According to the California Health and Safety Code 11379.6HS, if it illegal to manufacture a controlled substance or narcotics. This law makes it unlawful to engage in or offer to engage in any task or activity that may lead to the manufacture of a controlled substance. Manufacturing of a controlled substance is a criminal offense in California and attracts hefty penalties. If you are currently facing charges for the manufacture of a controlled substance in California, the Los Angeles Criminal Attorney can assist you in fighting the charges. 

What is a Controlled Substance?

Many drugs fall under the category of a controlled substance. A controlled substance is any product whose possession and manufacture is regulated by the government. The government regulates the manufacture of controlled substances in accordance with the United States Controlled Substances Act. In California, the government regulates the manufacturing of various controlled products. According to California's drug laws, it is illegal to manufacture cocaine, marijuana, PCP, heroin, and ecstasy or "X." The California drug laws are also against the manufacture of methamphetamines, commonly known as meth. The California laws regard clandestine methamphetamine laboratories separately discuss the manufacture of meth. 

It is important to note that to face charges for the manufacture of a controlled substance in California; you do not have to complete the manufacturing process. If you participate in the initial or intermediate steps of manufacturing a controlled substance, you may face charges. You should avoid engaging in the preparation, synthesis, or processing of the chemical used in the manufacture of a controlled substance. You should not deal with a chemical, which is a logical precursor to manufacture a controlled substance even if the chemical in itself is not a controlled substance.

Penalties for Manufacture of a Controlled Substance

Under California law, the manufacture of a controlled substance is a felony offense. If you commit this felony, you may face an imprisonment of three years, five years, or seven years in a California State Prison. You may also have to pay a penalty that does not exceed $50,000. Instead of imprisonment, the judge may choose to recommend probation and jail time of up to one year in county jail.

You may also face felony charges if you offer to manufacture a controlled substance. This felony is punishable by probation and jail time not exceeding one year. If the judge does not recommend probation, you may face jail time of three, four, or five years.

Aggravating Factors

Several aggravating factors may make you face enhanced charges for the manufacture of a controlled substance. The aggravating factors include manufacturing large quantities of a controlled substance, causing death or injury, manufacturing a controlled substance in the presence of children and being a repeat offender with prior convictions related to drugs. 

Large Quantities of a Controlled Substance

You will face enhanced charges if you are involved in the manufacture of PCP, methamphetamines, or GHB in large quantities. The additional charges will depend on the exact amount of the controlled substance. For instance,  if the controlled substance exceeds three gallons of liquid by volume or if it exceeds one pound of solid weight, you will face an extra three years imprisonment. You will face additional imprisonment of five years if the controlled substance exceeds ten gallons if the substance is in liquid form and ten pounds if the substance is in solid form. You will face extra imprisonment of ten years if the controlled substance exceeds 25 gallons in liquid form or ten pounds if the substance is in solid form.  If the controlled substance is more than 105 gallons in liquid form or 44 pounds in solid form, you will face additional imprisonment of up to 15 years. 

Causing the Death of another Person

If you cause the death of another person in the course of manufacturing a controlled substance, you will face enhanced charges under California law. For instance, if you are participating in the manufacture of meth or PCP and the offense leads to the death of another person, you will face an additional and consecutive one-year imprisonment in a California State Prison. You will also face an imprisonment enhancement of one year if your offense leads to great bodily injury of another person. It is important to note that the imprisonment enhancement is for every death or significant bodily injury that results from your offense. Therefore, if several people die or suffer great bodily injury due to your offense of manufacturing a controlled substance, you will face enhanced imprisonment for each of the victims. 

Manufacturing a Controlled Substance near an Occupied Structure or in the Presence of Children

The court will order you to serve more extended imprisonment if you face a conviction of manufacturing a controlled substance like meth in a structure where a child below the age of 16 years resides. You will also face enhanced imprisonment if you manufacture a controlled substance like meth within two hundred feet of an occupied residence. You will also face enhanced imprisonment if you manufacture a controlled substance within 200 feet of any structure where someone was present at the time of manufacturing a controlled substance. 

