San Diego Drug Crimes Lawyer

Today’s prison population is flooded with non-violent citizens that have been convicted of drug crimes. In fact, the most recent studies have shown that nearly 47% of federal prisoners are serving time for drug offenses. 

It’s clear that the war on drugs did not work as intended and has instead sent a lot of people to jail for minor drug offenses. California is known for its strict sentencing guidelines and overpopulated prisons. A drug conviction on your record can have a major impact on every facet of your life including your freedom, finances, health, relationships, ability to get a job in the future, education, etc. 

If you have recently been charged with a drug crime, it is recommended that you immediately contact an experienced San Diego drug crimes lawyer to discuss your case. At Bernal Law, our attorneys are proven, detailed, and ready to fight for your freedom. Give us a call to schedule your no-obligation initial consultation. Learn more below about drug crime law in San Diego. 

Drug Cime Statistics in San Diego

Though there is not much data available about specific drug crime statistics in San Diego, much can be inferred by the increasing number of drug busts. In general, slightly more than 16 percent of all in arrests in California can be attributed to drugs. Though Proposition 64 helped to curtail thousands of drug arrests across the states, overall arrests for drug charges still remain steady. 

Types of Drug Crimes

Every drug crime is not the same. Some can lead to extensive jail sentences and high fines. The most common types of drug crimes charged in San Diego include drug possession, drug possession with intent to sell, drug trafficking, and manufacturing a controlled substance. Learn more about each below. 

  • Drug Possession: Drug possession can be charged as an infraction,  misdemeanor, or felony depending on how much you have on you and what type of drug it is. Types of drug possession charges can fall under three categories: actual possession, constructive possession, and joint possession.
  • Drug Possession With Intent to Sell: If you possess illegal drugs in amounts that indicate an intent to sell, it can lead to felony charges and harsh penalties. Convictions for possession with intent to sell require that the defendant was aware of the drugs, knew they were illegal, owned a substantial amount, and intended to sell. 
  • Drug Trafficking: Defendants that are suspected of(or being involved with) importing/exporting drugs or transporting drugs across state lines can be charged with drug trafficking. 
  • Manufacturing a Controlled Substance: Manufacturing a controlled substance without appropriate authorizations can be criminally charged. Charges can lead to long prison terms and hefty fines. 

Penalties For Drug Crimes

Penalties for drug crimes vary depending on the schedule of the drug, type of drug crime committed, and previous criminal history. No matter the case, drug charges can be serious. If you are facing charges, it is recommended that you contact an experienced San Diego drug crimes attorney to discuss your case. 

The consequences of drug possession can range from an infraction to serious prison time. In most cases, those charges with intent to sell, trafficking, or distribution are facing felony charges, high fines (up to $50,000), long prison sentences. 

Contact a San Diego Drug Crimes Lawyer Today

Since San Diego is so close to the border, drug crimes are particularly scrutinized. The types of drugs in your possession, amount of it, and what you were doing with the drugs will have a profound impact on the charges filed against you. 

No matter the circumstance, it is typically in your best interest to hire a proven San Diego drug crimes attorney to handle your case. They can increase the likelihood of your case being dismissed, an acquittal, decreased charges, and/or lessened prison time. 

If you have been charged with a drug crime in San Diego, do not wait until the prosecution has already mounted a significant case against you. Contact the Bernal Law to discuss the detail of your case today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Common Legal Challenges in Drug Cases?

There are a number of potential defenses that a San Diego drug crimes lawyer can deploy to potentially salvage your freedom. Some of the most common defenses include:

  • Mistakes made in the drug crime lab
  • Illegal search and seizure procedures 
  • Lack of knowledge about the drugs and no intent to sell
  • Planted drugs
  • Entrapment scenarios
  • Misplaced drugs (i.e. lack of evidence)

What Are Controlled Substances “Schedules”?

U.S. laws identify five “schedules” of drugs. The lower the schedule, the more severe the potential penalties can be for possession, distribution, manufacturing, and trafficking. Learn more about each schedule below. 

  • Schedule I: Considered the most dangerous drugs that have no medical value and are highly addictive. Examples include LSD, Heroin, and Marijuana.
  • Schedule II: These drugs can lead to addiction and/or abuse, but they may have valid medicinal uses. They include opium, cocaine, methadone, amphetamine, etc. 
  • Schedule III: Drugs that have a moderate chance of being abused such as depressants, testosterone, steroids, etc. 
  • Schedule IV: Drugs that have a decreased likelihood of abuse and are used within the medical community like prescription drugs. 
  • Schedule V: Typically over-the-counter drugs that do not require a prescription and have a relatively low chance of being abused. 

What Are Sentencing Guidelines?

Sentencing guidelines are the standards used by judges when they are deciding on punishments. Theses guidelines are used to promote consistency across all courts. The sentencing guidelines take into account the type of charge, past criminal history, ad type of drug when sentencing convicted drug offenders. The guidelines are suggestions, but judges have the authority to give less or more time if deemed necessary. 

