Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with possession for sale of a controlled substance, you should immediately contact a possession of drugs for sale attorney at The H Law Group. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for you. We have successfully represented multiple defendants charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale. So, if you’ve been charged with this crime, schedule your free consultation today by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
In California, the prosecution typically charged possession for sale of a controlled substance under the California Health and Safety Code Section 11351. This section makes it a felony for an individual to possess drugs or controlled substances that he intends on selling. This makes it unlawful to sell not only illegal drugs but also prescription drugs.
The prosecution typically brings possession for sale of drugs charges when law enforcement officers find large quantities of drugs with an individual that indicates that the individual is selling drugs and not using them for personal use.
Here are some observations that the prosecution can use to convict an individual for possession for sale of a controlled substance:
- A large quantity of drugs or controlled substances
- Large amounts of cash with the defendant in small denominations
- Possession of small plastic bags used for the distribution of drugs
- Possession of a scale
- Meeting with different people for small amounts of time
What are Controlled Substances?
According to the California State Legislature, controlled substance include, but are not limited to the following substances:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Hallucinogenic substances
Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale
If the prosecution convicts an individual for possession for sale of a controlled substance, the individual faces two (2). Three (3), or four (4) years of imprisonment in county jail, as well as having to pay a fine of up to $20,000. So, if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being charged with possession for sale of drugs or a controlled substance, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The H Law Group. Our possession for sale attorneys have extensive experience defending those charged with this crime, so don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule your free consultation today.
Proving Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance
For the prosecution to convict an individual of possession for sale of a controlled substance, it must prove the following elements:
- The defendant had possession of a controlled substance
- The defendant knew he had possession of the controlled substance
- The defendant knew that substance he had was controlled
- The defendant possessed a sufficient quantity of the substance to sell it, and
- The defendant either (a) possessed the drugs with the intent to sell them or (b) the defendant purchased the drugs with the intent to resell them
If the prosecution can prove these elements, they will be able to convict you of possession drugs for sale. Remember, if convicted, you face up to four (4) years of imprisonment in county jail.
What Does Possession Mean?
For the prosecutor to convict an individual of possession for sale of a controlled substance, it must show that the individual has possession or control over the drugs or controlled substances. The prosecution can make this showing by proving actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession can be shown if you had the drugs on your person (i.e., in your bag, pockets, etc.). Construct possession, on the other hand, can be proven by showing that you had controlled over the controlled substance, such as having it in your locker, safe, or locked briefcase that only you have access to. This type of possession is proven by submitting circumstantial evidence that indicates your control over the drugs.
Knowledge that you had Possession of Drugs or Controlled Substances
The next element that the prosecution will have to prove is that you knew that you had drugs or illegal substances. That is, it must show that you knew you a substance, and you knew that the substance is controlled or illegal. For example, if you borrowed your cousin’s car for a few days and you get pulled over for speeding. If the police officers find drugs in your cousin’s car that you didn’t know about, the prosecution cannot convict you of possession if you did not know that drugs or controlled substances were in the vehicle.
Second, the prosecution will have to prove that you knew the drugs that you had were illegal or unlawful. Most times, your possession of the substance is enough to show that you knew the substance was illegal. If you made any incriminating statements, the prosecution might use them against you, as well.
Sufficient Quantity for Sale
To prove that you’re guilty of possession for sale of a controlled substance, the prosecution must show that the quantity of drugs that you had at the time of your arrest was sufficient for you to tell the drugs or give them to another person to sell. If the prosecution cannot show that you had enough drugs to sell, while it cannot convict you of possession for sale unless you made incriminating statements, it can convict you of the lesser included offense of possession of a controlled substance. That said, possession for personal use carries significantly less penalties than possession with intent to sell.
Typically, when determining whether you possessed controlled substances or drugs to sell, law enforcement and the prosecution look at whether the amount of drugs that you have is what a typical user of drugs had. If the quantity is 5x to 10x what the typical user has, it will be easy for them to establish that you intend to sell them. Also, they will look at whether you had a lot of cash with you (which could be from the sale of drugs), whether you had baggies to distribute the drugs, the presence of scales, and/or other drug measuring equipment.
Although having drug paraphernalia is a crime in and of itself, possessing it in this situation could help your claim that you did not intend to sell the drugs you had because it helps show that you had the drugs to use them personally. That said, if you’re caught with drug paraphernalia, you may be charged with possessing it under California Health and Safety Code Section 11364, titled “Possession of drug paraphernalia.”
Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance Defenses
If you’ve been charged with possession for sale of a controlled substance, your attorney has many arguments that he can make to defend you.
The first argument your attorney can make, if support by the facts of your case, is that you did not have the intent to sell drugs. You may have had them for personal use and not necessarily possessed them to sell them. If your attorney can successfully argue that you did not have the intent, the possession for sale of a controlled substance charged will be dropped. However, the prosecution may convict you of the lesser included offense of possession of a controlled substance. That said, the lesser charge comes with less penalties.
The second argument that your attorney may be able to make is that you did not have possession of drugs. This is a defense that applies if the prosecution is attempting to prove possession through constructive possession.
The third argument that your attorney may be able to make is that you did not have knowledge that the substance you had was a controlled substance. This is a great defense for individual who do not have a criminal record because someone who has never been convicted a crime is unlikely to know what drugs look like.
To know what defenses apply to your situation, you should schedule a free consultation with a drug crime attorney at The H Law Group. Our experienced drug crime lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to obtain the best possible outcome for you. First, our attorneys will look for holes in the prosecution’s case, if they are not able to have the charges dismissed, they will negotiate with the prosecution to obtain a favorable plea deal for you.
Penalties for Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance
The penalties for being convicted of possession for sale of a controlled substance under 11351 HS are severe. A convicted individual can be sentenced to two (2), three (3), or four (4) years in county jail, as well as being subject to a fine of up to $20,000. If you’re seeking to become a US Citizen or you’re in the US on a visa, you should know that a conviction of this crime could lead to deportation and denial of US citizenship. So, if you’ve been charged with possession for sale of drugs, you should contact a drug crimes attorney to represent you and defend you in court. You may also need to hire an immigration attorney to determine the consequences a conviction may have on your immigration status.
Also, there are some factors that aggravate and/or cause the prosecution to demand a higher sentence and a stricter punishment. The following are aggravating factors:
- If you possessed cocaine or heroin that exceeds 2.24 lbs. or 1kg, the prosecution will seek to sentence you to three years in prison
- If the amount of cocaine or heroin that you possessed exceeds 4kg or 8.81lbs, the prosecution will seek to sentence you to ten years in prison
- If the amount of cocaine or heroin exceeds 20kg, the prosecution will seek fifteen years in prison
If you’re charged with possession for sale of a controlled substance, you will not be eligible for participation in a drug diversion program. This program allows an individual to attend a drug meeting program instead of serving time in jail. So, if you’ve been charged with possession of drugs for sale or distribution under HS 11351, you should hire an attorney who can have the charge for the sale of a controlled substance reduced into a simple possession charge to allow you to complete the drug diversion program instead of spending time in jail.
Contact a Los Angeles Drug Crime Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale (commonly known as possession for sale), you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Drug Crimes Attorney at The H Law Group. Our attorneys are experienced and have handled countless cases involving individuals charged with drug crimes. So, if you’re charged with drug sales or selling drugs, schedule your free consultation today.