Under The Influence

San Diego Attorneys Explain “Under the Influence” Drug Crimes

Under The InfluenceIn California, merely being under the influence of a “Controlled Substance” is a violation of the law.  We vigorously defend “Under the Influence” crimes and work to Dismiss Under The Influence Charges, Reduce Under the Influence Charges to Lesser Offenses and argue for Acquittal of Under the Influence Charges in all San Diego Courthouses.

If you or a loved one are facing Criminal Charges for being Under the Influence of Drugs, call our office for a No-Obligation Free Legal Consultation. We offer superior representation for reasonable attorneys fees. Call us anytime at 619-708-2073 to schedule a Free Case Analysis.

What is the Crime of Under the Influence?

Under California law, those who knowingly become Under the Influence of a controlled substance, are guilty of an Under the Influence drug crime.  Being “Under the Influence” legally means that a person has taken or used a controlled substance that has appreciably affected the person’s nervous system, brain, or muscles or has created in the person a detectable abnormal mental or physical condition.

Under the Influence Crimes We Defend

  • Health & Safety Code 11550(a) – Under the Influence of Controlled Substance
  • Health & Safety Code 11550(e) – Under the Influence of Controlled Substance While Possession of a Loaded Firearm

Under the Influence is typically a misdemeanor.  However, H&S 11550(e) is a Felony Offense.

Penalties if Convicted of Under the Influence

The penalties of an Under the Influence charge in California can be stiff.  Depending on the circumstances of the case, an individual charged with possession may be facing the following consequences.

  • State Prison
  • County Jail
  • Court Fines and Fees
  • Registration as Narcotics Offender
  • Drug Programs/Rehab
  • Loss of Driver’s License
  • Probation
  • Permanent Criminal Record

With such steep consequences, no-one charged with Under the Influence should represent him or herself in court.  Our experienced attorneys can help you avoid many of the consequences of an Under the Influence charge.

How Do You Beat Under the Influence Charges?

California Criminal Law recognizes various defenses to Under the Influence Charges that if properly prepared and presented will acquit the defendant of Criminal Drug Under the Influence.   Whether a defense is applicable depends on the facts of each case.  Below are some of the most relevant defenses:

  • Defendant Did Not Knowingly Become Under the Influence
  • Defendant Had a Valid Prescription for the Drug
  • Defendant had no Knowledge of the Nature of the Substance
  • Statute of Limitations Has Passed
  • Police Conduct Amounted to Entrapment
  • The Government Cannot Prove what the Substance Is
  • Police Conduct Amounts to Unlawful Search or Seizure
  • Defendant had a medical necessity for being Under the Influence

A successful defense to Under the Influence starts with a Confident and Competent San Diego Defense Attorney.  Our team of attorneys, paralegals and experts will prepare your case for negotiation or trial.

Diversion Programs

Many of our clients participate in a drug diversion program.  These are court-sponsored programs that allow the individual charged with Possession to complete drug treatment in lieu of being criminally prosecuted.  Many times, after treatment is completed, the court will dismiss the charges entirely.  There are two main types of diversion in California.

  1. Penal Code 1000 Diversion
  2. Proposition 36 Diversion (Drug Court)

Learn More…

If you have been charged with any Under the Influence charge, we offer a 100% free Consultation by calling 619-708-2073 or emailing us at attorneys@hullingerfirm.com.  Talk to one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today and take back the upper hand.


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Scott Hullinger, Esq.

Scott Hullinger, Esq.

Criminal and Civil Attorney