What’s Defined as California Possession of a Controlled Substance?

For police investigators who find that someone has in their possession a form of controlled substance, the owner may be found guilty of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Some examples of these substances include heroin or cocaine. Sometimes even a prescription drug such as Vicodin can fall into this category, if the owner does not have a valid prescription.

The elements of this crime include that the defendant was found with a controlled substance; and was aware that it was illegal and indeed a controlled substance. In addition, if a defendant for example ingested the substance upon being summoned by a police or investigator, the defendant can still be trialed for this crime.

California’s Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance under Health and Safety Code 11350

This is a serious crime, as it’s normally filed as a felony offense, which warrants either:

· Up to one year in jail and a probation, or

· Up to sixteen months, two or three years in prison

Legal Defenses for Possession of a Controlled Substance

Despite the intensity of this crime, there are several defenses that a skilled lawyer can present for such cases. In addition, alternative sentencing can be pursued, bases on a simple possession. Common defenses include mistaken identity, illegal search and seizures, a valid prescription was issued, among others.

The alternative sentencing described above includes California’s drug diversion program. If someone simply had the substance for personal use rather than resale, a skilled lawyer can work toward a drug diversion program instead of standard penalties.

MacGregor and Collins is based in Orange County, California, and has effectively defended several types of drug trafficking cases. If you’ve been arrested for Possession of a Controlled substance or a closely related crime, Call (949) 250-6097 to speak to a California defense lawyer now. We’ve set up several locations throughout Orange County for your convenience.

See a comprehensive library of California Section Penal Codes here.