Methamphetamine Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles
Have you been charged with possession or another offense involving methamphetamine? The use of methamphetamine has skyrocketed in California, as it has in many other areas of the country. Only a short time ago, media attention relating to illegal drugs focused largely on substances such as heroin, morphine, OxyContin, and others. But over time, methamphetamine use has become more prevalent in California. In fact, what used to be a problem limited generally to some midwestern states, has expanded over the years to include the entire country.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine (“meth”) is a Schedule II drug under California law. This means, according to the state, that meth (and the other drugs listed in Schedule II) have little or no legitimate medical applications, are dangerous to use, and carry a high possibility of addiction and dependency. Schedule II drugs also include cocaine, opium, and codeine, among others.
Why is Methamphetamine So Popular?
The popularity of meth is due to a number of factors, including:
- Increased accessibility. As noted above, there was a time when meth was available mostly in the midwestern states. But as time went by, small local operations began to be replaced by larger meth labs run by cartels. This led to a significant increase in meth use in large cities.
- Decreased cost. The price is also a factor, with the cost of a gram of meth being about a third of the cost of a gram of cocaine.
- Increased potency. Most meth manufactured today uses a process that provides the user with a more “euphoric” feeling that meth manufactured in the past. And meth sold on the street today is close to 100% pure, as opposed to purity of 30% some years ago.
- Drug combinations. Various drug combinations have become popular in recent years, including meth and fentanyl, known as a “speedball.” This can increase the “high,” and have it last longer.
Whatever the reasons may be, there has been a surge in meth use throughout the country in recent years.
Illegal Possession of Methamphetamine
As a Schedule II drug under HSC 11055(d)(2), it is illegal to possess methamphetamines without a valid prescription. There are legitimate reasons to use the drug – treatment of ADHD, for example – but it is rarely prescribed because there are safer and more effective drugs available.
If you are charged with “simple possession” of meth, you are facing a misdemeanor charge since the passage of Prop 47. The maximum sentence on the misdemeanor charge is a year in jail, and fines. If, however, you have a prior conviction of a serious or violent felony, or any offense that requires registration under the sex offender registration law, then the offense is a wobbler, and you could be charged with a felony.
Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine
Possession for sale of meth is always a felony. HSC 11378. Note that possession for sale of any drug will be proven, or not, by the surrounding circumstances, including having a lot of money and/or drugs on your person, carrying as well as other factors. In that regard, the prosecution has the burden of proving intent – specifically, that you intended to sell the drugs.
Transporting or Selling Methamphetamine
The illegal transporting of methamphetamine into or within California, as well as the sale of (including giving away) the drug, is a felony. The statute (HSC 11379) provides for a sentence of 2, 3, or 4 years.
Defenses to Methamphetamine Charges
Before discussing the actual defenses that may be raised in your case, we should point out that if the issue is simple possession – a misdemeanor – you may qualify for pretrial diversion. This is generally available in meth possession cases, provided that you have no felony convictions within the past 5 years, no convictions that would make you ineligible for diversion, and no pending charges involving threats or violence.
Specific defenses to meth prosecutions may involve challenges to:
- In your case, the drugs may have been found near you, or in a car you were a passenger in. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were yours or knowingly possessed by you. Absent that proof, the case against you should be dismissed.
- Possession for sale requires proof of intent to transfer the drugs to another person. Evidence of that intent may sometimes be inferred from your behavior, from the amount of drugs seized, or other factors, but the claim can be attacked.
- Constitutional violations. Depending upon how the drugs were found, the legality of the search pursuant to which they were discovered may have violated your right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.
- If the police effectively created the crime and led you to commit an act you would not have committed but for the actions of the police, entrapment may provide a defense to the charges.
These and other defenses may enable an experienced attorney to successfully challenge the charges against you.
Los Angeles Meth Defense Attorney
If you are facing a methamphetamine charge, you need to retain an experienced drug crimes lawyer. At CBS Law, we understand what to do when a client is faced with a drug charge or any other criminal offense. We will make sure all avenues of the defense will be explored and developed. In an appropriate case, we may be able to have you placed in a drug diversion program.
Whatever the facts may be in your case, rest assured that CBS Law will do whatever is possible to make sure that your rights are protected, and your case is vigorously defended. Call CBS Law at (213) 800-8005