We aggressively defend drug cases.
We often defend individuals accused of possession for sale, sale of and possession of controlled substances. We have had great success in obtaining dismissed charges where we proved that unlawful police conduct lead to marijuana, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. Contact us for a free consultation if you are facing drug charges anywhere in California.
Possession, Sale and Transportation Matters
The primary defense in most drug possession and sale matters involves whether the prosecution can establish that the evidence was lawfully obtained. An unlawful search and seizure may result in the evidence found being ruled inadmissible in any court proceeding. The prosecution has the burden of proof to establish that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution has not been violated. If a violation is shown, the evidence may be suppressed, and the case may be dismissed.
In California there are technical procedures a skilled defense attorney uses in order to successfully attack the basis for the search and seizure of evidence. A skilled drug crimes attorney also knows how to uncover evidence of police misconduct. This office has had many cases dismissed on illegal search and seizure grounds even where the reasons for the dismissal are discovered beyond a cold reading of the police reports. The reasons a police search may be illegal are varied. For an unusual example, please read Attorney Domenic Lombardo’s blog post regarding the illegality of police officer’s playing video games during a drug raid: Drug Detectives play Wii while Executing a Search Warrant.
Drug cases may also present a “mere presence” defense or “dominion and control” defense. Mere presence refers to the fact that it is not illegal to be merely present at the scene of a crime, for example, involving the possession, sale, or transportation of drugs. Dominion and control refers to law enforcement attempts to establish that the defendant may have constructive possession over another person’s drug stash. Unless the prosecution can establish that the defendant had an ownership or possessory right to the drugs, the drug charges cannot be established.
Finally, there is an important distinction between possession or transportation for sale and possession or transportation for personal use. The outcomes for these cases can be radically different depending on whether intent to sell in established, and, as a result, punishment can range from PC1000 (diversion and dismissal of charges), to Proposition 36 (drug treatment) and Drug Court (intensive drug supervision), to probation with jail or a state prison sentence. And, depending on the type of possession, prior convictions can also make the difference between a judge granting probation at all or imposing a prison sentence with an added 3-years prison enhancement.
Prescription Drug Offenses, Pharmacy Crimes
The national prevalence of prescription drug abuse and San Diego’s proximity to the border has created an epidemic of prescription drug-related offenses in San Diego County. The type of defendants in these matters are usually not the typical drug addicted person who cycles in and out of the County jails and State prisons, rather they range from good college kids to pharmaceutical and medical professionals. The goal in these matters quite often concerns protecting a defendant’s ability to advance a career or educational objective without being saddled with a felony conviction or suffering a jail sentence. These matters also may involve consideration of how best to protect a professional license. This office has extensive experience with matters that involves consideration of professional license implications for real estate professionals, nurses, pharmacists, doctors, radiology technicians, and lawyers, to name a few examples.
Designer Drugs, Precursors and Analogs
The California Legislature has responded to the innovative manufacturing of drugs that chemically do not qualify as a prohibited controlled substance, so called analogs or “designed drugs.” These drugs are illegal to use, posses and sell even though they are not specifically listed as a controlled substance, if they are capable of and do produce the same physiological effect on the user as a prohibited listed drug. Similarly, it is unlawful to posses chemicals with the intent to manufacture a prohibited controlled substance or its analog, referred to as precursors.
Marijuana Possession, Sale and Cultivation
There is a glaring conflict between the enforcement of marijuana-related offenses in Federal and California State Courts well beyond the scope of this website. There is presently no way to comply with both federal and state laws in operating a marijuana dispensary or for a physician to prescribe marijuana to a patient. Caregivers seeking designation to provide marijuana to patients that do have a prescription run the risk of being prosecuted in Federal Court even as compliance is made with California law. And suffice to say that the attitudes toward enforcement and punishment of marijuana related offense vary greatly from one County to the next.
How Law Enforcement Investigates Drug Offenses
Law enforcement has a variety of investigative tools available in drug cases. Persons suspected of possession for sale of controlled substances, including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and the possession for sale and cultivation of marijuana are aggressively pursued by the San Diego County District Attorney’s office. Successful defense in these cases requires that the drug crimes attorney be familiar with legal and illegal methods used by law enforcement. Evidence may be suppressed and the case dismissed where the defense attorney can prove that the police ran afoul of the Fourth Amendment.
Here, you can review some of the drug enforcement tools and the legality of their use without a warrant.