Law Office of David P. Shapiro - San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney




2550 Fifth Ave Suite 1050, San Diego, CA 92103

Fentanyl Defense Attorneys in San Diego

The number of fentanyl prosecutions has grown substantially over the past several years. This is the result, at least in part, of the fact that the use of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is around 100 times stronger than morphine, has increased dramatically. In addition, fentanyl has become easier to obtain. But the major reason fentanyl prosecutions have grown to the extent they have is the staggering number of overdoses and deaths which are related to fentanyl use. The issue is discussed by Managing Partner David P. Shapiro in a recent video.

At the Law Office of David P Shapiro, we understand fentanyl charges, and we have years of experience defending those being investigated for and or charged with various fentanyl crimes. If you believe you are the target of a fentanyl-related investigation, or if you have been charged with a fentanyl offense, we can help.

What are the Possible Charges Relating to Fentanyl?

As with other drug offenses, the severity, along with the potential penalty, is dependent upon a number of factors. They include:

  • How the drug is classified. Fentanyl under California law is a Schedule II drug.
  • The particular offense alleged. Are you being charged or investigated for simple possession, sale, possession for sale, transportation, or even sale or transfer causing death, among others?
  • The court where the case will be heard. Whether the case will be prosecuted in State or Federal Court.

The penalties associated with these offenses vary significantly depending upon the specific charge(s) and your prior criminal history, if any.

Potential Penalties for Fentanyl Charges

There was a time, several years ago, when possession of fentanyl, was a “wobbler” and could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Since the passage of Prop 47 in 2014, however, simple possession is now almost always charged as a misdemeanor under HS 11350. Those with certain prior convictions may be charged with a felony. Even a misdemeanor, however, could expose you to up to a year in jail along with a hefty fine. And if the alleged offense is possession for sale, sale, or transportation of the drug, you can expect to be charged with a felony and be subject to at least up to three years in custody.

Because of the notoriety of the overdoses, and in particular the deaths, attributed to fentanyl, legislators in California have introduced (and are expected to continue to introduce) bills which would, if passed, increase the potential penalties relating to some of these charges.


What Should I Do If I am Under Investigation for or Charged with a Fentanyl Offense?

Many people assume, incorrectly, that if they are merely under investigation for a fentanyl crime, they need not take any action at all. They often mistakenly believe that if they do nothing, the issue will go away. In fact, doing nothing after finding that you are under investigation for a fentanyl-related offense is a mistake that could have critical consequences for your future and freedom.

Alternatively, some people think that if an investigation is merely pending, there is (a) nothing they can do to attempt to avoid a formal criminal charge; and (b) if they explain the situation – to the investigators, i.e., the police – the issue will simply disappear. This approach will not make the case go away. Indeed, you could, by following that course of action, make it more likely that you will be charged, and even more likely that you will be convicted! Accordingly, even if no charges have yet been filed, we strongly recommend that you:

  • Do not take any action that will provide the police with additional information that can be used against you. By way of example, do not voluntarily turn over to the police your cell phone, your records, or anything else that does law enforcement’s job for them. Equally important, do not make any voluntary statements to the police about the subject of the investigation. You may think that you can clear up the situation by talking your way out of it. But remember, the police are not speaking to you because they want you to guide them away from criminal charges. They will speak to you because they want to produce evidence that the crime they are investigating took place, and that you had a part in it. You are not required to assist. Instead, call us. We can help you regain control over the situation and protect your future, freedom, and reputation.
  • Contact an experienced San Diego fentanyl attorney. If you contact our firm, we will review the situation, whether or not charges have been filed, and provide you with an honest evaluation of your case. We can also examine facts and guide you through the process, ensuring that you do not do anything that will provide the prosecution with any ammunition that could hurt your case. And of course, if charges are filed, we can pursue possible defenses that could lead to a dismissal, a reduced charge, or a not guilty verdict at trial.

Fentanyl Overdoses Leading to Death

Those who have been charged with providing (selling, transferring or even giving away) fentanyl, where the recipient overdoses and dies, are facing the wrath of prosecutors in California and throughout the country. There have been measures introduced to change the way in which these cases are treated, making it more likely that you could face a homicide charge. Nevertheless, there are defenses that can be raised, and raised successfully, to these charges.

San Diego Fentanyl Defense Lawyer

If you are facing a fentanyl charge, or if you are under investigation for or have been charged with any drug crime, don’t just speak to “an attorney.”  Consult with a quality, locally experienced criminal defense firm who knows how to protect everything you hold sacred.  Contact the San Diego based criminal defense Law Office of David P. Shapiro for an honest and thorough evaluation of your case and your options moving forward. Call us anytime at 619-295-3555.

Client Reviews

Real Clients Share Their Experience

“We found ourselves in a tough situation with our child facing a strike felony with a sentence of up to 7 years. I made several calls to find an attorney we were comfortable with but had not made a decision due to not really knowing what was to come and how fast the initial court date was scheduled from the time of arrest. We went to the first court date with a public defender and later received a call from Mr. Shapiro’s office to ask how things had gone (I had mentioned our court date the first time I called their office). When I received that call, I had plenty of questions that were answered without rush. We ended up scheduling a time to meet to discuss the case. We found out that Juvenile cases highly differ from adult cases when it comes to how they are handled, decision making, trial etc. We always felt comfortable, he worked with us on legal fees and was always very responsive whether it be emails or phone calls. We never felt brushed off. Our child was released, placed on probation and given the opportunity to have the record sealed after successful completion. We really feel that Mr. Shapiro truly cares about his clients and I would highly recommend him to anyone facing legal issues.”

— Avvo Review