If you manufacture or attempt to manufacture a controlled substance like meth or PCP when a child below the age of 16 years is present, you will face an extra two years imprisonment. The additional two years imprisonment is in addition and consecutive to the term you received for committing the violation. If a child below the age of 16 years suffers a great bodily injury due to your offense, you will face an additional and consecutive five years additional and consecutive imprisonment. 

Repeat Offender with Prior Convictions Related to Drugs

You may face enhanced charges for a conviction of manufacturing controlled substances if you have a prior conviction relating to drugs. Offenses that may count as a prior drug-related conviction may include a conviction under California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS for possessing a controlled substance for sale. An offense of transporting or selling a controlled substance in violation of the California Health and Safety Code 11352 HS also counts as a prior conviction. Other offenses that count as prior convictions include possessing methamphetamines for sale in violation of California Health and Safety Code section 11378 HS. Selling methamphetamines in violation of California Health and Safety Code 11379 also counts as a prior conviction.  For each of the prior felony convictions related to drugs, you will face a consecutive additional three-year imprisonment. For instance, if you have two prior felony drug-related convictions, you may face consecutive additional six years imprisonment. It is important to note that you will still face charges even if the prior convictions did not lead to imprisonment.

Drug Treatment Instead of Jail or Prison Sentence

California law offers an alternative sentencing option known as drug diversion. This option allows nonviolent drug offenders to undergo drug treatment instead of serving a prison sentence. Several drug diversion programs exist in California. The programs include Proposition 36, California Drug Court, and Penal Code 1000PC. 

If you successfully undergo and complete the drug diversion program, you can avoid custody time. In most cases, the court dismisses your charges for a drug-related offense upon completing the drug diversion program. However, drug diversion has a number of limitations, and some people may not qualify for the program.

If you are guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance, you may or may not benefit from the drug diversion program. For you to qualify for a drug diversion program, your offense must relate to simple possession of drugs for personal use. Your attorney has to convince the prosecutor that you were only manufacturing the drugs for your personal use and not with the intent to sell. The prosecutor may offer you a plea bargain to a lesser offense like simple possession. If it is evident you did not intend to sell the manufactured controlled substance, you may qualify for a drug diversion program. 

Fighting Manufacture of a Controlled Substance Charges

If you are facing charges for the manufacture of a controlled substance in California, there are several legal defenses for fighting crime.  A qualified attorney can present the defense on your behalf. If you successfully fight the charges, the court may reduce your charges to a lesser offense or dismiss the charges. Some of the common legal defenses include:

Your Actions were Preparatory

You may argue in court that you did not manufacture the controlled substance, and your actions were merely preparatory. Even if you had every intention to manufacture a controlled substance, as long as you had not executed the process, you could fight the charges. You are not guilty of violating Health and Safety Code 11379.6 until you commit an overt act in facilitating the manufacturing of a controlled substance. For instance, the police may arrest you in possession of components used in the manufacture of a controlled substance, but one component is missing. You may say that you purchased the items intending to make a controlled substance, but you later changed your mind, and you did not purchase the remaining component. In this scenario, the court may convict you of attempting to manufacture a controlled substance, which is a lesser charge than the actual manufacture of a controlled substance. 

At times, it is hard to determine if a defendant prepared to manufacture drugs or if the defendant attempted to manufacture drugs, but an intervening source stopped him/her. A good attorney can make your case appear that you merely prepared to manufacture a controlled substance, but you did not attempt to manufacture. A mere attempt to manufacture a controlled substance does not qualify for a conviction. If the court establishes that you attempted to manufacture a controlled substance, you will face half the sentence you would otherwise face for the actual manufacture of a controlled substance.

