In California, possession, use, and sales of PCP are heavily restricted as it has no recognized medical uses for humans. Engaging in any of these activities can result in prosecution under various laws.
According to California Health and Safety Code 11379.5, transporting or selling PCP is a felony offense punishable by a prison sentence of 3-5 years, along with a fine. If a person is convicted of transporting PCP for sale across multiple counties, the prison sentence increases to 3-9 years. Additionally, having more than one kilogram or 30 liters of PCP can also result in increased prison time. Furthermore, if it is found that the offender knew or should have known that the recipient of the PCP was pregnant, had a previous conviction of a violent felony, or was receiving treatment for a mental health disorder or drug addiction, the judge can impose harsher punishment. This means that if the maximum sentence available is 4 years, the offender will likely be sentenced to the maximum term.
Possessing PCP without a valid prescription in California is a violation of Health & Safety Code 11377 HS, and is considered a controlled substance offense. If a person holds a valid prescription for PCP, written by a veterinarian, and used as prescribed, they are not in violation of this law. Furthermore, if a person is found to be misusing or consuming the PCP for personal use, they are in violation of this law.
This law also prohibits the possession of other controlled substances such as GHB, certain anabolic steroids, and ketamine. In most cases, the possession of PCP is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. However, if a person has a prior conviction of certain serious violent felonies or sex crimes, they will be charged with a felony and face up to three years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
A conviction for personal possession of PCP may also allow a person to participate in a drug diversion program in lieu of jail or prison. California's drug diversion program includes Proposition 36, Penal Code 1000 PC, and California drug courts. If the program is successfully completed, the PCP charge will be dismissed at the end of the program.
California Health and Safety Code 11378.5 HS prohibits possessing or purchasing PCP with the intent to sell it to another person or organization. This crime is considered more severe than simple possession of PCP under HS 11377. A conviction for possessing or purchasing PCP for sale can result in a felony charge, punishable by 3-5 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. However, if the amount of PCP in possession exceeds one kilogram or 30 liters in liquid volume, the person can face an additional 3-15 years in prison. If the illegal activity took place on the grounds or within 1000 feet of a drug treatment center, detox facility or homeless shelter, the offender will face an additional 1 year in state prison regardless of the amount of PCP.
A criminal defense lawyer may be able to argue that the PCP was only possessed for personal use or negotiate a plea bargain to the lesser charge of HS 11377, allowing the offender to participate in drug diversion instead of incarceration. However, if convicted of possession or purchase of PCP for sale, drug diversion is not an option. It is also illegal to possess materials with the intent to manufacture PCP under Health & Safety Code 11383 HS, which is a serious felony with a potential jail sentence of 2-6 years.
If you are arrested while allegedly under the influence of PCP, prosecutors may charge you under Health and Safety Code 11550 HS for being under the influence of a controlled substance. This law states that an individual is considered under the influence if their physical and/or mental abilities are impaired in any detectable manner. Being under the influence of PCP is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail. However, some defendants may be eligible for drug diversion programs as an alternative to incarceration.
You are in violation of California's Vehicle Code 23152f VC when you drive under the influence of PCP. This law states that you are considered under the influence when the PCP has affected your nervous system, brain, or muscles to the point of impairing your ability to drive in a manner similar to a cautious and prudent individual. This crime is usually considered a misdemeanor, which can result in fines and potential jail time. Unlike other drug offenses, drug diversion is not an option for a conviction of driving under the influence of PCP.
Some possible defenses that may be raised in cases involving PCP-related offenses in California include challenging the legality of a search or seizure, arguing that the police used coercion to induce the commission of an offense, and asserting that the individual is not guilty because they have been wrongly accused. Additionally, it could be possible to argue that the search and seizure was conducted illegally or that the individual was entrapped by law enforcement. Furthermore, it can be claimed that the person is completely innocent and that the PCP in question belonged to someone else.
The H Law Group is dedicated to achieving the most favorable outcome for each individual case. Contact us for a complimentary consultation and discover how we can assist you.