California has stringent rules regarding controlled substances. It is unlawful under HS11379.6 to manufacture a controlled substance. You could face criminal charges under this law if you manufacture any substance that matches the criteria of a controlled substance. Since manufacturing controlled substances is a felony offense in California, you could face a jail term, significant fines, and extensive probationary sentences. The substances covered under this statute include heroin, cocaine, opiates, and ecstasy, among others. Contact the Los Angeles Criminal Attorney for legal help if you face manufacturing of controlled substances charges. We have reputable attorneys that will create the best defense to fight your charges.
A Controlled Substance Under California Law
According to California law, a controlled substance is a chemical compound or drug regulated by the law. Either of the following could regulate controlled substances:
- The need for a valid prescription from a medical professional, or
- Criminal laws that make them unlawful
The federal and state governments in the United States have Controlled Substances Acts that sort controlled substances into schedules or five lists. The schedules are arranged based on how medically useful the drug is and how likely the drug will be abused. Dangerous drugs with no proof of medical use fall under schedule I, including marijuana or cannabis, LSD, heroin, ecstasy, and certain substances containing fentanyl.
Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, and they also have a high medical value. These drugs include Oxycontin, morphine, Percocet, fentanyl, and meth. Schedule III drugs have a medical value with the possibility of abuse. However, they are considered safer than Schedule I or Schedule II drugs. The drugs in schedule III include appetite suppressants, commonly prescribed steroids, and antidepressants.
Drugs for medical use, which are unlikely to cause addiction, fall under schedule IV and V. These include prescription drugs and medication like Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and cough medicine with low amounts of codeine, like Robitussin AC.
What The Prosecutor Must Prove
For a prosecutor to charge you with the manufacture of a controlled substance in violation of HS11379.6, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of the offense:
- You prepared or processed, manufactured, produced, or converted a controlled substance, directly or indirectly, by synthesis or chemical extraction
- You were aware that it was a controlled substance
- You offered to manufacture a controlled substance
- You intended to do so when the offer was made
Manufacture of a Controlled Substance Explained
Typically, manufacturing a controlled substance refers to producing an unlawful drug. All the states make it illegal to manufacture a controlled substance in the United States. However, each state’s common law and criminal statutes can alter the definition slightly. Various states use different words in criminal law. Each state's court system is free to interpret them differently, even when the words are similar. These varying interpretations and words can lead to different outcomes in various states. For example, California Health and Safety Code 11379.6 make it a crime for anyone who does the following:
- Compound, or
- Convert directly or indirectly, either by chemical extraction or independently through chemical synthesis, any controlled substance.
The most common and apparent nuances to this drug crime include:
- Manufacturing a drug consists of the offense of possessing drugs
- The word ‘’manufacture’’ includes cultivating or growing plants like marijuana
- How much, or even whether, the drug must be altered for it to amount to ''manufacturing.''
- Partially manufacturing a drug, or only being involved for some of the stages of manufacture, is sufficient
- Simply possessing the necessary ingredients is enough for you to face manufacture of a controlled substance charges
Different courts and states in the United States have offered varying answers to some of these matters. However, if you seek the services of an experienced drug offense attorney or criminal defense attorney, you could fully understand the implications of these differences.
If Possession Of A Drug Is A Lesser Included Crime
Possession of a drug is typically a lesser-included crime than the manufacturing of a controlled substance. Often, manufacturing a controlled substance involves having the drugs on hand. Therefore, this means the prosecutor can file concurrent convictions for possession and manufacture of a controlled substance. However, if there is no substantial evidence to charge you with the manufacture of a controlled substance, or if the law enforcers found the drugs through an illegal search, you could still face the possession charges. Usually, under California law, this is a misdemeanor drug conviction that could lead to a jail term that does not exceed one year.
If Manufacture Include Cultivating Plants like Marijuana
Some States in the United States consider cultivating marijuana plants a form of manufacturing a controlled substance, mainly in the states where recreational marijuana is still not legal. In addition, some states have specific criminal laws that cover the practice. For example, federal law considers cultivating marijuana plants as manufacturing of a controlled substance. However, the law allows you to grow marijuana for recreational use in California.
If Minor Changes To A Drug Are Sufficient To Qualify As Manufacturing
In the United States, many states need you to change the drug for your action to qualify as manufacturing. However, few states have expansive criminal laws, which include acts not associated with the drug. Some states have drug-manufacturing laws that cover labeling or packaging the drug's container. Other states have drug-manufacturing laws that cover diluting or cutting a drug to increase its volume for sale as the manufacture of a controlled substance.
You do not have to be part of the manufacturing process from the start to the end to be guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance offense. However, you can still face the charges if you play a small role in the drug's manufacture and if you are aware that the drug is illegal. Chemical precursor manufacture is less direct.
