Unless you are a licensed pharmacist filling a doctor’s prescription, selling a controlled substance in California is illegal. A conviction of possessing a controlled substance with the intention of selling it can land you felony penalties of state jail time and large fines.
Let’s take a look at what a conviction for selling a controlled substance is and the possible penalties surrounding it.
In California, “controlled substances” are certain prescription and illegal drugs with a high percentage of addiction and dependency.
California organizes these controlled substances into different “schedules” or tiers based on their danger level and potency. For example, cough suppressants that contain a bit of codeine are on the lowest level, while illegal drugs with no medicinal value like heroin and PCP are listed on the top tier.
Some other common drugs found on the controlled substances list include:
Under California law, Health and Safety Code 11351 HS says it is illegal for anyone to retain any controlled substance with the intent of selling it. And “selling” includes giving it away, trading it for something else, or exchanging it for another controlled substance.
Additionally, a transaction does not have to physically take place for an arrest under 11351 HS. Just the offer to “sell” a controlled substance in any of the ways listed above is a crime.
For a conviction under California 11351 HS, the prosecutor needs to show:
In California, there are three types of “possession”:
A California 11351 HS conviction is a felony with possible penalties including:
These are starting penalties as there are ways a prosecutor or judge could increase these penalties even further:
There are a few ways in which an LA attorney could defend your case for a reduction in penalties or possibly have the case thrown out entirely.
The most common defense is proving there was no intent to sell the controlled substance. If a criminal defense attorney proves you only possessed the controlled substance but did not have the means or intention to sell them, your charge reduces to California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS — possession of a controlled substance. This is normally a misdemeanor charge with penalties of up to one year in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Other possible defense a criminal defense attorney uses include:
If police charge you or a family member under California 11351 HS, your first action should be to call an LA attorney with years of experience in defending these types of allegations. The attorneys at H Law Group have been serving the people of Los Angeles, Irvine, Temecula, San Diego, San Jose, Encino, and Orange County for more than a decade. Schedule your free consultation online or by calling us at (213) 370-0404.