The Police Conducted an Illegal Search and Seizure

Even if you are manufacturing a controlled substance, California law still protects you from illegal search and seizure. You may feel that the police violated California's search and seizure laws during your arrest. If your attorney successfully proves that you are a victim of an illegal search and seizure, the court may fully dismiss your charges.

You may assert an illegal search and seizure if the police access the property where you manufacture drugs without a valid California search warrant. If the police did not have probable cause for accessing your property, you might assert an illegal search and seizure. You may also use this defense strategy if the police searched an additional area that was not outlined in the search warrant. According to California law, any illegally obtained evidence does not count in your case. Therefore, if it is evident that the police conducted an illegal search, the court will significantly reduce your charges or dismiss them. 

You Were at the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Most people may frequent a drug lab with the intention of buying and using drugs. At the time, the police search a building for evidence of the manufacture of a controlled substance, many people who have nothing to do with the manufacture of drugs may be present. These people may face the manufacture of a controlled substance charge while they are only guilty of use or possession of a controlled substance, which is a lesser charge.

Normally, drug manufacture takes place in locked garages, sheds, and mobile homes. It is possible to be present in a building without being aware that the manufacture of a controlled substance is taking place. If the police arrest you for the manufacture of a controlled substance, you can assert that you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Your attorney will utilize all the necessary procedures to convince the judge and the court that you should not face charges for the said offense. 

False Arrest or Mistaken Identity

You may be a victim of mistaken identity or false arrest, yet you had nothing to do with the manufacture of a controlled substance. If this is the case, an experienced attorney can help you fight the charges and prove your innocence. Innocent people face charges and arrests for drug crimes for a number of reasons. Another person may falsely accuse you of manufacturing drugs to escape his/her own criminal culpability. Another person may also falsely accuse you of the manufacture of a controlled substance to seek revenge against you or due to jealousy. Cases of mistaken identity are common in drug crime; for instance, eyewitnesses may mistake you for a drug dealer. You may also be a victim of false arrest if the information that led to your arrest was from unreliable police or an unreliable private informant.  A good attorney will explore all the available options and come up with the best way of exonerating you. 

Related Offenses

Several related offenses to the crime of the manufacture of a controlled substance exist. The court may charge you with these offenses instead of a crime of the manufacture of a controlled substance. The court may also charge you with these offenses alongside the offense of the manufacture of a controlled substance. Some of the common offenses include:

Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale

This is a more severe crime than the crime of the manufacture of a controlled substance. It entails possessing a controlled substance with the intent of selling it as outlined under California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS. If at the time of arrest you have large amounts of a controlled substance, the prosecutors may conclude that you intend to sell the controlled substance. You will face charges for the manufacture of a controlled substance and charges for possession of a controlled substance for sale.

The crime of possession of a controlled substance for sale is a felony under California law. The associated penalties include probation and jail time that does not exceed one year. You may also serve two, three, or four years in jail. For a crime of possessing a controlled substance for sale, you cannot participate in a drug diversion.

Transporting or Selling a Controlled Substance

According to California law, it is a crime to sell, furnish, administer, give away, or transport a controlled substance. If you engage in any of these activities while manufacturing a controlled substance, you will face two charges. You will face charges for the manufacture of a controlled substance and additional charges under California Health and Safety Code 11352. The crime of transporting or selling a controlled substance is a felony offense. The penalties may include felony probation and imprisonment of up to one year in county jail. You may also serve three, four, or five years in jail. If you transport the controlled substance in more than two county lines, you may face imprisonment of three, six, or nine years.

Other crimes related to the crime of manufacture of a controlled substance include California Health and Safety Code 11550HS (Being under the influence of a controlled substance. A crime under California Health and Safety Code 11364 (possessing drug paraphernalia) is also closely related to the crime of possession of a controlled substance. 

Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Near Me

If you are currently facing charges for the manufacture of a controlled substance, the Los Angeles Criminal Attorney can assist. Contact us at 424-333-0943 and speak to one of our attorneys. We will help you come up with strategies to fight the charges.