Some states are against manufacturing chemical precursors if you know they can serve as ingredients to manufacture a controlled substance. Often, chemical precursors are substances that can be utilized to manufacture a controlled substance.
For example, in California, it is a crime for you to manufacture precursors to a controlled substance, but only if you know what the final product will be.
Just Having The Necessary Ingredients
Typically, it is not sufficient to face charges for manufacturing a controlled substance if you merely possess the necessary ingredients to manufacture a controlled substance. However, California law demands adequate evidence that you were producing a controlled substance.
Penalties For Manufacture of a Controlled Substance In California
Punishment for manufacturing a controlled substance will depend on your criminal history. It will also depend on whether any other illegal activity occurred while manufacturing a controlled substance. The charges will also depend on the amount of drugs involved and the location of drug manufacturing. Under the law, manufacturing a controlled substance is a felony offense. If the court finds you guilty of this crime, you could face the following penalties:
- A fine that does not exceed $50,000
- A jail term of three, five, or seven years in prison
You could face additional penalties if large quantities of drugs are involved. You could face a jail term that does not exceed 15 years. Additionally, if you offer to manufacture a controlled substance, you could face three, four, or five years in prison, even if you did not ever handle drugs.
For you to face charges under HS11379.6, you do not have to complete the process of manufacturing a controlled substance. You only need to knowingly engage at the beginning or intermediate steps to process a controlled substance.
The sentencing court could consider several aggravating factors before imposing a sentence on you. The aggravating factors could enhance the possible punishment involved. The factors include:
- Use of a volatile solvent to chemically extract concentrated cannabis within 300 feet of an occupied structure or residence with another person present
- A person under 16 lived in the structure where you manufactured meth.
- You manufactured meth within 200 feet of an occupied residence or structure with another person.
The manufacture of meth is a dangerous process that involves the risk of fire or explosion because of the use of toxic chemicals. Because of the dangers involved, making meth in a structure where a child is present can result in an additional two years in prison. However, if a child suffers injuries while manufacturing meth, you could face a different jail term that does not exceed five years in prison.
Manufacturing a controlled substance could also attract other criminal charges. For example, manufacturing a controlled substance could be related to charges of organized crime, drug sales, gang activity, and weapons. This could lead to multiple felony convictions, including conspiracy to commit criminal offenses.
In addition to fines and a jail term, the judge could impose several parole conditions after you are free from custody. These include:
- The requirement to submit to drug testing
- The judge could order you to avoid contact with certain people
- Submitting to random searches, and
- Regular check-ins with a parole officer
A felony charge could also affect your rights to serve on a jury and own a gun, making it hard for you to secure a job.
Manufacture of a controlled substance could adversely affect you because it is part of offenses involving moral turpitude. If you are a non-citizen, you could be deported or considered inadmissible to the United States. Additionally, the manufacture of a controlled substance is an aggravated felony based on the laws in California. In these types of offenses, deportation is mandatory. You also cannot enjoy other reliefs for an aggravated felony charge. These include:
- Permit to reapply for readmission to the United States after deportation
- Cancellation of removal for a no-citizen under 8 U.S.C section 1229b(a)(3)
- Relief from asylum
Defenses To Manufacture Of Controlled Substances Charges
If the prosecutor accuses you of manufacturing a controlled substance, you could use several defenses to contest the charges. You and your attorney could review the facts of your charges and ascertain the best defense available for you. Some of the defenses include:
You Did Not Initiate The Manufacturing Process
The Health and Safety Code 11379.6 makes it a crime to manufacture a controlled substance, but it does not prohibit the preparation done before manufacturing. For example, this includes buying and assembling the needed ingredients.
Therefore, if you have not set up the necessary equipment or have not yet purchased the required components, you could contest the charges of manufacturing a controlled substance.
However, this defense could be hard to prove. You need to seek the services of an experienced attorney to differentiate between the actual attempt to manufacture and preparing to manufacture the drugs. Additionally, if you possess precursors or ingredients that are unlawful substances, you could still face charges for a different offense.
The police would arrest you by mistake when you had nothing to link you with manufacturing a controlled substance. If this happens, you need to consult an experienced attorney to assist you in contesting your charges and proving your innocence.
There are many reasons why innocent people are arrested and convicted of drug offenses. For example, somebody could accuse you of manufacturing drugs to avoid being held accountable for their criminal culpability. Someone else could also falsely accuse you of manufacturing a controlled substance out of revenge against you or jealousy.
For drug offenses, cases of false arrest are common. For example, a witness could mistake you for a drug peddler. The police could also arrest you by mistake if the information they received came from an unreliable private informant or police officer. A competent attorney will scrutinize all the available evidence and identify the best one to exonerate you.
