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Is It Illegal To Possess A Scheduled Substance While Armed

As per the California Health and Safety Code 11370, it’s illegal to be armed with an operable firearm while at the same time being in possession of a controlled substance. It’s considered a felony offense that can lead to severe consequences, such as being placed in jail or prison for up to four years and a fine that can cost you up to $10,000,00. 

Along with that, there are other serious consequences to a California felony conviction. Some of which include: 

  • A lifetime bar on possessing or owning firearms.
  • The requirement that you disclose this conviction whenever you get asked about it when applying for a job.
How Can You Get Convicted for Violating Health and Safety Code 11370.1

In order for you to be convicted of committing a crime under California Health and Safety Code 11370.1 HS, the prosecution has to prove all of the elements of the crime, including: 

  • You possessed a usable amount of some controlled substance.
  • You were aware of its presence.
  • You knew about the nature of the substance and that it was considered to be controlled.
  • While you were in possession of the controlled substance, you also had an operable, loaded firearm available for you to use.
  • You knew you had the firearm available and ready for immediate use.

You have to know that you can also be charged with possession of a controlled substance, according to California Health and Safety Code 11350 or 11377, which is not considered a lesser offense than that of this discussion. 

Which Substances Are Covered By Health and Safety Code 11370.1?

Not all substances fall under California Health and Safety Code 11370.1, but here are some of the ones that do. It is a crime to possess any of them while also having a working firearm: 

  • Drugs based on cocaine.
  • Cocaine.
  • Heroin.
  • Methamphetamine. 
  • PCP- A crystalline substance that contains phencyclidine.
  • Any liquid that contains PCP.
  • Any material containing PCP. 
  • A cigarette which was treated with PCP.

This is a really limited definition of “controlled substance” and is not used under most other California and federal drug laws. 

Getting charged with violating California Health and Safety Code is a serious crime with severe consequences. Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law group patiently await your call.

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