If you have been charged with the possession, sale or trafficking of methadone in San Diego, you might be wondering what the possible penalties will be if you are convicted.
In San Diego, methadone is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a significant potential for abuse and is considered to be highly addictive. The abuse of methadone has proven to cause extreme psychological and physical dependence. Other drugs listed as Schedule II include oxycodone, fentanyl, Adderall, methamphetamine and Ritalin.
Trafficking Methadone in San Diego
Trafficking methadone in San Diego involves transporting, selling, or illegally importing it for the purpose of selling it. The penalties for trafficking are typically more severe than the penalties for possession. It is possible to be in possession of methadone and charged with trafficking even if no transportation or sale takes place. This is because the law considers the quantity of the drug in your possession when determining whether you planned on selling it. Of course, they may not be able to convict you of the more serious offense but you could initially be charged. Another consideration when deciding what you charge you with is how much cash you have on you at the time of your arrest. If you have a large quantity of methadone on you or a smaller quantity but also have a significant amount of cash in your possession, it’s likely you will be charged with trafficking. The presence of items indicative of the sale of drugs, such as baggies or scales can also lead to a charge of trafficking.
The penalties for trafficking methadone vary depending on the following:
- How much methadone
- Whether children were involved or targeted
- The geographic distribution area
- If you are charged with a federal offense
If it is believed that you were involved with trafficking methadone across state lines, you could be charged with trafficking on a federal level.
The illegal possession of methadone is a felony. As such, if convicted you could be sentenced to prison for 16 months, two or three years, depending on several factors, such as how much methadone was in your possession at the time of your arrest. Additional factors in sentencing include whether this is your first charge or if you have a past criminal history.
In some cases, if convicted, you might be sentenced to probation instead of incarceration. In addition to the probation or the incarceration you will be responsible for paying fines and court costs along with probation fees if placed on probation. Other sentences might combine a jail or prison stay followed by probation/parole for the remainder of the sentence. There is also the possibility of being placed in Drug Court or a community supervision program in lieu of incarceration.
If you have been charged with the possession, sale or trafficking methadone in San Diego, contact an experienced San Diego defense attorney to discuss you legal options.
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