Were you arrested for possession or distribution of cocaine in San Diego, CA? Drug crimes carry serious penalties in Southern California, including jail time, financial penalties, and a permanent criminal record. An experienced San Diego cocaine defense lawyer at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers can help you fight the charges and protect your future.
Our lawyers have over ten years of experience helping clients build aggressive and effective defense strategies. We’re prepared to fight for you regardless of the criminal charges you’re facing.
How Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Can Help With Your Cocaine Defense in San Diego
California courts take illegal drug offenses seriously. If you’re facing criminal charges, you deserve to have an experienced San Diego drug crimes lawyer in your corner.
At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, our team has over a decade of experience fighting for clients facing charges like yours. We’ve been recognized by Super Lawyers and The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Attorneys. You can count on us to go the extra mile to build the aggressive defense you need.
Hiring us means you’ll have a lawyer to:
- Investigate the circumstances of your arrest
- Find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Help you evaluate any plea deal
- Negotiate with police and prosecutors on your behalf
Create an attorney-client relationship today by calling our criminal defense attorneys for a free initial consultation.
Overview of Cocaine Offenses in San Diego
Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the state of California. Cocaine base, which includes crack cocaine or freebase cocaine, is a Schedule I drug. Schedule I and Schedule II drugs are those with limited medical purpose and a high potential for addiction.
Section 11350 of the California Health and Safety Code makes it illegal to sell or even possess a controlled substance or prescription drug without a prescription. While cocaine possession is a serious crime, possessing cocaine with the intent to sell or distribute the drug carries much more severe penalties.
To convict you on cocaine possession charges, the state must prove that you either:
- Were in actual possession of the drug (for example, the cocaine was in your pocket or purse)
- You were in constructive possession of the drug, meaning that the drug was found in an area that you controlled
Law enforcement officials may also arrest you on cocaine charges if they can prove that you exercised joint control over the cocaine with someone else.
The cocaine in your possession must also be a usable amount. For example, law enforcement can’t arrest you for possessing an item that contained the residue of cocaine or cocaine base.
Cocaine Possession With Intent to Sell
The crime becomes more serious if the prosecution can prove that you possessed cocaine with the intent to sell under California Health and Safety Code Section 11351.
For example, you could be convicted for possession with intent to sell if:
- You possessed a particularly large amount of cocaine
- The cocaine was packaged in small bags or vials for distribution
- You also possessed a large amount of cash
- You possessed items associated with the sale of narcotics, such as scales
In other words, California prosecutors usually try to prove that you intended to sell the cocaine in your possession using circumstantial evidence.
Sale or Transportation of Cocaine
It’s also illegal to actually sell or transport cocaine. Prosecutors can convict you for the sale or transportation of cocaine if they can prove that you actually sold the cocaine or transported cocaine into the state or within the state.
What Are the Penalties for Cocaine Offenses in California
The severity of any drug charge usually depends on a few different factors:
- The amount of the drug that you had in your possession
- The type of cocaine involved
- Whether you have any prior drug crime convictions
In California, cocaine possession can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Typically, possession of cocaine is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail and one year of probation.
If you’re convicted of possession with intent to sell, you could face:
- Up to four years in prison
- Up to five years in prison if cocaine base was involved
Drug trafficking is a serious felony. If convicted of selling or transporting cocaine or cocaine base, you could be sentenced to three, four, or five years in prison. If you cross at least two county lines, you could be sentenced to three, six, or nine years in state prison.
You could also face collateral consequences, including:
- Probation or parole
- Court-ordered drug rehabilitation or counseling
- Participation in drug court
- Financial penalties
- Community service
If convicted of a felony, you’ll often have to disclose your criminal record when applying for a job or housing.
What Defenses Can be Raised if I’m Arrested on Cocaine Charges in San Diego?
There are a number of defenses available if you’re charged with a drug crime in California. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to accept a plea deal. With the help of an experienced San Diego cocaine defense attorney, it may be possible to have the charges reduced, or your case dismissed before trial.
Depending on the facts, your defense may include:
- The cocaine was found as a result of an illegal search and seizure
- You didn’t know that the cocaine was in your possession
- You didn’t actually have control over the cocaine
- You didn’t intend to sell or distribute the cocaine in your personal possession
If your constitutional rights were violated at any stage of the criminal process, our San Diego drug crime attorneys will file a motion to exclude the evidence from consideration in your case.
Contact a San Diego Cocaine Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today
Were you or a loved one charged with a cocaine-related offense in San Diego? It’s critical to speak with an experienced San Diego cocaine defense lawyer immediately. Contact Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to schedule your free case review today.