California Drug Crimes
California Health & Safety Code Sections 11350(a) 11357(a), 11359, 11360(a), 11173(d) & 11352.1(b) H&S, & More (Complete list below).
There are many different types of drug crimes in California. The differences in California drug crimes, and their associated penalties, consequences, and defenses, are based on the following: 1) the type of drugs involved, 2) the amount of drugs involved, 3) the facts surrounding the possession of any particular drug, (i.e. possession for sales or personal use), 4) whether there is any production of drugs (the making of drugs), 5) for whom the drugs are distributed or sold (i.e. minors), and 6) the defendant's criminal history.
California drug crimes are governed by California and federal law. The most common drug crimes involve marijuana (Cannabis), cocaine, methamphetamine (Meth or Amphetamines), PCP, Molly, Ecstasy, Heroin, Mushrooms, and LSD.
Drug crimes in California also cover legal drugs or pharmaceuticals, most commonly opiates, which are improperly used, sold, altered, or obtained. Finally, Drug crimes in California also cover paraphernalia associated with drugs (production and use).
In California, there are enhanced penalties for possessing over a certain amount of drugs. For example, possession of under an ounce of marijuana (without a "marijuana card" or "recommendation") is usually charged as an infraction for a first offense; however, possession of 100 kilos of marijuana will certainly be filed as a felony. The penalty for possession or sales increases as the amount of drugs in possession (by weight) increases.
Included in this web page is a list, divided by California Code sections, of the most common California drug crimes and their associated penalties (see below on this page).
Possession of drugs may be either actual or constructive. This means that the defendant does not necessarily need to be caught red-handed with drugs in order to be properly charged. For example, if drugs are found at the defendant's home while the defendant is not home then the defendant may be said to be in constructive possession. Actual possession is when the defendant is caught red-handed.
Consequences to California drug crime convictions, including the possible jail or prison sentences listed below, include fines, probation, mandatory registration as drug offenders, mandatory Narcotic Anonymous (AA style) classes, stay-away orders, immigration problems (for non-U.S. citizens), mandatory DNA testing, professional or occupational license restriction, denial or revocation, and more.
Defenses to California drug crimes are as varied and numerous as the number of drug crimes themselves. The most common defenses include arguments against charges of being under the influence, non-usable quantities, possession without sufficient evidence to prove sales, entrapment, insufficient probable cause to search, and more.
In many California drug cases it may be possible to dismiss or reduce the particular drug charge itself. In other cases, it may be possible to avoid or "divert" the harsh consequences of the sentence otherwise proscribed for the particular drug charge through a process known as "diversion" (i.e. probation, prop 36, PC 1000, etc.)
As stated above, In California there are laws to help drug offenders avoid harsh criminal convictions and penalties, even where the defendant admits to possession of certain drug charges. These laws are covered under California proposition 36 (Prop 36), and Penal Code 1000 (PC 1000). Under these laws, certain convictions for possession only type charges may deferred (also known as deferred entry of judgment or DEJ). For more information see Prop 36 or PC 1000.
Deferred entry of judgment has its drawbacks and benefits. Generally, a criminal defense attorney evaluates the weight of the evidence to determine whether or not the defendant should agree to Prop 36 or PC 1000 programs and probation. After all, the DEJ option remains even after an attempt to first dismiss or reduce the drug charges at the outset either by insufficient evidence to prove the allegations or by procedural error of the arresting officers.
To learn more about California drug crimes and defenses to California drug charges contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today for a free consultation.
Criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado is an experienced and aggressive attorney devoted exclusive to criminal defense practice. Attorney Dorado will patiently and competently review the facts of you case and explain your options and rights as applied to California drug crimes.
For a detailed list of the most common California drug crimes see at bottom of this page. Thank you for visiting.
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The following is a small list of the most common drug crimes in California: B&P (Business and Professions Code) H&S (Health and Safety Code) PC (Penal Code)
B&P 4060 Possession of Controlled Substance (Misdemeanor up to 180 days county jail)
B&P 725(b) Excessive Prescribing of Drugs (Misdemeanor up to 180 days county jail)
B&P 4141 Possession of hypodermics (Misdemeanor up to 180 days)
B&P 4324(a) Forgery of prescription (Misdemeanor up to 180 days or felony up to 3 years)
H&S 11173(d) Affix False Label to Controlled Substance Package (Misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail or felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11350(a) Possession of Controlled Substance (Misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail or felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11350(b) Possession of Depressants (Misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail or felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11351 Possess/Purchase Controlled Substance for Sale (Felony up to 4 years in prison)
H&S 11351.5 Possession of Purchase for Cocaine for Sale (Felony up to 5 years in prison)
H&S 11352(a) Sale or Transportation of Controlled Substance (Felony up to 5 years in prison)
H&S 11353 Adult's Use of Minor for Unlawful Transaction (Felony up to 9 years in prison)
H&S 11353.1(a)(3) Enhancement - Involve a Minor 4+ years younger (Felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11357(a) Possession of Concentrated Cannabis (Misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail or felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11358 Marijuana Cultivation (Felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11359 Possession of Marijuana for Sale (Felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11360(a) Transport, Distribute, or Import Marijuana (Felony up to 4 years in prison)
H&S 11364 Possession of paraphernalia for Unlawful Use (Misdemeanor up to 180 days in jail)
H&S 11366 Maintain Place to Sell/Use Controlled Substance (Misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail or felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11366.8(b) Build False Compartment to Store Controlled Substance (Felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11368 Generate/Use forged/Altered Prescription (Misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail or felony up to three years in prison)
H&S 11370.1(a) Possession of Controlled Substance and Loaded Firearm (Felony up to 4 years in prison)
H&S 11370.2 Enhancement - Prior Narcotics Conviction (Felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11370.6 Enhanced Penalty - Possession of more than $100,000 related to controlled substance
H&S 11378 Possess Controlled Substance for Sale (Felony up to 3 years in prison)
H&S 11378.5 Possess PCP for Sale (Felony up to 5 years in prison)
H&S 11378.6(a) Manufacture Controlled Substance (Felony up to 7 years in prison)
H&S 11380.1(a)(2) Enhancement - Involve Minor in Controlled Substance Offense (Felony up to 9 years in prison)
H&S 11530 Loitering for Drug Activities (misdemeanor up to 180 days in jail)
H&S 11550(a) Use or be Under the Influence of Controlled Substance (Misdemeanor up to 180 days in jail)
PC 626.85(a) Drug Offender on School Grounds (Misdemeanor up to 180 days in jail)