You could allege before the court that your actions were merely preparatory and did not manufacture the controlled substance. You can fight the charges if you did not execute the process. You can still contest the charges even if you intend to manufacture the controlled substance. The prosecutor cannot convict you of violating HS 11379.6 until you take overt action in facilitating the manufacture of a controlled substance.
For example, law enforcers could arrest you for possessing ingredients used to manufacture a controlled substance, but one component is missing. You could argue that you bought the ingredients to manufacture a controlled substance, but you changed your mind later and did not buy the remaining ingredients. In this case, the court could charge you with attempting to manufacture a controlled substance. This is a lesser conviction than a controlled substance's actual manufacture.
Sometimes, it is hard to ascertain if you attempted or were prepared to manufacture drugs, but an intervening source stopped you. A competent attorney could allege that you merely prepared to manufacture a controlled substance but did not attempt to manufacture it. It is against the law to charge you if you merely attempted to manufacture a controlled substance. If the judge finds out that you tried to manufacture a controlled substance, he/she will sentence you to half the jail term you could have otherwise served for the actual manufacture.
At A Wrong Place At The Wrong Time
Generally, the manufacture of controlled substances happens in mobile homes, locked garages, and sheds. You could be present in a structure without knowing that the manufacture of a controlled substance is happening. If the law enforcers arrest you for manufacturing a controlled substance, you could allege that you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Your attorney could use all the appropriate ways to convince the court and the judge that you are not guilty of the crime.
There could be an alarm about people always visiting a drug lab to purchase and consume drugs. This could make the police visit the structure to prove the manufacture of controlled substances. There could be many individuals in the structure with nothing to do with the manufacture of drugs. The individuals could be convicted of possessing or using a controlled substance, which is a lesser conviction.
Illegal Search And Seizure
The law will protect you from illegal search and seizure even if you manufacture a controlled substance. For example, you could feel that the law enforcers went against the search and seizure statute at the time of your arrest. The judge could entirely dismiss your charges if your attorney can provide sufficient evidence that you are a victim of unlawful search and seizure.
You could allege unlawful search and seizure if the law enforcers entered the property where you manufacture a controlled substance without a search warrant. In addition, you could allege an illegal search and seizure if the police did not have probable cause for entering your property. You could also employ this defense if the law enforcers searched another area that was not stated in the search warrant. Under the law, any unlawfully obtained evidence is not valid in your charges. Therefore, if the law enforcers carry out an unlawful search, the judge will reduce your charges significantly or dismiss them.
Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations is a procedural contest against the charge of manufacturing a controlled substance. This defense only applies when the specific period in which the prosecution should file the case has elapsed, and the prosecutor cannot file the charges in court. The statute of limitations for manufacturing a controlled substance is three years. This felony crime could cost you a jail term of up to seven years. Therefore, you can ask the court to dismiss your charges if a case is brought forward after three years of discovery.
Abandonment or Withdrawal
This argument could only work when you intended to commit an offense but withdrew from participating. Your attorney could provide sufficient evidence that you withdrew or successfully abandoned the offense by stopping the commissioning of the manufacturing process. However, your step of stopping from engaging in the criminal activity should not have led to the accomplishment of the planned offense as well.
You Have an Alibi
This is an affirmative argument. In this defense, you must provide sufficient evidence by showing that you were not present at the crime scene, but another person who resembles you was involved in the offense. You must include testimonies from other people to support this kind of legal defense.
Several offenses are related to the manufacture of a controlled substance in California. These offenses constitute similar elements of the crime. The related crimes include:
Possession For Sale Of A Controlled Substance — HS 11351
According to HS11351, it is unlawful for anyone to possess a controlled substance in California. The law also prohibits any person from purchasing some drugs with the aim of selling, like Vicodin and Codeine. If the prosecutor accuses you of violating HS11351, he/she must consider the following elements:
- You purchased or possessed the drug
- You were aware that the drug was a controlled substance in nature
- The drugs were sufficient for usage or sale
- You possessed the drug intending to sell or purchased the drugs to sell them
Possession for the sale of a controlled substance is a felony crime under California law. You could face the following penalties:
- A fine of up to $20,000
- Probation in a county jail for one year
- A jail term of two, three, or four years in a county jail
Other related crimes include:
- Sale of a controlled substance — HS11352
- Operating a drug house — HS11366
- Renting a place to distribute controlled substances — HS11366.5
- Possession of materials needed in the manufacture of controlled substances— HS11383
Find a Criminal Attorney Near Me
You require an attorney with substantial legal background to defend you if you are accused of manufacturing a controlled substance. The state's prosecutors often press for maximum penalties because manufacturing a controlled substance is a serious crime. The Los Angeles Criminal Attorney will evaluate your case and create a suitable defense strategy that could see your charges possibly dismissed or reduced. Call us at 424-333-0943 and talk to one of our attorneys.