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California Drug Offenses -

       There are many different types of drug offenses. They range from simple possession, to possession for sale, to transportation, to cultivation, to manufacturing,to offering for sale to actual sales. In addition to criminal laws that prohibit the possession of the drugs, there are numerous laws that also prohibit the possession of drug paraphernalia or the chemicals that can be combined to make up a controlled substance.

       Additionally, the punishment for any drug offense can significantly increase if the offense occurred on or near a school ground, even if there were no school children in the vicinity.

Health and Safety Codes

       California Drug offenses are determined and identified under the various controlled substances in the Health and Safety Codes where there are schedules (I through IV) of the various drugs.

  • Schedule I - In Schedule I, you will find the opiates, opium derivatives such as heroin, hallucinogenic substances such as DMA, STP, LSD, marijuana, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin and cocaine base. The theory is that the drugs listed in Schedule I are dangerous, have no medical use and can easily lead to abuse.
  • Schedule II - The controlled substances include opium, codeine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, methadone and stimulants such as amphetamine and methamphetamine, depressants such as PCP and secobarbital. The drugs on this particular Schedule are a little less dangerous, a little less subject to physical and/or psychological addiction and have some minimal medical value in limited situations. A prescription is required.
  • Schedule III - The controlled substances would include testosterone and HGC. The potential for abuse is less and the physical and/or psychological dependency is rare.
  • Schedule IV - The controlled substances in this schedule would include clonazepam and diazepam. These are the drugs with the least amount of potential for abuse and the greatest amount of use for medical purposes.

Codes and Sentences

       Some of the more common codes and sentences under California criminal law are listed as follows:

Health & Safety Code (H&S) §11162.5 - Counterfeiting an official prescription blank is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months, 2 years of 3 years for a first offense.
H&S Code §11350(a) - Possession of a controlled substance is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months, 2 years or 3 years.
H&S Code §11351 - Possession of a controlled substance for sale is punishable by imprisonment for 2 years, 3 years or 4 years.
H&S Code § 11352 - The Sale or Transportation of a controlled substance is punishable by imprisonment for 3 years, 4 years or 5 years.
H&S Code §11353 - Adult inducing a minor's involvement with a controlled substance is punishable by imprisonment for 3 years, 6 years or 9 years.

       There are additional enhancements for committing drug offenses if there are prior convictions or if there are any firearms involved, which can significantly increase the length of punishment.

- Written by , Attorney at Law


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