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Repercussions of Fentanyl-Related Crimes in CA
Over the past two decades and, especially, since 2019, the US has been facing an unprecedented challenge. An “opioid crisis” swept across the nation like a tidal wave, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.
Throughout the crisis, one substance emerged and retained a place at the very top of the “most dangerous” list: Fentanyl – one of the most potent synthetic opioids known today. In 2022, this substance alone was responsible for more than 200 fatalities per day, bringing the death toll to almost 74,000.
As a result, many states, California included, have implemented strict laws in order to combat the spread of this drug and its devastating effects, with penalties and sentences designed to reflect the grave nature of the situation. For this reason, it is essential to understand the legal repercussions of fentanyl possession and distribution.
If you’re facing charges for any of these offenses, it is absolutely crucial to seek professional legal counsel, as only an experienced San Diego fentanyl drug crime attorney can devise a solid defense strategy and help ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
What is a sentence for fentanyl?
California’s legal system is austere when it comes to fentanyl-related crimes, reflecting the state’s commitment to combat the ongoing crisis. Consequently, the sentences can be incredibly harsh, ranging from steep fines and mandatory drug treatment or counseling to lengthy incarceration.
However, it is important to note that the sentence severity (i.e. whether the offense is tried as a misdemeanor or a felony) will vary based on the specifics of the case. Factors that can influence the outcome include, but are not limited to:
- The quantity of fentanyl (or fentanyl analogue) in possession;
- The intent to sell, distribute, transport, furnish, or give away the drug;
- Whether the offense involved minors or occurred in the vicinity of schools, rehab centers, homeless shelters, or similar institutions;
- Whether the actions resulted in a person’s injury or death;
- Perpetrator’s criminal history.
How long do you go to jail for fentanyl in California?
The length of incarceration for fentanyl possession will depend on the type of charge, which is determined by the aforementioned factors, and typically falls into one of three categories defined by the California Health and Safety Code (HSC):
- HSC§11350: Simple possession (“possession for personal use”) is the least severe of drug offenses. Usually, it is tried as a misdemeanor and can result in up to 1 year in county jail, provided that the perpetrator does not have prior convictions for serious or violent drug-related crimes.
- HSC§11351: Possession for sale is a felony and the conviction can result in 2 – 4 years in jail time. Do note that the incarceration term is based on each intended sale, meaning that the sentence length can spiral incredibly fast.
- HSC§11352: Drug trafficking is also a felony that carries 3, 4, or 5 years in jail, increasing respectively to 3, 6, and 9 years if the controlled substance has been transported across 2 or more county lines.
Finally, it must be noted that the sentence for possession and/or distribution of fentanyl (or related substances) carries additional penalties in addition to jail time, such as:
- Substantial fines, ranging from tens of thousands to several million dollars;
- Felony probation (length determined based on the specifics of the case);
- Mandatory drug rehab or counseling.
Where in San Diego can I find a reliable fentanyl drug crime attorney?
Monder Criminal Lawyer Group is the leading authority on drug-related crimes, offering robust and personalized defense strategies to individuals facing charges of fentanyl possession or transportation throughout the San Diego area and beyond.
With an extensive track record of success and decades of experience on the California legal scene, we’re the prime team to entrust your defense to. Reach out to us today for a free consultation or to schedule a meeting at our headquarters near the Lyceum Theatre, and ensure a partnership that will result in the most beneficial outcome for your case!