San Diego Criminal Defense

101 W. Broadway, Suite 1770 | San Diego, CA 92101

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San Diego Criminal Lawyer

San Diego Drug Possession Defense Lawyer

Practice Areas

Drug Possession Crimes

Explained by a San Diego Criminal Lawyer

PC 1000 Diversion Programs

Prop 36 Explained

Prop 47 Explained

Possession of Methamphetamine

Possession of Concentrated Cannabis

Possession of Medical Marijuana

Possession of Heroin

Possession of Prescription Drugs

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing


Simple drug possession continues to be America's most prosecuted crime - filling our prison system with non-violent offenders. Even though some states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, California has not, and guidelines are not always clear to the consumer and business owner. Prescription drugs can be charged if you simply did not have the pills in their original container. While most drug possession charges qualify for Prop 36, Prop 47, and PC 1000 diversion programs, possession of a certain amount of drugs can trigger Federal Mandatory Miniumum Sentencing laws.  

California Penal Code 1000 PC

Diversion Programs

Also known as "DEJ" - Deferred Entry of Judgement Program. The court may suspend entry of judgement for a minimum of 18 months to 3 years during which you must seek a minimum of 20 hours of counseling. Potential to be a candidate for diversion is based on your individual criminal history, however many people with criminal records are good candidates for PC 1000 diversion programs. 


Prop 47 Explained

Changing Your Record

Click here for a list of offenses that do not qualify for Prop 47 reductions


If you were convicted of felony simple drug possession, that crime is likely now a misdemeanor in California. Prop 47 reduced penalties for certain types of lower level theft and drug possession. 


Drug offenses under Prop 47

Three offenses targeting possession of controlled substances for personal use are now only misdemeanors:


  • Cocaine, Heroin, Morphine, or other Opiates. Health and Safety Code section 11350 HS

  • Stimulants such as Methamphetamines, or Hallucinogenics(i.e. psilocybin mushrooms),  Health and Safety Code section 11377 HS, and

  • concentrated cannabis (also known as hashish). Health and Safety Code section 11357(a) HS

Proposition 36 Explained

1st and 2nd-time Defendants Qualify

Prop 36 changed California law to requires 1st and 2nd-time defendants to receive up to twelve (12) months of substance abuse treatment in lieu of time in jail or prison. First and second time defendants qualify if they have a non-violent record. Those with prior strikes, misdemeanor or felony convictions are not eligible. If you have previously participated in 2 court-approved drug treatment programs, you are not eligible for Prop 36 diversion. 



Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines

Minimum Federal Prison Sentencing


Because of the quantity involved, the Government will say that it is not possible that the drugs are for personal consumption and therefore you as possessor had the intent to distribute or traffic the drugs. Ususally the government must demonstrate facts other than quantity, such as the presence of baggies, large amounts of cash, or a scale to impute intent to distribute on a person. However, here, quantity alone is enough. 


10 Years Mandatory Minimum Sentence

1,000 kilograms of Mariujana (1,000 plants)
50 grams of pure meth
1 Kilogram of Heroin
280 Grams of Crack Cocaine
5 Kilograms of Cocaine

5 Years Mandatory Minimum Sentence

500 grams of Cocaine
100 grams of Heroin
1 gram of LSD