Crystal Meth Attorney
Representing individuals in Southern California accused of selling, possessing, or manufacturing methamphetamine
Methamphetamine, known on the street as crystal meth, crank, ice, or glass, is one of the most potent stimulants in the amphetamine family of drugs. In California, selling or transferring methamphetamine, possessing or using crystal meth without a prescription, and manufacturing methamphetamine are all serious crimes.
Crystal meth in California
In its most common illicit form, methamphetamine is a white crystalline drug. It is usually ingested by smoking although it can also be inhaled through the nose or injected. The drug is highly addictive and can lead to serious physical and mental health problems, including the loss of teeth, heart damage, personality changes, and psychosis.
California and the federal government both classify methamphetamine as a Schedule II Controlled Substance. That means the drug has legitimate medical uses and a high potential for abuse. It is legally available only by prescription.
While methamphetamine is not widely prescribed, it is the active ingredient in drugs like Desoxyn that are used to treat obesity and hyperactivity disorder. Most methamphetamine that is sold by dealers is manufactured in clandestine laboratories. Since the manufacturing process causes strong foul odors and may trigger explosions, it is usually conducted in isolated or rural areas.
At one point, crystal meth labs were common in California. They still exist, but the primary ingredient used in one of the most common manufacturing methods is no longer readily available. Amateur chemists were extracting ephedrine from pseudoephedrine, a cold remedy that is sold over-the-counter. Federal and California laws now restrict the amount of pseudoephedrine that can be purchased and require sellers to record the identities of buyers.
Restricting sales of pseudoephedrine made it more burdensome for cold sufferers to buy their favored remedy but did little to reduce the supply of crystal meth. Most meth is now manufactured in Mexico where ephedrine is more readily available.
California Crystal Meth Crimes
The Law Offices of Randy Collins represents individuals who are arrested or prosecuted for all California crimes involving methamphetamine, including:
- Sale of methamphetamine. The sale of crystal meth means the drug was exchanged for something of value (usually, but not necessarily, money) but the same offense can be charged when the drug is given to someone else for free. Selling meth is a California felony that usually carries a maximum prison sentence of four years.
- Possession of methamphetamine for sale. Possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell it is a California felony that carries a maximum sentence of three years. Whether the prosecution can prove that the drug was possessed for sale rather than personal use is one of the keys to the crime.
- Transportation of methamphetamine. Transporting crystal meth means moving it from one place to another for the purpose of selling it. Transportation of meth carries the same penalties as the sale of meth unless the drug is moved across more than two counties. When that happens, the maximum penalty increases to nine years.
- Manufacturing methamphetamine. Making meth is a California felony that carries a maximum sentence of seven years.
- Possession of methamphetamine for personal use. Possessing methamphetamine for your own use is a California misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail. The amount possessed does not matter although it must be a usable amount (something more than a few crystals clinging to the corner of a bag).
- Being or driving under the influence of methamphetamine. Being under the influence of methamphetamine subjects you to a maximum sentence of 90 days. Driving under the influence of methamphetamine carries additional penalties that affect your driving privileges.
Maximum penalties may increase if the person accused of the crime has a criminal record that includes certain specified offenses or is required to register as a sex offender. Maximum penalties may also increase if the offense is alleged to involve more than a kilogram of meth, if a minor was allegedly involved in the crime, or the crime is alleged to have occurred near a drug treatment center or other “drug free??? zone.
Crystal Meth Defenses
The Law Offices of Randy Collins is committed to providing an aggressive, high quality defense to all methamphetamine accusations. Potential defenses include:
- Mistaken identity.
- False accusations made by unreliable or vengeful witnesses.
- The accused did not know that he or she possessed a controlled substance (for example, the drug was planted by someone else).
- The meth belonged to someone else (the “innocent bystander??? defense).
- The accused possessed meth for personal use, not for sale.
- The evidence was obtained by means of an illegal search or seizure.
- The substance was not methamphetamine or any other controlled substance.
Other defenses may also be raised, depending on the facts of the case. Technical or procedural defenses sometimes result in all charges being dismissed. Drug diversion programs and other alternatives to conviction and incarceration are available when the charge involves the use or personal possession of methamphetamine.
Randy Collins is a top-rated California drug defense attorney. With convenient offices in several Southern California cities, The Law Offices of Randy Collins defends individuals accused of methamphetamine crimes in Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, and in other Southern California courts.
If you have been arrested for or charged with a methamphetamine crime, contact an experienced California criminal defense lawyer by calling 888-250-2865.