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San Diego Drug Crime Attorney

In California, the crime of using and/or being under the influence of a controlled substance is punished by California Health and Safety Code § 11550. A person can be convicted of a misdemeanor for willfully using or being under the influence of a drug, and can be punished by up to 1 year in county jail.

The minimum punishment for a conviction for HS §11550 is 90 days in jail! There does not need to be any intent to sell nor does the individual need to be in actual possession of a controlled substance at the time of arrest.

It is imperative that you immediately hire an attorney who is familiar with drug diversion programs like PC 1000 and Prop 36.

  • PC §1000 allows defendants accused of drug possession to enter a counseling and diversion program, as an alternative to punishment, and upon successful completion of the program the prosecution’s case against the defendant is dismissed.
  • Proposition 36 is a sentencing alternative, for qualified drug possession defendants without convictions for any violent crimes, to avoid jail for their conviction.


Charges for Being Under the Influence of Medically Prescribed Drugs

Even proper use of prescribed medicinal drugs could lead to charges if you do not have proof of a current prescription upon request by law enforcement officers. You could also be charged under HS §11550 if you are found to be under the influence of properly prescribed medicinal marijuana. Despite the passage of Prop 215, legitimate medicinal marijuana patients are often surprised to find themselves prosecuted under this section as well.

Even with the law on their side, without proper representation, these individuals can still face the threat of incarceration and substantial fines. San Diego County has become a forefront of the medical marijuana battle and if you are a medical marijuana patient who has been arrested for Health and Safety Code §11550, you need a lawyer familiar with the landscape of California medical marijuana laws that can defend you against this serious charge.

The Importance of Getting Skilled Defense for Drug Charges

In order for the court to convict an individual under HS § 11550, the prosecutor need only to prove that immediately prior to the arrest there was a willful and knowing use of the drug, or that the individual was at some point impaired by the drug. Therefore, you cannot be convicted if you were induced into taking the drug without your knowledge or against your will. Additionally, the individual will not be subject to prosecution under HS § 11550 if they can show that there was a current and valid prescription for the drug at the time of the arrest, given to them by a Doctor licensed to do so in this state.

Attorney Marc Kohnen is a drug crime lawyer in San Diego with years of experience defending clients wrongfully accused of unlawful drug use, and he can fight for you as well. If you have been arrested and charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance, contact The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen today for a complimentary consultation with a criminal lawyer.

“When I met Marc, I was immediately relieved. His calm and professional demeanor was exactly what I needed. He handled my case without a hiccup.”

Heather M. | Rosemead, CA
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Marc S. Kohnen

1350 Columbia Street, #700
San Diego, CA 92101
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Phone: (619) 398-2500

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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Contact The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen if you have been arrested and charged with a crime and need a skilled San Diego criminal defense lawyer. The firm represents clients throughout the community, and you can learn about their services by visiting the Areas We Serve page.

Office of Marc S. Kohnen
1350 Columbia Street, #700
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 398-2500

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