Drug Possession in California

Drug Possession in California

Drug Possession in California

You aren’t allowed to have any drugs that are prohibited in the State of California with you. If you’re caught with illegal drugs, you’ll be charged with drug possession.

You can be charged with drug possession if:

✨ You have drugs on your person
✨ If there are drugs in your home
✨ If you have drugs in your vehicle

Having drugs on you is illegal. Once you’re caught with drugs, the question won’t be whether you’ll be charged, but whether you’ll be charged with simple possession or possession with the intent to sell.

If you are charged with possession of drugs, it means that you own drugs but that you’re only planning on using them for yourself. You’re not going to sell or share them.

To secure a drug possession conviction, the prosecution needs to prove two things.

First, they have to show that you knew about the drugs. If you can successfully argue that the drugs were planted or that you honestly had no idea that they were near you, the charges will be dropped. This frequently happens in situations where a routine traffic stop reveals drugs in a vehicle, but since it’s a shared or borrowed vehicle, the driver did not know about the drugs.

The second thing that must be proven before securing a possession conviction is that you knew the substance was illegal. If you didn’t understand what you had, or if you were caught with a substance that’s legal in one state but you didn’t realize was illegal in California, you should be able to beat the charges.

When it comes to a charge of possession with the intent to sell, a little more effort has to be used. Having multiple bags of drugs, all of which are precisely measured, a large sum of money, drug measuring/selling paraphernalia, or getting caught in the middle of a drug sale will all increase the odds of you being charged with possession with the intent to sell.

Drug possession with the intent to sell is a violation of California’s Health and Safety Code 11351 HS. The law states, “except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses for sale or purchases for purposes of sale (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e) 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, shall be punished by imprisonment.”

This is a felony charge. If you’re convicted, you will be sentenced to 2-4 years in a state prison.