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California Health and Safety Code §11350 makes it unlawful for any person to be in possession of a controlled substance. Controlled substances are those listed under California Health and Safety Code §§ 11054 and 11055. These sections include the majority of common recreational or “street” drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, certain hallucinogenic drugs and antidepressants. These sections, however, do not include marijuana. Marijuana is covered by California Health and Safety Code § 11357.

Drug possession cases in California are generally charged as a felony, and are not taken as serious offenses by the courts. However, an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney knows that there much leniency for Drug Possession charges. With a powerful argument and the skill of a good lawyer, charges may be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, or in many cases, dismissed altogether.

If the drug allegedly found in your possession is certain types of depressants, the law may be read as a wobbler by the Judge. A wobbler is a law under which a charge may be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case. Prosecutors and Judges will consider the criminal history, if any, and the specific facts surrounding the case to arrive at a determination.

California Health and Safety Code §11359 makes it unlawful to “possess for sale, any marijuana, except as otherwise provided by law”. The section is exclusively for possession for sale of marijuana, all other controlled substances and narcotics are regulated by California Health and Safety Code § 11351.

There is no set numerical value or test to show a person is guilty of Possession for Sale. Instead, a subjective test is used to prove that the person had intent to sell the drugs in their possession. To prove intent, Prosecution uses the Totality of Circumstances Method. The Totality of Circumstances method uses the specific facts and circumstances surrounding a case to make an argument.

If a person is found with a bag containing 20 baggies of carefully weighed out marijuana inside and a handful of cash in high bills, Prosecution will argue that they had carefully measured baggies to sell to customers, and the cash was from the sales they had already made. However, an experienced San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney can prepare a powerful defense that will present the facts in your favor.

A possession of drugs for sale charge is regulated by California Health and Safety Code §11351. The section makes it unlawful for anyone to possess for sale, or purchase for sale any type of controlled substance or narcotic. These include the popular PCP, Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetaminessand certain depressants and opiates. Possession for marijuana sales is regulated by California Health and Safety Code §11359.

To find someone guilty of possession of drugs for sale, Prosecution must prove that there was an intent to sell. An intent is generally proven through the Totality of Circumstances method.sIn a Totality of Circumstances test, facts and circumstances of a specific case are used to show that a person had the intent to sell any drugs in their possession.

For example, let’s say that a person is caught with a small bag of heroin in his pocket and nothing else. There are not enough facts to prove that there was any intention to sell the heroin. The person will probably only be charged with Possession of Drugs.s

California Health and Safety code §11357 makes it illegal to have marijuana in a person’s possession. The only exception to this law is if someone holds a valid medical marijuana prescription. A prescription is available to those who are determined to be qualified by a licensed physician.sIt allows for holders to have in their possession no more than 8 ounces of marijuana to use for medicinal purposes. California recognizes the prescription as a valid exception, but not in vehicles. Even with a medical marijuana prescription, a person is not allowed to have it in their possession while in a vehicle. They may, however, transport it in their trunk, as long as it is the lawful amount or less.

Similarly, a person caught with marijuana in their possession in a vehicle without a valid prescription, may be charged under California Vehicle code §23222. California Vehicle code §23222 states that any person found with not more than an ounce of marijuana in their possession, other than concentrated cannabis, will be found in violation. The charge is that of an infraction and the person will be ordered to pay a fine.

However, a person who is found with marijuana in their possession while in a vehicle will most likely also be charged with marijuana possession under the Health and Safety Code. When a person is charged with multiple offenses, the potential consequences may fall within a wider range.

The amount of drugs found in possession of a person in combination of the type of drug will determine the potential sentencing range and the relevant section of the California Health and Safety Code. Consequently, it will determine whether a person is charged with an infraction, misdemeanor or felony.s

In general, the smaller the quantity of drugs, the increased chances of being charged with an infraction or a misdemeanor. California law prior to January 1, 2011, made possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a misdemeanor, and anything more than an ounce, a felony. A recent change in California law has made possession of marijuana under an ounce, an infraction. An infraction is comparable to a traffic ticket. It involves no jail time, just a fine to be paid. Being charged with an infraction, other than dismissal, is the best possible result. Due to the relatively new nature of the law, it is unclear what amount will constitute a misdemeanor and a felony under California law.

