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Legal defenses and penalties for Sedative hypnotics DUI

California Health and Safety Code 11375 makes it illegal to be in the possession of controlled substances, whether that be for personal use or for distribution. Depending on the intentions and details of the particular crime, violation of HS 11375 may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Read on to find out more about the penalties as well as possible defenses associated with charges of unlawfully possessing a controlled substance in California.

How is unlawful possession of controlled substances penalized under Health and Safety Code 11375?

Selling controlled substances under HS 11375 is a wobbler offense that can lead to either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. A misdemeanor charge will result in no more than one year in jail or prison. A felony charge, however, can result in a maximum of three years in jail/prison. 

Simple possession of a controlled substance under HS 11375 can be charged as a misdemeanor or an aggravated misdemeanor. Penalties for a misdemeanor charge are:

  • As much as 6 months in jail
  • Maximum fines of $1000

Penalties for an aggravated misdemeanor charge are:

  • As much as 1 year in jail
  • Maximum fines of $1000

What are the defenses for possessing these drugs?

An important thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to being prosecuted for a DUI, you must have committed this act out of your own volition. You may take a prescribed sedative if you have no intention of driving. A defense against DUI charges could be that you did take a sedative, but you were not planning on driving (perhaps you were only sitting in a parked car). 

The following are some of the more common defenses for charges under HS 11375.

  1. There was no intention of selling the drug – you may have had the drug, but it was for personal use. This defense can be used to receive a lesser charge.
  2. You were NOT in possession of the drug – perhaps someone who used your car hid the drugs in it without you knowing.
  3. Valid prescription – an authorized person prescribed you the drug you were in possession of and therefore are allowed to have it.

This article has provided information on what the penalties are for possessing controlled substances under HS 11375 as well as possible defenses for such charges. If you or someone you know is currently in the process of being charged for violating Code HS 11375, please consider contacting us for further information on legal defenses.

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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