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Record Deaths from Meth in San Diego Call for Drastic Measures
Earlier this month, the San Diego County Methamphetamine Strike Force released the finding of a study conducted on the use of methamphetamine. The study has uncovered a record number of deaths from methamphetamine in 2016, with as many as 377 fatalities. The recorded tally is higher than in 2015 by 66 fatalities.
Once considered the ‘’meth capital of the world’’, San Diego is experiencing a frightening rise in methamphetamine abuse once again. This highly addictive drug is taking its toll on an increasing number of San Diego families. To say that the trend is alarming would be an understatement. The authorities have already stepped up and taken measures to connect more addicts with treatment programs.
Logically, the increase in the number of fatalities went hand in hand with the increased number of arrests for methamphetamine abuse, possession and selling. As many as 56% of all adult arrestees tested positive for meth in 2016, compared to 49% in 2015. The number of juvenile arrestees who tested positive for meth also rose from 8% in 2015 to 14% in 2016. As for the arrests for methamphetamine possession and selling, the number jumped from 6,849 to 8,428 in a single year.
The trend suggests that more and more people will be looking for a criminal defense attorney San Diego residents trust to secure a solid defense in the upcoming period.
Penalties for Meth Possession in San Diego
In the light of the recent government study findings, Vik Monder, a criminal defense lawyer San Diego arrestees often turn to, realizes the need for educating the public on the legal repercussions of drug possession and selling charges.
If you are arrested for methamphetamine possession in San Diego, you will be charged for a misdemeanor. If found guilty, the charged faces the penalty of up to one year in jail or a fine of $1,000. Probation is possible, provided that the charged enters a substance abuse treatment program.
Penalties for Meth Sale and Distribution in San Diego
The person found to be in possession of meth can be charged with a felony if the prosecutor is able to prove that the charged intended to sell or otherwise distribute the methamphetamine. There are several pieces of evidence indicative of the intent to sell the drug:
- the suspect had a large amount of meth in their possession
- the suspect had a scale
- the meth found in the possession of the suspect was divided into small packages
- the suspect had an unusually large amount of cash in their possession, along with the methamphetamine
The penalties for this type of felony can be jail time in the duration of 16 months to 3 years, or a fine of up to $10,000.
As methamphetamine is one of the most severely controlled drugs in California, the authorities make it a priority to curb its sale and distribution. To that end, finding and prosecuting meth dealers and users is constant and thorough. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for innocent people to get charged. That is why it’s imperative they hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who will provide aggressive representation.
As the ‘’hunt’’ for meth users and dealers is expected to become more intense in the following period, a certain dose of aggressiveness can also be expected from law enforcement officers. Sometimes a member of the law enforcement can unintentionally violate the suspect’s constitutional rights. If the defense attorney is able to prove that, the charges can be dismissed altogether before the criminal proceedings even begins.
Other applicable defenses include:
- the substance found in the possession of the suspect was not meth
- the suspect did not have actual or constructive possession over the drug
- the suspect was unaware that the drug was in their possession or had no knowledge of the possession being illegal
If the chances of the charges being dropped are slim, the criminal defense attorney can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. If the suspect is found guilty, the defense lawyer can advocate a lenient sentence. To be able to do that, the attorney would have to prove that certain mitigating factors apply to the defendant’s case.
Top Criminal Defense Attorney San Diego
Vik Monder is a trusted San Diego criminal defense lawyer who is uncompromising in securing the best possible defense for his clients. Knowing the ins and outs of applicable defenses for the possession of methamphetamine and equipped with plenty of hands-on experience, attorney Monder is a safe and reliable choice.
Reach out to Monder Law Group at 619-405-0063 for a FREE consultation.