Drug Possession

Drug possession laws vary from state to state, but these variations usually apply towards punishment and sentencing. Across the country, possession of illegal narcotics is against the law, and punishable by fines, jail time, community service, or all of the above.

Drug violations that are commonly cited are as follows:

  • Health and Safety Code 11350: the possession of opium or cocaine or any derivative thereof is considered a felony
  • Health and Safety Code 11357: (a) the possession of any concentrated form of cannabis (hashish) is considered either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on circumstance
  • Health and Safety Code 11357: (b) the possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana is considered either a misdemeanor or infraction depending on circumstance
  • Health and Safety Code 11364: the possession of paraphernalia for injecting or smoking a controlled substance is considered a misdemeanor
  • Health and Safety Code 11377: deals with possession of dangerous drugs such as PCP, LSD, Ketamine and Methamphetamine and can be considered a felony or misdemeanor

In California, drug possession laws are particularly strict and punishments can be very harsh. California Health and Safety Code 11350 states that “every person who possesses.any controlled substance.which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.”

Drug possession does have a grey area though. If it is determined that the possessor of the drugs did not know that he or she had possession of the drug in the first place, such as if drugs were found in the supposed possessor’s automobile but were not placed there by the possessor, then it can be reasonably determined that the possessor did not intentionally lay claim to the drug, and therefore is not necessarily guilty of criminal drug possession<.

Many over-the-counter medications can be used in the creation of harmful narcotics. Though possessing these medications does not warrant guilt, it can be determined that possession of these materials under certain conditions does constitute illegal drug possession. That is, if a person is found to be in possession of large quantities of said prescription medication, then that person, whether or not he or she intended to use the medication for unlawful purposes (Health and Safety Code 11379.6 deals with the manufacturing of said drugs), can be charged with drug possession. The harboring of drug making materials can also constitute one knowingly being in possession of illicit substances, or possessing the intent to create illicit substances.

If you have been accused of drug possession, please don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf for a free evaluation of your case. Our defense attorneys are prepared to examine every detail of your arrest, and will help prove that you are innocent of the charges filed against you. Call today.


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