Experienced California Lawyer Defends Clients Charged with Drug Crimes
Strategic Palo Alto advocate represents residents on possession and distribution counts
Though California has taken measures to keep minor drug offenders and people with substance abuse problems out of prison, the state still imposes serious penalties for many types of drug crimes. At Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law, in Palo Alto, I represent Bay Area individuals who face potentially life-altering criminal drug charges. With decades of experience as a criminal defense lawyer, I know the ins and outs of state and federal statutes regarding narcotics, opiates, marijuana and other controlled substances and will work to achieve the most favorable outcome under the facts of your case.
Skilled trial attorney handles sale and possession allegations
The legal consequences for a drug crime depend on the type of drug, the amount involved and what the offender allegedly did with the substance. I defend clients charged with:
- Possession — Following the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014, simple possession (for personal use only) of a controlled substance is usually charged as a misdemeanor in California. With the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, cannabis became legal to use, grow and sell for recreational use by adults in the state, but it gave local governments the power to ban sales in their jurisdictions.
- Possession with intent to sell — When law enforcement catches a person with a sizeable amount of drugs, this felony charge may apply. The distinction between an amount of drugs considered to be for “personal use” and an amount considered to be for sale or distribution depends on the type of drug.
- Drug DUI — A first-time charge for driving under the influence of a drug is often a misdemeanor that comes with a license suspension and probation. A second offense may be charged as a felony and may involve jail time.
- Trafficking — A California court can sentence a person to several years in jail for selling or moving large amounts of a controlled substance. Harsher sentences are available for moving substances farther distances.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia — It is illegal to own any device used to inject or smoke a controlled substance, with certain exceptions made for hypodermic needles.
The defense that’s right for your case may involve a challenge to law enforcement’s actions during a search and seizure, or it may be based on proving that the drugs were for personal use rather than criminal use. I will carefully examine the details of your case and the prosecutor’s evidence before devising an individualized criminal defense strategy.
Knowledgeable counselor guides clients through opioid and narcotic charges
There are five classifications, or “schedules,” of controlled substances under federal law and codified under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, so Schedule I drug offenses usually carry the harshest penalties. Schedule V drugs are considered to have a low potential for abuse and are used for medical purposes. Some common types of drugs under each classification include:
- Schedule I — Heroin, amphetamines, Ecstasy, mescaline, PCP, LSD, marijuana and certain drugs with a cocaine base. (While marijuana is currently in Schedule I, its medicinal benefits and inability to cause addiction make it likely it will be removed from this schedule.)
- Schedule II — Cocaine, methamphetamines, Vicodin, OxyContin, methadone and opium
- Schedule III — Anabolic steroids, ketamine, testosterone
- Schedule IV — GBH and “roofies,” Valium, Xanax
- Schedule V — Cough medicine with low codeine concentrations
Regardless of the type or amount of drug involved in your case, or the charges filed against you, I will deliver a strategic defense informed by more than 40 years of experience practicing the law in California.
Contact a determined Bay Area drug crime defense attorney for a free initial consultation
People throughout the Bay Area have turned to the office of Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law for help fighting California drug charges. To schedule a free initial consultation regarding your case, call my Palo Alto office at 650-619-9706 or contact me online.