If I Simply Intend to Plead Guilty, Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

An experienced San Diego drug crimes lawyer is not just there to help you to avoid convictions, they are in your corner to also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. If you plead guilty to a drug crime, you are at the prosection’s mercy. Attorneys can help to negotiate decreased charges, less time in jail, lowered fines, etc.

As Seen On

Logo of Tele Mundo
Logo of NBC
Logo of Eight
Logo of Fox 5
Logo of Kusi News Television
Logo of The San Diego Union Tribune
Logo of abc 10 News San Diego

“I hired Pedro during one of the most difficult times in my life. Pedro was compassionate to my situation and knew the law well. He was able to negotiate a resolution that let me move on with my life.”

Annie C.

“Lo recomiendo mucho porque me ayudo mucho con mi cargo de DUI. Excelente trabajo. Súper recomendado”

Francisco Morales

“La experiencia del Sr. Bernal ayudó a descartar un cargo de hit and run. Es altamente profesional, honesto/directo y de mucha confianza. Un abogado fenomenal.”

Sally Piñera

“Pedro Bernal is a very experienced attorney. As a former prosecutor he has the experience and insight necessary to be a true advocate for his clients. He is very professional and diligent in responding to phone calls and emails. Pedro handles a broad array of criminal matters ranging from White Collar crimes to health insurance fraud; he truly knows the ins and outs of how a case is prosecuted and tried in court. I highly recommend Pedro Bernal to any individual that is facing charges or has been arrested for a criminal offense or a civil regulatory violation. He truly provides the one-on-one attention that any client deserves.”

Ronson J. Shamoun

“I called Pedro to get some legal insight on a business partnership that went sour and although his expertise is criminal law, he gave me solid legal advise and referred me to an excellent lawyer that specializes with small businesses. If you want honest legal counsel, no bs, and a straight shooter lawyer, look no further than Pedro Bernal.”

Y. Ramirez

“ Pedro Bernal is a very professional and trustworthy lawyer. I had an amazing experience and I highly recommend him!”

Y. Mendoza

“Attorney Bernal has been extremely professional with my case. He has worked diligently and has responded to all my phone calls and emails.”

I. Heard

“Pedro Bernal is extremely professional and always made sure to answer all my questions. A reliable criminal defense attorney that you can definitely count on. His experience as a former prosecutor made a world of a difference when dealing with my case. Thank you, Mr. Bernal!”

Melissa Marquez

“Hands down one of the best lawyer in San Diego. He helped me with my restraining order against my ex boyfriend. He not only helped me with my case but made me feel safe and was available for every question I had. Will contact him again with any other legal matters.”

Joanna Gallardo

“Pedro was very professional and very tentative to my case. I would definitely recommend and go back when in need of an attorney!”

Fabian Toledo

“Pedro was so helpful with my case. He is definitely worth the $! Glad I retained him.”

Erica Lopez

“I strongly recommend Mr. Bernal for any criminal defense need. He is very attentive and delivers results! Thanks to all the staff at Bernal Law!”

Ruayner Rivas

“He is great! reliable and efficient. Would recommend Bernal Law to anyone who needs a criminal defense attorney. Thank you, Pedro.”

Mariangela Contacessi

“It was a pleasure working with Pedro Bernal. His knowledge & experience was really helpful through this difficult experience. He was referred to us by another attorney we knew and we were so grateful in the end. Look no further... Pedro Bernal is the answer.”

Leann Thompson

“Really recommend Mr Bernal. I was risking being away from my family but he stood by me and fought for my freedom every step of the way . This was my first experience dealing with a case, but he helped me haveba better understanding of what was happening at all times. Thank you for all your help and your great knowledge !”

Antonio Macias

“I would highly recommend Pedro for being the perfect lawyer. Accessible to you at any time... Very professional. Sets your expectations very practically and well prepared at the hearing. You can feel assured that you are in the best of hands”

Punam Garg

“Exceptionally good attorney. Absolutely determined to win and serve to the best interest of his client. He was representing my opponent, and I lost in the court room hearing absolutely everything, even where I was feeling strong in my case. Representing my opponent, he was always very well prepared to the slightest details of the case, he was very well articulate representing his client side during the courtroom hearing session, he made a great positive impression on the judge, and kept his concentration till very end through the lengthy court sessions. He clearly demonstrated very strong motivation to win the case for his client, he did outstanding job educating and preparing his client for the win in the court room settings. His client got fortunate to have him in his corner. He righteously won based on his professional skills and qualities. I was also represented by an attorney, but lost everything where I was not even was supposed to to loose because he was so much better. He completely destroyed all my defense and totally negated all the strong points brought by my attorney in the case. He has all the professional and personal qualities you would look in the attorney to bring your case to victory in the court of the law”

Greg Egoudine

Contact Bernal Law for Free Consultation
Virtual Consultation Available Upon Request