment and housing later on. If you’re not a U.S. citizen, it could even lead to deportation or render you ineligible for lawful status.
That’s why you need to do everything possible to avoid conviction, and you need excellent legal representation on your side to help you. At Confianza Legal, we are passionate about providing quality legal guidance to people who have been charged with drug crimes. Our Santa Fe Springs drug charge lawyers believe that everyone deserves a fair chance at redemption!
We will work hard to get your charges reduced or dismissed so you can move forward with your life and put this behind you. Call right now to schedule a free consultation.
Understanding & Defending The Charges Against You
In California, “controlled substances” are drugs regulated by the government that are illegal without a valid prescription. The state legislature has classified these controlled substances into a framework known as drug schedules (think of them as categories); there are five of them, and which schedule a controlled substance is in partially determines the penalty range for conviction. Schedule V(5) drugs carry lighter penalties, while Schedule I(1) drugs carry the most severe penalties.
- Schedule V – (generally legal with a prescription) Codeine, Dihydrocodeine, Ethylmorphine, Buprenorphine, etc.
- Schedule IV – (still medicinal, but more habit-forming) Ambien, Xanax, Tramadol, etc.
- Schedule III – (steriods, stimulants, and more addictive) Benzphetamine, Pentobarbital, Ketamine, etc.
- Schedule II – (includes opiates with a significant addictive risk) Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Barbitals, Opium, Ritalin, Adderall, Codeine, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Morphine, Vicodin, etc.
- Schedule I* – (hallucinogens and more, highly addictive) Ecstasy, Heroin, PCP, Peyote, etc.
*Note that marijuana used to be a Schedule I, and still is federally, but in 2016 California voters approved Prop 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). Now, adults 21 and older in California can legally grow, possess, and use cannabis recreationally, and can even sell it commercially (with certain restrictions and regulations). Because marijuana laws in California are complicated, our Santa Fe Springs drug lawyers can explain what the charges against you mean if they involve cannabis in any way.
The other major factor that determines the penalty range for conviction is what you were doing with the controlled substance and how much of it was involved.
Possession of a controlled substance – The most basic charge, which means that you were found with a small number of illegal drugs for personal use. It can be charged as a misdemeanor (minor) or felony (more serious) depending on the schedule classification and amount. (Common penalties for misdemeanor charge: up to 6 months in jail and a fine. Common penalties for felony charge: up to 3 years in prison and a fine.)
Possession with intent to sell – This means that you were found with drugs and the police believe you were going to sell them; this charge is always a felony. (Common penalty – up to 4 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.)
Manufacturing controlled substances – This means that you were actively involved in making drugs, not just present at the scene; this charge is also always a felony. (Common penalty – up to 7 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.)
Trafficking controlled substances – This means that you were knowingly transporting or involved the transport of illegal drugs across state lines. (Common penalty – up to 9 years in prison and fines).
Our defense attorneys will take the time to investigate your specific case and explain exactly what you are facing so you know what to expect, and so we can prepare the strongest defense. There are many possible defenses we can use; maybe you had a valid prescription, or weren’t actually in possession of the drug, or were a victim of police misconduct (an unlawful search, or something else).
Even if you were in the wrong, one mistake or an addiction (which is a disease) shouldn’t ruin your criminal record. California has a drug diversion program that involves various levels of substance abuse counseling, random drug testing, and more; if successfully granted and completed, it could result in your entire case being dismissed.
How Our Santa Fe Springs Drug Charge Lawyers Can Help
Stigma is often attached to these types of offenses, and the criminal justice system is biased against minorities. We’ll treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve, without judgement, and we will advocate for you. Confianza Legal will help you tell your story and aggressively protect your rights and freedoms. Our Santa Fe Springs drug charge lawyers will fight for you! Responding to charges is time-sensitive; call us immediately for a free consultation.