San Diego Criminal Attorney Answers Questions on Border Drugs, Transportation & Possession for Sale

San Diego Criminal Attorney Answers Questions on Border Drugs, Transportation & Possession for Sale


>>RYAN: We are with David Shapiro. David
is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, California and he’s agreed to answer some
questions related to border drugs, transportation and possession for sale. With that said, David
let’s go with the first question that was posted. My son has been charged with transportation
of a controlled substance. He was stopped at the US/Mexico border. Do I need a specific
type of attorney for this charge?>>DAVID: Well, yeah. First off your son needs
a good attorney, preferably someone who knows what they are doing in criminal defense and
there’s maybe a federal case or it could be a state case. Here in San Diego we are border
of Mexico so we are dealing with a lot of cross border drug smuggling cases whether
it is complicated or diverse, meaning multiple defendants, multiple organizations are involved,
or if it’s simple clients get pulled over at the border or get 00:00:55.18 and there’s
drug in the car. You definitely want someone to handle this border type of cases before
the other dynamic allegations whether or not the case we prosecuted in state or federal
court. Obviously, at border a lot of times the feds 00:01:11.29 this case and prosecute.
Sometimes it is more common for the lower amount of drugs, you’ll see the case will
be prosecuted in state court. If it’s a San Diego county case that will be 00:01:26.05
because that’s the South county part of San Diego which is the border with Mexico. You
definitely want someone who has the experience defending short cases particularly in the
court house, in the type of court whether it is state or federal what you are dealing
with, because these cases are defendable. A lot of times people confess that it’s drugs
and that is usually not a good idea. But they are defendable even with the confession sometimes
00:01:53.06 and there’s a lot of things that an experienced attorney can do for your son.>>RYAN: Okay. Next question we had is; How
does your pricing work for drug charges?>>DAVID: My pricing for drug cases are pretty
much similar to other cases. It depends on where the case is located. Whether it is a
misdemeanor or it is a felony. Whether the case is in a state or federal court. At what
stage of the stage are we at? Meaning has the preliminary hearing already happen? Has
the client already plead guilty or really guilty with sentencing. We are trying to be
as flexible as possible. Understanding that people don’t save money in case they get arrested,
only the real sophisticated lifelong criminals might do that. Mindful of that, we are trying
to work with people as best we can in payments. We do offer payment plans from time to time
if necessary if they are mutually beneficial to both the clients and clients family and
also my office. I said previously that we have a lot of leeway because it’s my office
and work with you as best as possible with realistically reasonable payment plan.>>RYAN: Okay. Next question we have is more
specific. Does the type of drug I possessed matter or does it matter more the amount of
drug involved?>>DAVID: Well, they both matter but the type
of drug matters to a large degree, here’s the manin reason why. If you come across the
border or caught with a 70 pounds of marijuana, it’s a possession of marijuana for sale. It’s
like the transportation of marijuana charge in state court. Probation is in play if you
are convicted, meaning you might walk out without having to go to prison, without having
doing significant jail time. But if it’s a 70 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine, or
heroin, you are looking to a far more serios charges. You’ll get more serious charges probably
if you are dealing with 20 pounds of those drugs. Other than marijuan there’s also weight
enhancements or certain controlled substances which add on time to your underlying base
offenses of possession for sale or transportation. 00:04:03.10 especially if you don’t know what’s
in the car meaning you are a mule. If you are transporting drugs and no one told you
what’s in the car, 00:04:16.06 and because the same amount of drugs to marijuana you’ll
probably 00:04:22.00 something more hard and different drug where prosecution might be
a little bit worse. So definitely that does matter.>>RYAN: Okay. Final question we have was;
No one ever can prove I sold the drug to anyone, so how can they say I possessed the drugs
for sale?>>DAVID: Well, in order for you to be convicted
of possession for sale they don’t have to prove it that you ever sold the drugs to anyone.
A lot of times it is difficult to believe to say 00:04:55.24 got caught the first time
but let us 00:05:01.14 that is the case. What they look at is the amount and the type of
drugs. When you have a gram and a half of methamphetamin, that could be for personal
consumption. Should 25 grams of methamphetamin, unless they are buying the 00:05:17.14 defense.
You know, buying bulk type defense for personal use, they will look at some other things to
try and make the case and try to get you. They will look to your cellphone if they have
access to it to see if there are text messages talking about buying and selling of narcotics.
They will look at whether you are making the mistake of having a payo sheet. Who is buying
what? Who owns you money and who pay it? That kind of stuff readily available if they can
get access to law enforcement. They will look for packaging. If you possess 10 grams of
a drug, “Hey! It’s just for me.”, “Then why you have all this little bag, scales, and
all these stuff?” Which will indicate that you are going to bring the drugs sowna nd
sell on the street or sell it. So all those factors go into it. 00:06:05.29 is many times
not enough to get you convicted of possession for sale even though you don’t actually sell
it. Sale of a controlled substance is a separate charge in California from possession for sale.
A lot of times we get that question a lot. You never sell it to anybody, well, that’s
is good and will help your defense but if you have all these other factors like I said,
scales, baggies, payo sheets, text messages indicating sales, you admit that you are selling,
high-denomination of money on your possession consistent with sales. All those things are
not going to help your case but at the same time there’s a lot of ways that you can defend
against those cases too and that;s just stressing the importance on this type of cases of makng
sure that you have a quality attorney on your side. Another issue would be dealing with
00:06:59.26 after Prop 47 in November 2014 is we try to negotiate these cases with prosecution
because,let us say you are charged with possession for sale of a controlled substance whether
it’s cocaine, methamphetamin or heroin. There is a time when 00:07:16.02 still are non-
reducible felonies. If you get convicted with that it’s a felony, you can never get a misdemeanor
later over time. So the next step below of that offense would be simple possession of
the controled substance. Now, simple possesion of these controlled substances 00:07:34.05
of 2014 or misdemeanors. So you are asking a prosecutor to get a jump from a non-reducible
felony all the way down to a simple misdemeanor. That is a jump that we’ve seen prosecutor
felt like to do. So it’s more typical of actually selling this cases and a lot of this times
they are not making much of an offer which gives you all the incentive to keep on fighting.
A lot of times if they are not making an offer you get nothing to lose. Good things can happen
especially if you have a good attorney at your side.>>RYAN: Excellent. Well, if you have any
additional questions for David, all you need to do is post them to the comment section
below. He’s agreed to get back to you with the answers. With that said, David thanks
for your time?>>DAVID: Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you.

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