Meth Crime Lawyers in San Diego
Methamphetamine, more commonly known as meth, is an illegal substance in California and throughout the rest of the United States. Those caught in possession of it, selling it, or transporting it face harsh penalties that can follow them around for the rest of their lives. But there are certain standards of proof the prosecution must meet in order to get a conviction for a meth crime, and there are many good defenses available from the right attorney.
If you have been charged with a meth crime, speak to former LAPD narcotics investigator James N. Dicks. Attorney Dicks, a drug recognition expert, and his team at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys have experience with drug crimes, and offer a free consultation to help you understand your options. Call us quickly at (760) 630-2000 to start building a strong defense.
Prior to November 2014, meth crimes were considered wobblers, which means the State had the discretion to charge the crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Since voters approved Proposition 47 in November 2014, most meth possession crimes are charged as misdemeanors.
In addition to this, when a person has been charged with a first-offense meth crime, he or she may be eligible for a diversion program. A diversion program may include drug treatment, counseling, or training courses, all focusing on treatment rather than incarceration. Once the treatment is completed, the charges will then be dismissed.
There are three different types of meth possession: actual possession, constructive possession, and joint possession.
- Actual possession means just that - the meth was on someone’s person, in his car or home, and that he had physical control over the drug.
- Constructive possession is when the drug is not on someone’s person, but he still had control over it. If someone gave his friend meth, asking her just to hold it until he asked for it back, that would be considered constructive possession.
- Joint possession means that two or more people possessed the same meth at the same time. For example, if two people purchased meth with the intention of sharing it, this would be considered joint possession.
Though most meth possession crimes are charged as misdemeanors, there are exceptions. If the accused has formerly been convicted of a felony or is a registered sex offender, the crime may be charged as a felony.
In order to convict a person of meth possession, the prosecution must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:
- The accused was in possession of meth,
- He was aware meth is a considered a controlled substance in California, and
- He possessed a usable amount of the drug.
A "usable amount" is considered enough to use, though not necessarily enough to get high. This element of proof is meant to protect those who only have a trace amount of meth in their possession.
Possession of meth for sale is not as commonly charged as simple possession, but the consequences are more severe. To prove a person is guilty of this crime, the prosecution must prove that:
- The accused had control of the meth,
- He was aware of the presence of meth and that it is a controlled substance,
- The amount in possession was enough for sale, and
- He possessed the drug with the intention of selling it.
Unlike simple possession, possession of meth for sale can and will be charged as a felony. In addition to high fines determined by the court, those convicted also face one to three years in prison and three to five years of formal probation.
If a person is caught transporting, furnishing, administering, or giving away meth, he or she may be charged with the transportation of meth. This is also a felony crime that carries penalties of fines, one to four years in prison, and three to five years of formal probation.
Being charged with any meth crime is serious. If convicted, a person can suffer consequences for the rest of his or her life. Even a misdemeanor conviction can prevent you from obtaining a job, enlisting in the military, receiving student loans, and obtaining housing.
But there are defenses available for all meth crimes, and at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we’ll use those defenses to build a strong case for you, to make sure your rights are protected, and to prove your innocence. If you have been charged with a meth crime, call a San Diego drug crime defense lawyer at our office today at (760) 630-2000 for your best chance at a successful outcome.
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