Controlled Substance and Drug Possession Laws?
According to California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS, possession of a controlled substance, as determined by the federal government, is a crime in the state of California. These controlled substances include a variety of drugs. Some of the illegal drugs and narcotics are heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, Ketamine, peyote, and hallucinogenic drugs. Other substances that are illegal to possess, if they do not come with a valid medical prescription, include Vicodin and codeine. Important to note, however, is that this specific code does not apply to marijuana, as it is regulated separately.
Penalties for Drug Possession
The penalties for possessing controlled substances vary based on the current context of the possession and any previous history of crime of the defendant. In many cases, violating California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS because of illegal possession will result in a misdemeanor offense. If the prosecution can prove possession, one of two punishments may be given out: the defendant goes to jail for up to one year and possibly pays a fine of up to $1000, or they become eligible for a drug treatment program.
As mentioned, the type of conviction will also take into account previous criminal activity. If the defendant has been previously found guilty of a serious felony or sex crime, their drug possession conviction will become a felony. The associated punishment is up to a maximum of two to three years in jail, as opposed to the one year if convicted as a misdemeanor offense.
In order to avoid a drug possession conviction and possible jail time, do not unlawfully possess controlled substances. If an individual medically requires a controlled substance, they must ensure that they have a valid prescription for it at all times. Contact a lawyer if you need assistance with a drug possession case.