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OC Possession of a Controlled Substance, HS 11350(a) Lawyer

Possession of a Controlled Substance, HS 11350(a) Defense Attorney

How does the police or district attorney prove I was in possession of a controlled substance?

  • The accused unlawfully was in possession of a controlled substance, and
  • The accused knew the drug was there, and
  • The accused knew of the controlled substance's character and nature, and
  • There was a usable amount, not mere traces

What is a controlled substance?

A controlled substance is a narcotic or any drug which needs prescription and/or is defined under the United States Controlled Substances Act.

What is controlled substance for personal use?

It's usually defined as a small enough quantity or amount which is for personal use rather that in bulk amount for sale or resale.  Each substances has their own measurement in what is deemed for "personal use."  Please call our office for more information. 

What are the defenses to the charge of HS 11350(a)? 

  • You did not possess the drug/controlled substance
  • You did not have control over the drug/controlled substance 
  • You did not know about it being present or that it was a controlled substance 
  • You had a valid prescription from a licensed medical professional for the controlled substance 
  • Law enforcement didn't properly handle the substance for evaluation 

What are the penalties for possession of a controlled substance (HS 11350) in California? 

Misdemeanor HS 11350(a):

  • Up to 1 year in Jail
  • $1,000 Fine for first offense or community service 
  • $2,000 Fine for second (or more) offense or community service 
  • Immigration Consequences 

Felony HS 11350:

  • 1 Year 4 months, or 2 Years or 3 Years in Prison
  • $1,000 Fine for first offense or community service 
  • $2,000 Fine for second (or more) offense or community service 
  • Immigration Consequences

California Health and Safety Code defines "Possession of a Controlled Substance" in HS 11350 as:

"11350.  

(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, except that such person shall instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 of the Penal Code or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290 of the Penal Code.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whenever a person who possesses any of the controlled substances specified in subdivision (a), the judge may, in addition to any punishment provided for pursuant to subdivision (a), assess against that person a fine not to exceed seventy dollars ($70) with proceeds of this fine to be used in accordance with Section 1463.23 of the Penal Code. The court shall, however, take into consideration the defendant's ability to pay, and no defendant shall be denied probation because of his or her inability to pay the fine permitted under this subdivision.

(c) Except in unusual cases in which it would not serve the interest of justice to do so, whenever a court grants probation pursuant to a felony conviction under this section, in addition to any other conditions of probation which may be imposed, the following conditions of probation shall be ordered:

(1)  For a first offense under this section, a fine of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) or community service.

(2)  For a second or subsequent offense under this section, a fine of at least two thousand dollars ($2,000) or community service.

(3)  If a defendant does not have the ability to pay the minimum fines specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), community service shall be ordered in lieu of the fine.

(d) It is not unlawful for a person other than the prescription holder to possess a controlled substance described in subdivision (a) if both of the following apply:

(1) The possession of the controlled substance is at the direction or with the express authorization of the prescription holder.

(2) The sole intent of the possessor is to deliver the prescription to the prescription holder for its prescribed use or to discard the substance in a lawful manner.

(e) This section does not permit the use of a controlled substance by a person other than the prescription holder or permit the distribution or sale of a controlled substance that is otherwise inconsistent with the prescription."

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