CA Health & Safety 11350 HSC

HSC 11350 – Possession of a Controlled Substance

HSC 11350 - Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a Controlled Substance – Table of Contents

California HSC 11350 – Possession of Controlled Substance

The Health and Safety Code Section 11350(a) states that it is unlawful for any person to either possess:

  1. Any possession of a controlled substance specified in the subdivision of opiates and opium derivatives, substances having a stimulant effect on the central nervous system (including cocaine base substances), and any hallucinogenic substance
  2. Any possession of a 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.

Common Types of Drugs

California HSC 11354 – Possession of Controlled SubstanceSchedule I including, but not limited to:

  • Opiates and all of their derivatives
  • Heroin (diacetylmorphine)
  • Hallucinogenic substances
    • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
    • MDMA, or “ecstasy” (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)
    • Cannabis
    • Mescaline (Peyote)
    • Psilocybin and Psilocin
    • DMT (dimethyltryptamine)

California HSC 11355 – Possession of Controlled SubstanceSchedule II including, but not limited to:

  • Opiates
    • Raw opium
    • Codeine
    • Oxycodone
    • Morphine
    • Hydrocodone
    • Methadone
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
    1. Including, but not limited to:
      • Amphetamine mixed salts (Adderall, Dexedrine)
  • PCP

California HSC 11356 – Possession of Controlled SubstanceSchedule III including, but not limited to:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Ketamine
  • Barbiturates

What is California HSC 11350 – Possession of Controlled Substance?

When being charged for California HSC 11350, possession of a controlled substance, the prosecutor, who has the burden of proof in any case, will need to prove that you “possessed” the controlled substance by any of three ways:

  • Actual Possession – This can be demonstrated when the drug enforcement agent has physically found a California HSC 11350, possession of a controlled substance on the person (for example, in a pocket, bag, concealed in clothing/body).
  • Constructive possession – This can be demonstrated when a California HSC 11350, possession of a controlled substance is found in an area or item that remains to be in a location over which the person exercises control (for example, a closet in a bedroom, a bag checked onto an airplane).
  • Joint possession – This can be established when it can be shown that more than one person(s) both actually or constructively.

Some important factors to consider are that the prosecutor must demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, certain key points:

  • The defendant intended to possess the controlled substance
  • The California HSC 11350, possession of a controlled substance was not forced upon the defendant or unknown to the defendant
  • The defendant knew what was possessed was a controlled substance
  • The possession was voluntary
  • There must be a considerably “usable” amount of a substance for it to be used to “control” or alter one’s state of being
  • Evidence was gathered lawfully

If any of these key factors are compromised, then the charges may either be dismissed or the attorney can negotiate a disposition with the prosecutor and judge that would entail a dismissal.

Penalties for California HSC 11350 – Possession of Controlled Substance

A person convicted under California HSC 11350, possession of a controlled substance may face the following consequences if charged as a Misdemeanor:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • Possible deportation

If charged as a felony, you may face:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail followed by probation
  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison followed by parole

You may face felony penalties if you have specific serious convictions on your record, such as:

  • Murder
  • Sexually Violent Offenses
  • Sex Crimes requiring registration as sex offender (Megan’s Law)
  • Vehicular Manslaughter

One way to mitigate the penalties for this charge is to apply for an alternative sentencing program, AKA Drug Diversion.

Possible Defenses for California HSC 11350 – Possession of Controlled Substance

The following are some examples of Legal Defenses to California HSC 11350, possession of a controlled substance (but not limited to):

  • You had a valid prescription for the drug
  • You didn’t possess the drugs
  • You didn’t know the drugs were there
  • You only had the drugs temporarily so that you could get rid of them
  • You had permission from the prescription holder as his/her caregiver
  • The drugs were found during an illegal search

Approval of California Proposition 47

Ever since the establishment of “The Controlled Substance Act” in 1970, California HSC 11350, possession of a controlled substance was considered a felony at the maximum penalty for ALL defendants. However, on November 4th 2014, Proposition 47 (officially titled as Criminal Sentences.

Misdemeanor Penalties

Initiative Statute) would appear on the statewide ballot, aiming to “amend the state Penal Code to reclassify certain drug and property crimes as misdemeanors and allow people previously convicted of these crimes to be re-sentenced.”

Additionally, Proposition 47 would invest state criminal justice savings resulting from these sentencing changes in drug and mental health treatment, as well as in victim services and programs designed to improve outcomes for K-12 public school students.

Prior to November 2014, crimes in California were classified into three types – felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions – according to the seriousness of the offense with corresponding penalties. But as the referendum was passed by voters by a majority vote of 59.61%-40.39% taking into effect beginning November 5th, 2014, the state Penal Code would thus be amended to reclassify and reduce categories of nonviolent drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors unless the individual has a prior conviction for a serious and/or violent offense, as specified by the measure, or for any registerable sex offense.

This new and approved Initiative not only reduces the classification of drug possession crimes but also mandates misdemeanor charges instead of felonies given that the defendant has no prior convictions for murder, rape, sex offenses or gun crimes.

For convicts currently serving a prison sentence for any of the California HSC 11350, possession of controlled substance offenses that the Proposition reduces to misdemeanors, the Proposition now permits a fair re-sentencing for the once convicted in order to reduce their convictions to misdemeanors. The choice of both the drug and the dosage plays an important role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The attending physician determines the optimal dose taking into account the age of the patient, severity of impotence, general condition and other factors. Don’t think that the higher the dose, the better the effect. On the other hand, too little dose can be insufficient for a full erection. This would consequently lead to a less crowded and depopulated prison population, conserving more state funds from the decrease in inmates, and more opportunities for parole officers and rehabilitation programs.

felony possession of prescription drugs

The goal of Proposition 47 intends to create a “Safe Neighborhoods and School Funds,” accumulating appropriations based on savings accrued by the State. These funds would then be distributed as follows: 25 percent to the Department of Education, 10 percent to the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, and 65 percent to the Board of State and Community Correction. In other words, the State aims to promote and prioritize education before incarceration.

We Want to Help

If you or a loved one is being charged with California HSC 11350, possession of a controlled substance, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office located in Century City, or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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Esfandi Law Group
Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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