The potential charge for drugs other than marijuana will depend on the type of drug and the state in which a person is being tried. In California, drug possession charges will be a felony, regardless ofsquantity, for serious drugs like heroin and crack.

Under California Health and Safety code §11350 and §11377, the legislation makes it unlawful to be in possession of certain controlled substances, defined by the code section. The type of drug thatsa person is found in possession of will have an impact on the potential consequence a person may face.

Those found in possession of amphetamines, including methamphetamines, may face a potential sentencing range established by California Health and Safety Code §11377. A first time offense has the potential of being charged as only a misdemeanor and has a good probability of being dismissed with completion of a Drug Diversion program.

Possession of Cocaine or Crack is regulated under California Health and Safety Code §11350. First time offenders may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on the quantity found. They may serve up to 3 years in jail but have a strong opportunity to be allowed to enrolls in a Drug Diversion program which, upon completion, will lead to a dismissal of charges.

California Health and Safety Code §11350 makes it unlawful for a person to be in possession of a controlled substance. Controlled substances are those that are listed by the legislators in California Health and Safety Code §§ 11054 and 11055. These sections do not include marijuana. Marijuana possession is covered by California Health and Safety Code §11357.

To build a case against a person, prosecution uses a totality of the circumstances method. A totality of the circumstances method means that opposing counsel will take the surrounding facts of a person’s arrest to prove that the person was in possession of a controlled substance. For example, if a person is arrested physically holding a controlled substance the prosecutors will use these facts to help build their case. If a person is stopped by authorities and a controlled substance is found in his or her jacket, the prosecutors will have to build a case using the circumstances to show that a controlled substance was found in the jacket, and that jacket indisputably belonged to the person arrested.

Whether a person is charged with drug possession as an infraction, misdemeanor or felony will depend on several different factors. First, on the type of drug they were found with.sIt may be anything from opiates, their derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, certain depressants, to other narcotics and in some cases, prescription drugs. Second, it will matter how much of the controlled substance is found. A greater quantity will lead to a higher potential consequence.

Legislators are constantly changing and amending laws that affect California citizens daily. Once changed it leaves open the question of whether the law applies proactively, or from beyond its enactment and how it may impact your already existing case.

The new marijuana law that went into effect on January 1, 2011 may reduce your marijuana misdemeanor charge to an infraction under Senate Bill 1449. However, if you have an already existing offense, and an openscase, it is unclear as to how Courts and Judges apply the new legislation.

A knowledgeable San Diego Criminal Defense attorney has researched all new legislation and how it has been applied in courts and current cases. Consequently, they are aware of how Judges are handling cases in the San Diego Criminal Courts. Based on this experience of the Criminal courts they can prepare the best possible argument in your defense so that you can take full advantage of any new laws that will pertain to the facts of your case.

The field of Medical Marijuana is fairly new, therefore legislators and courts are still discovering new issues and are uncertain on how to proceed on certain questions. Consequently, determining in which cases a Medical Marijuana Prescription will relieve a person of a charge is assessed on a case by case basis.

Many people who are pulled over for a Driving under the influence of marijuana charge obtain a Medical Marijuana Prescription after the fact and seek to apply it retroactively. The prescription will have only the date the doctor was seen and cannot be legally dated before that.

Nevertheless, this technique has been used repeatedly in court as a defense against a marijuana related charges. Each argument and its effectiveness depends on the Judge and the prosecutor it is presented to. In the majority of cases it has not been a successful defense and Judges have chosen to not honor the post dated prescription.

Under California Penal Code 1000, certain persons charged with drug related cases are able to get their case dismissed through the completion of drug education and awareness programs.

This section applies only to first time offenders if they meet certain requirements.

In order to qualify, the charge being brought against you must be one of the specific California Health and Safety Code sections mentioned in Penal Code §1000, as well as meeting a list of criteria outlined in the same section.