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Drug Crimes in San Francisco

Drug Crimes

The drug crime defense attorneys at Ticket Crushers represent men and women accused of felony drug charges throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. From the simple possession of a controlled substance to more serious offenses for drug trafficking, our attorneys have the training and experience to provide an aggressive defense. 

Our attorneys are experienced in fighting accusations made by the DEA, drug narcotics units, undercover officers, and confidential informants in San Francisco, CA. Find out more about how drug crimes are prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office in San Francisco, CA.


Defenses in California Drug Crime Cases in San Francisco, CA

The most common mistakes made by law enforcement officers in San Francisco in drug cases include:

  • Relying on unreliable confidential informants

  • Misleading a judge in order to obtain a search warrant

  • Entrapping a person not otherwise predisposed to commit the crime

  • Conducting an illegal search or seizure

  • Planting evidence 

  • Adding untrue statements in police reports

These problems can lead to the suppression of evidence or the outright dismissal of the charges. Our attorneys aggressively fight these charges by filing and litigating:

  • Motions to suppress or exclude, or
     
  • Motions to dismiss

"Possession of a Controlled Substance" under Health & Safety Code § 11350 HS

Under California law, Health & Safety Code § 11350 provides for penalties for the possession of drugs, including: prescription drugs such Vicodin or Codeine or street drugs such as cocaine, GHB, ketamine, ecstasy, or heroin.

The crime of possession of a controlled substance is charged as a misdemeanor offense that comes with a penalty of up to three years in prison. In many of these cases, the prosecutor will offer to resolve the case under PC 1000 drug diversion or Proposition 36.


"Possession for Sale of Narcotics" under Health & Safety Code § 11351 HS

Under California law, Health & Safety Code § 11351 prohibits the possession of illegal drugs for the purpose of selling them, which is a felony. The crime of possession for sale of narcotics does not qualify for PC 1000 drug diversion or Proposition 36.

In the most serious charges of possessed narcotics for the purpose of sales, the officers will look at the following evidence:

  • Quantity of the drugs
     
  • Way in which the drugs were packaged
     
  • Whether scales or other measuring devices were present

  • Whether the defendant was also in possession of large amounts of currency

  • The presence of weapons

In many of these cases, highly circumstantial evidence leads to a person being charged with the more serious offense even through he or she only possessed the narcotics for personal use.


"Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance" under Health & Safety Code § 11352 HS

Health & Safety Code § 11352 prohibits selling, furnishing, administering, giving away, transporting or importing an illegal narcotic. Many sale cases involve an undercover sting operation or the use of a confidential informant.

Related offenses include Offering to Sell, Transport for Sale, etc., a Controlled Substance under Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11352 and 11379, or Sale, Transportation for Sale, etc., of Controlled Substance under Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11352 and 11379.


"Possession of Drug Paraphernalia" under Health & Safety Code § 11364

Health & Safety Code § 11364 prohibits possessing "an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance."

The term paraphernalia can include bongs, pipes or hypodermic needles. Crimes under § 11364 HS are punishable as a misdemeanor by up to six months in the county jail. Misdemeanor crimes for drug paraphernalia are eligible for diversion programs under Proposition 36 or PC 1000.


"Manufacturing Drugs & Narcotics" under Health & Safety Code § 11379.6 HS

Health & Safety Code § 11379.6 HS prohibits manufacturing, producing, compounding or processing a controlled substance. This felony offense is punishable by up to seven (7) years in prison. Enhanced penalties can apply if certain aggravated factors are present.

Related offenses include Health & Safety Code §§ 11383 and 11383.5 HS for the possession of materials for manufacture of a controlled substance.


Being "Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance" under Health & Safety Code § 11550 HS

Health & Safety Code § 11550 is a misdemeanor that prohibits the "use of a controlled substance or being under the influence of drugs. Although the maximum sentence is up to 12 months in the county jail, most people charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance are eligible for Proposition 36 or drug diversion under PC 1000.


Types of Controlled Substance Crimes in California

Crimes involving controlled substances in San Francisco, CA include:

  • Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11351, 11351.5, 11378, 11378.5)

  • Momentary Possession of Controlled Substance

  • Forged Prescription for Narcotic

  • Crimes for Manufacturing Drugs

  • Manufacturing and Offering Drugs

  • Possession of Materials

Marijuana crimes in San Francisco, CA, include:

  • Simple Possession

  • Planting

  • Transportation or Offering to Transport, or

  • Sale, Offering to Sell, or Possession for Sale

Drug crimes involving minors in San Francisco, CA, include:

  • Use and Possession of Paraphernalia

  • Possession of More Than $100,000 Related to Transaction Involving Controlled Substance: Proceeds (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.6)

  • Possession of More Than $100,000 Related to Transaction Involving Controlled Substance: Money to Purchase (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.6)

  • Attorney's Possession of More Than $100,000 Related to Transaction Involving Controlled Substance (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.6(b))

Another drug crime in California is Maintaining a Place for Controlled Substance Sale or Use (Health & Saf. Code, § 11366).


Additional Resources: 

Drug Abuse Patterns in the San Francisco Bay Area — Visit the website for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (updated in January 2014). The study explains the continuing dominance of methamphetamine indicators and the continuing decline in cocaine indicators.

San Francisco's Drug Court — Visit the website of the Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco to learn more about the San Francisco Drug Court. SFDC was created in 1995 to provide alternative sentencing options for people accused of drug crimes. SFDC is a collaborative effort between the San Francisco Police Department, the San Francisco Sheriff's Office, the Department of Public Health, the Adult Probation Department, the Office of the Public Defender, the Office of the District Attorney and the Superior Court. The SFDC's treatment clinic is located one block from the Hall of Justice in downtown San Francisco. Funded by the Department of Public Health, SFDC is monitored by the Court. Compliance with treatment is encouraged through the use of sanctions and incentives. Successful completion of the program will result in probation being terminated or charges being dismissed.

Dependency Drug Court in San Francisco — The San Francisco Dependency Drug Court (DDC) is a treatment and parenting program for people with children involved in the child welfare and dependency court system. This court-supervised program helps parents address their substance abuse issues and access community services to become better parents. Dependency Drug Court in San Francisco is an collaborative effort of SF CASA, Hamilton Family Services, Zero to Three, Homeless Prenatal Program, Juvenile Dependency Panel, the City Attorney’s Office, Department of Public Health, Human Services Agency, and Superior Court.


Finding a Drug Crimes Attorney in San Francisco

The drug crime defense attorneys at Ticket Crushers represent people charged with felony drug crimes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. From serious drug trafficking offenses to the simple possession of a controlled substance, our lawyers have the training and experience to provide an aggressive defense.

We also represent clients on related charges for forged prescription for narcotics under Health & Saf. Code § 11368 and forged prescriptions with possession of drugs under Health & Saf. Code § 11368.

If you are charged with a drug crime, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, CA, to discuss your case. Call 1 (866) 842-5384 today.

This article on drug crimes was last updated on April 13, 2016.

 

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Ticket Crushers San Francisco Location at 5001 Geary Blvd in San Francisco
5001 Geary Blvd San Francisco, CA 94118