Methamphetamines are illegal in California, except for people who have a valid prescription. Since methamphetamines are among the most abused drugs in the state, California has strict laws and penalties for meth crimes. The penalties associated with a methamphetamine conviction can be severe and follow you for the rest of your life. If you have been arrested or charged with a meth crime, whether it involves possession or trafficking, you need to speak to a skilled San Diego meth crime lawyer who can help. You can rest assured that Roseline D. Feral will leave no stone unturned in building a comprehensive defense to fight the drug charges that you are facing.California Laws Governing Meth Crimes
Crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth, is a powerful central nervous system stimulant and street drug that can be injected, snorted, or smoked. Some street names for the drug are shard, tine, ice, or glass. When taken, the drug creates a false sense of well-being and energy, fueled by a surge in the neurotransmitter dopamine. Methamphetamines are highly addictive.
Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11379, it is a crime to have any amount of methamphetamine in your possession. It is also a crime to possess methamphetamine with intent to sell as well as selling, transporting, or attempting to sell or transport the drug. In addition, it is illegal to manufacture the drug, including compounding, deriving, producing, extracting, or preparing methamphetamine. The law also forbids offering to engage in any stage of this process. Crystal meth is extremely prone to explosions as it is being manufactured. A meth crime attorney in San Diego can help craft a strategy to fight the specific charge that you are facing.
The burden of proof in any criminal case is on the state, which must establish every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In order for a prosecutor to convict you for possession of methamphetamine, the prosecutor must show that you actually or constructively possessed the drug. Constructive possession only necessitates that you have control over the drug or the right to control the drug. It does not require physical possession. To get a conviction, the prosecutor must prove the following elements: i) you actually or constructively unlawfully possessed methamphetamine; ii) you knew that you possessed the methamphetamine; and iii) you possessed a “usable” amount of the drug. Under California law, “usable” means that it is enough to be used by someone as a controlled substance and to affect the user.
In California, illegal possession of methamphetamine used to be a “wobbler” offense that could considered be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon whether the defendant had a prior conviction for certain crimes. As our San Diego meth crime attorney is aware, this law was changed in 2014, and possession of methamphetamine is now classified as a misdemeanor offense. If a defendant is convicted for misdemeanor possession of meth, he or she may serve up to a year in county jail, be fined up to $1,000, and receive mandatory drug counseling, summary probation, or community service.
However, just because you have been charged with a meth crime does not mean that you are guilty. There may be a variety of defenses that may be appropriate in your case, including but not limited to arguments that:
- You did not know that you had possession of the drug;
- You did not know that the substance in your possession was methamphetamine, or you only had trace amounts;
- You had a valid prescription;
- You have been mistakenly identified or falsely accused; or
- The discovery of meth happened during an illegal search or seizure.
If you are facing charges related to an alleged meth crime in San Diego, you need to reach out to a skilled drug crime attorney who is experienced in this area of law. We understand that being charged with a serious drug crime can feel like a hopeless situation, but it does not need to be. With nearly 30 years of experience representing people charged with offenses related to meth, cocaine, and other narcotics, Roseline D. Feral can guide you through the criminal justice process and can build a strong defense in your case. We serve people in the areas around Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista. Call us today at 619-232-1010. You can also reach Attorney Feral directly at 619-301-1191.