California drug laws are individual statutes for different drug categories and offense classes. The laws can be classified and understood based on specific substances or offenses. Substances carry specific punishments based on their medical use, possible effects, severity, and societal impacts. California drug laws can be complicated, but a criminal lawyer can help you understand them when facing drug charges. Here are common drug offenses and the California laws governing them:
Possession of Drugs
The Health and Safety Code §11350(a)-(d) criminalizes the illicit possession of controlled substances like cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, and marijuana. Charges may differ depending on the schedule of the drug or how much the drug can impact the person. A guilty verdict can carry up to a year sentence in a county jail and a fine as high as $20,000. Past criminal records like severe charges under the Penal Code may attract a drug possession conviction with a mandatory minimum sentence. The offense may be prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. A qualified criminal lawyer may help you avoid a mandatory minimum sentence or reduce your fine.
Drug-Related Equipment or Accessories
The Health and Safety Code §11364 bars possessing any item suspected of enabling controlled substance use. Such paraphernalia includes smoking pipes, hypodermic needles or syringes, or cooking spoons. The ban on an object depends on how and where the controlled substance is used. Consult a good drug lawyer to avoid up to 6 months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Sale of a Controlled Substance
The Health and Safety Code §11351 forbids possessing or purchasing for sale of any illicit substance (Schedule I and II narcotics). If found guilty, you may face a 4-year sentence and a $20,000 fine, excluding aggravating facts. A good Los Angeles drug possession lawyer can help you navigate proof against you. Depending on the circumstance, they prove that you had knowledge of the illegality of the drug or that you possessed it.
Transportation for Sale, Administration of Drugs
The Health and Safety Code §11352(a) prohibits transporting, importing, selling, furnishing, administering, or offering the mentioned drugs. A conviction could carry a 5-year sentence in a state prison or a $20,000 fine minus aggravating circumstances. This section states that accruing three strikes may attract a minimum 25-year sentence in state prison. Transporting, exporting, or importing controlled substances to/from another state or country may constitute a federal drug charge with severe penalties. Consult a qualified Los Angeles criminal attorney for more information on the statute.
Health and Safety Code §11379.6 criminalizes manufacturing, processing, compounding, extracting, or converting certain drugs. The statute applies to controlled substances like marijuana, opiates, or Methamphetamine. Their extraction or manufacture is only legal if lawfully permitted. The statute prescribes a 7-year state prison sentence or a $50,000 fine as punishment.
Controlled Substance Usage
The Health and Safety Code §11550 prohibits California citizens from using or being under the influence of any drug. The prosecution should prove use immediately before an arrest. This section recommends up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. The section elaborates on how usage can constitute an offense and a skilled Los Angeles drug lawyer can assist you in getting a fair hearing.
Faking a Drug Prescription
Drugs like narcotics are controlled substances that should require a doctor’s signature. Under Health and Safety Code § 11368, falsifying or altering a prescription for narcotic drugs is illegal. Conviction of these charges is a felony carrying a minimum six-month county jail sentence. The phrase “narcotic drugs” includes substances like Demerol, Vicodin, Valium, Xanax, or Percocet. The prosecution bears the burden of proof to charge with the crime. An accomplished Los Angeles drug lawyer can use different tactics to get the best possible verdict. They may prove your lack of knowledge that drugs were attained with a fake prescription.
Contact a Criminal Lawyer Today
Drug crimes can be punitive, and courts don’t excuse your ignorance. Federal offenses may carry longer sentences with no parole, so you must know your rights. An experienced criminal lawyer can help you familiarize yourself with California drug policy and the penalties involved. Consulting a law firm can aid in getting the best possible outcomes from a case.