Possession, Sale, Distribution, and Manufacture of a Controlled Substance

It is illegal in California to possess, possess with intent to sell, transport, and manufacture a “controlled substance.” Drugs classified as controlled substances include methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine.  The penalties for selling, transporting, and manufacturing of a controlled substance depend on the type and amount of controlled substance involved, and the specific circumstances surrounding the possession, sale, or manufacture.

Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance under Health and Safety Code section 11350

Simple possession of a small amount of a controlled substance, the least serious of all drug offenses, is now prosecuted as a misdemeanor under Preposition 47 (prop 47).  To obtain a conviction against you for this offense, the prosecution has to prove that you had in your possession a controlled substance, you knew of its presence, you knew of its nature as a controlled substance, and the amount that you possessed was a usable amount. If any one of these elements is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, you cannot be found guilty of simple possession under section 11350.  Even if all the elements of the crime are met, you may be eligible for a diversion program, whereby after a certain period of time, and as long as you successfully complete the required terms of probation without violating any laws, you will be entitled to the dismissal of the charges against you.

Possession of a controlled substance with Intent to Sell under Health and Safety Code section 11351

Health and Safety Code section 11341 prohibits the possession of a controlled substance for purposes of sale.  This offense, prosecuted as a felony, is a more serious offense than simple possession under 11350, and is eligible neither for drug diversion nor for prop 47 reduction to a misdemeanor.

For the prosecution to convict you of this offense, he need only show that you a) possessed the controlled substance in question and b) intended to sell the controlled substance in question.  It is irrelevant whether or not you actually sold the controlled substance.  For your intent to “sell,” cops and the prosecution look for what they deem as “indicias” of sale—mainly, the quantity of the controlled substance, whether the controlled substance is divided in separate baggies or bundles indicating packaging, the presence of scales, pay-o sheets, weapons, and large sums of cash.  However, these factors, even in the aggregate, do not necessarily indicate an intent to sell, and can be consistent with intent to possess the drug for personal use.  For example, individuals who possess for personal use may also use a scale and package the drug in separate baggies.  These so-called “indicias” do not necessarily indicate an intent to sell.  Depending on the particular circumstances of your case, Attorney Negin Yamini will skillfully present what the prosecution deems an “indicia” of sale as simply consistent with an intent to possess for personal use.

Transportation of a controlled substance under Health and Safety Code section 11352

According to Health and Safety Code section 11352, it is a felony to furnish, administer, give away, transport, or import a controlled substance.   In order to convict you under section 11352, the prosecution needs to prove that you engaged in any of the conducts just mentioned, you were aware of the drug’s presence and nature as a controlled substance, and there was enough of the drug to constitute a controlled substance.  The prosecution need not prove that you intended to sell or distribute the drug.  The very act of moving the drug from one location to another is all that is required.

Manufacturing drugs and narcotics under Health; Safety Code section 11379.6

Under Health & Safety Code section 11379.6, manufacturing, producing, or processing a controlled substance is a felony.  A typical example of an activity prosecuted under this code section is operating a meth lab.  To convict you under this code section, the prosecution has to prove that actually begun the process of making or manufacturing the illegal substance.  Gathering supplies, or any other steps, that are merely in preparation for the act of making or manufacturing the drug are not sufficient for a conviction.

A conviction for Health & Safety Code section 11379.6 carries the harshest sentencing of any California drug law, up to 7 years in county jail.   The penalties for this offense are harsher if the manufacturing involves large volumes, it is done in the vicinity of children, or some is killed or injured in the process.

Possession, sale, transportation, and distribution of methamphetamine

Health; Safety Code 11377 makes it a crime to possess methamphetamine (also known as meth, crystal meth or speed). Because of Proposition 47, simple possession of methamphetamine is now prosecuted as a misdemeanor.

However, transportation of methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine for sale, are still felonies under code sections 11378 and 11379, respectively.

Possession, Sale, Distribution, and Transportation of Marijuana

Under Health & Safety Code section Simple possession of marijuana for personal use is prosecuted under as either an infraction or a misdemeanor under Health and Safety Code section 11357.  Possession of no more than one once or 28.5 grams of marijuana is an infraction punishable by a maximum fine of $100.   Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor.  Possession of concentrated cannabis (the separated basin obtained from the marijuana plant, commonly known as “hashish”) is now a misdemeanor under Prop 47.

The sale of marijuana is a felony prosecuted under code sections 11359.  Transportation of marijuana under section 11360 is a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the type of marijuana, the amount of marijuana, and whether the transportation involved sales or importing.

The Medical Marijuana Defense

In California, a medical marijuana patient has the right to use, obtain, and transport marijuana for medical purposes without criminal penalty.  Furthermore, an exception is in place for transportation of marijuana by primary caregivers of patients who use medical marijuana for medicinal purposes.  Such caregivers can transport marijuana and provide it to their patients in amounts reasonably related to the patients’ medical needs. If you are a medical marijuana patient, and you were in possession of your marijuana for medicinal purposes, you may have a full defense to prosecution under code section 11357.   If you work for a medical marijuana collective, and you were arrested for transporting marijuana when such transportation was intended to provide necessary aid to qualified patients, you also have a full defense to prosecution under code section 11360.   Whether you are prosecuted as individual medicinal user, a member of a collective, or a collective, Ms. Yamini is experienced and well versed in the medical marijuana laws of California, and will zealously litigate your case under the medical marijuana defense specific and best suited to your circumstances.

How the Law Office of Negin Yamini Can Assist You

If you or someone you know is charged and arrested with any of the above drug offenses, contact our office at 424-333-0943 for a free consultation. Ms. Yamini will investigate whether the prosecution’s case against you is based on weak circumstantial evidence, or if the evidence against you was the result of a flawed search or seizure. She will thoroughly evaluate the facts of your case to determine and negotiate a favorable disposition.