Possession for Sale
In California, it is illegal to simply possess certain controlled substances, but the state code goes further by also punishing those who possess illegal substances so that they can sell them. According to California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS, the possession for sale of illegal drugs and prescription medication is a felony crime. The controlled substances or narcotic drugs in question include cocaine, codeine, peyote, hallucinogenic substances, and many more (the full list is determined by the US government’s Controlled Substances Act). In order for the prosecution to prove the defendant’s intent to sell, they must argue that the defendant not only possessed the narcotic, but that they were also fully aware of its nature and had enough of it to sell it.
Defenses Against Possession for Sale of Narcotics
If falsely accused of possessing controlled substances or narcotics, the defendant has a few possible options for their legal defense.
An experienced attorney could potentially prove that the defendant was neither aware of the drug nor its character as an illegal substance. Furthermore, the charges could be lessened if the attorney argues that the drugs were only meant for personal use, and not for sale.
Punishments for a Possession for Sale Conviction
Given that this crime is a felony, it carries potential jail time. Moreover, punishments can also multiply if it is proven that the sale would have occurred multiple times. For those convicted of possessing a controlled substance in order to sell it, they can prepare to face up to four years in a California county jail, and possibly also pay a fine of up to $20,000. However, the penalties don’t stop here. If the narcotic in possession is cocaine or cocaine base, the defendant faces anywhere from three to upwards of twenty years in jail (depending on the amount of the narcotic).