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How to Win a Drug Possession Case in San Diego, California

If you or a loved one are charged with drug possession in San Diego, CA, it is essential to know your rights and your legal options for defending yourself against conviction. While California has some of the least strict drug laws in the United States, a conviction could still mean incarceration, fines, and a loss of your rights.

How to win a drug possession case in California

Zentz & Zentz can provide the criminal defense representation you need for drug possession offenses in San Diego. Our team offers years of experience handling California criminal defense cases, and we can help a client determine their best defense options. Drug possession charges may seem relatively minor, but they can still lead to significant penalties that can interfere in your life in several ways. Do not approach this situation unaware of your rights or the value of legal counsel. Review the following information to learn more about how you can potentially beat your drug possession charges in San Diego, CA.

Understanding Drug Possession Charges in California

In California and everywhere else in the United States, possession of certain substances is against the law. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the federal government enforces a Schedule system that classifies different substances based on their potential for abuse and medical applications. California follows this Scheduling system to determine the severity of penalties for drug possession charges.

It’s important to know that recently, California legislators introduced new laws that dramatically reduced sentencing for many drug-related criminal offenses. Most drug possession charges in California now only qualify for misdemeanor-level prosecution. However, it is possible to qualify for federal drug offense prosecution if a defendant violated multiple states’ drug laws or federal drug laws in a single case.

Most drug possession cases in San Diego will qualify for misdemeanor prosecution. However, it’s possible for a defendant’s case to be escalated to felony status if they committed related offenses, such as preparing illegal drugs for sale or trafficking them across country or state lines.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney?

Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the best way to avoid the most serious penalties possible from your charges. A good defense attorney will carefully examine the details of your case and help you determine the best available defenses. In the event you are wrongfully charged, your attorney will help you establish an alibi or provide viable defenses to help you avoid conviction. If you are guilty, you can rely on your attorney to manage plea bargaining on your behalf, potentially leading to a lighter sentence.

Many people in this situation believe that a drug possession charge is relatively minor, and that they should have minimal difficulty managing their own defense. The reality is that even seemingly straightforward cases can raise complex legal questions, and attempting to address these matters without reliable legal representation is incredibly difficult. Hiring a defense attorney is an investment in your own future. Your attorney may not only help you minimize the penalties for conviction but may also uncover opportunities to have your case dropped or dismissed, based on procedural grounds.


It’s normal to have lots of questions about drug possession charges. If you are convicted of drug possession, you will likely face several legal penalties as well as negative consequences in your personal and professional life. At Zentz & Zentz, we routinely guide clients through complex drug possession cases, and the following are some of the most common questions we hear from prospective clients.

Q: Can You Beat a Drug Case?

A: In any criminal case, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution. This means that the prosecutors handling your drug possession case must not only prove you are guilty, but guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to make a compelling case or the defense raises enough viable contradictory evidence, this can be enough to secure an acquittal.

Q: How Do You Beat a Drug Possession Charge?

A: There are several possible defenses one might use in a drug possession case. They may dismantle the prosecution’s evidence or cite mishandling of critical evidence. It’s also possible to prove mistaken identity, lack of ownership over the drugs in question, or that the substance isn’t actually an illegal drug. Available defenses vary from case to case. Your defense attorney will help you determine the most viable defenses available in your situation.

Q: How Long Will You Go to Jail for Drug Possession in California?

A: The recent changes to the drug possession sentencing standards in California reduced most drug possession offenses to the misdemeanor level. However, a misdemeanor conviction can still lead to a year or longer in prison.

Q: What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession Conviction in California?

A: At the misdemeanor level, a defendant convicted of drug possession can expect to face up to one year in county jail and fines up to $1,000. Aggravating factors and associated offenses can increase these penalties significantly. If the judge determines the defendant has a substance abuse disorder, they may sentence them to compulsory rehabilitation treatment.

Call Our Firm for Help With Your Case

Approaching any criminal case can be incredibly daunting, and conviction could negatively impact your life in several ways for years to come. In this challenging situation, it is essential to have legal counsel you can trust. Your defense attorney can potentially mean the difference between acquittal and conviction. Zentz & Zentz have years of experience handling drug offense cases and can provide the meticulous and aggressive defense representation you need to approach your case with confidence.

After an arrest for drug possession in San Diego, CA, it is essential to reach out to a defense attorney you can trust to help you navigate the situation effectively. Your defense lawyer will assist you in determining the best available defenses against the charges you face, help you gather any evidence you may need to clear your name and prepare you for each stage of your case proceedings. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer, contact Zentz & Zentz today and schedule a consultation with our team.

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