What You Need to Know
In California, the crime of possession of a controlled substance is punished by California Health and Safety Code §11350, which states in relevant part:
a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses any controlled substance specified in Sections 11054, 11055, and 11056, or those Classified in Schedule III, IV, or V of the California Health and Safety Code, unless upon written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in the State of California, shall be punished in the state prison. Controlled Substances regulated under this section include any:
- Opiates and Opiate Derivatives;
- Cocaine Based Stimulants and any derivatives thereof;
- Amphetamines and any derivatives thereof; and
- Hallucinogenic Substances including Mescaline, Peyote, Tetrahydrocannabinols and any derivatives thereof
Penalties for Drug Possession in California
Because drugs are considered to be such a plague by law enforcement, the penalties for drug possession can be surprisingly steep. Under HS §11350, a person can be convicted of a felony just for possession of a controlled substance, and can be punished by 3 years in state prison. There does not need to be any intent to sell. The individual does not need to be under the influence, nor must law enforcement show they are the owner in actual possession of the drugs.
Since the penalties for drug possession are often severe, it is important that your San Diego Drug possession lawyer is familiar with drug diversion programs like PC §1000 PC §1000 allows defendants accused of drug possession to enter a counseling and diversion program, as an alternative to punishment, and upon successful completion of the program the prosecution’s case against the defendant is dismissed.
Proposition 36 is a sentencing alternative for qualified drug possession defendants without convictions for any violent crimes, to avoid jail for their conviction. For more information, please see the
PC §1000 and Prop 36 page.
Fight Your Charges with an Experienced San Diego Drug Possession Lawyer
San Diego County Prosecutors, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Narcotic Investigators quite literally stand at the forefront of America’s War on Drugs. Accordingly, these agencies are afforded nearly unlimited resources to seek out, arrest, and incarcerate any individual that may be in violation of laws enacted towards drug enforcement. Unfortunately at times, even with little evidence to sustain a conviction against them, innocent individuals are caught in the wide net of well funded efforts aimed at enforcing these laws that are many times heavily weighted in the prosecution’s favor.
Considering the Prosecution’s inherent power and funding afforded by State and Federal Government, as well as its minimal burden of showing mere possession of a controlled substance, without intent to use, distribute, or even actual possession; it is absolutely critical that the strength of your legal representation exceeds not just that of the State, but that of other local Defense Counsel as well.
The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen has years of experience aggressively and passionately fighting for individuals accused of drug possession. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, contact a San Diego drug possession attorney at the office today to discuss possible defense solutions.