California Health and Safety Code Section 11350 makes it illegal to possess certain controlled substances, including prescription drugs where one doesn’t have a prescription. When a person is found to be in possession of an illegal substance, a lot of what happens next will depend on what type of substance that person possesses, as well as how much. Depending on what the substance is, the offense may be considered a misdemeanor, wobbler, or felony.
The only direct misdemeanor is possession of less than one ounce of marijuana pursuant to Health & Safety code section 11357(b) as discussed elsewhere in this site. Other substances, such as methamphetamine, fall under the “wobblers” category and at the discretion of the District Attorney’s Office can be filed at the misdemeanor or felony level. Unfortunately for some the mere possession of certain illegal substances are straight felony offenses. For example, possession of any amount of cocaine is an automatic felony. California has a drug schedule that specifically lays out the rules which pertain to each type of drug and their quantities
The crime of simple possession requires that a person “knowingly” and “intentionally” possessed an illegal/scheduled drug without a legitimate prescription for the same. The government is required to prove that the person (1) knew that the drug was a controlled substance and (2) that he/she had either actual possession of it or some other type of control over it.
The penalties for drug possession crimes can be very severe. The charges you may face will be based on type of substance and quantity in addition to other factors/allegations/enhancements such as prior criminal history, whether the substance was deemed to be for personal use or intent to sell/distribute, weapons possession or use along with the drug possession, etc….
We can help you understand the charges you are facing and the possible penalties that lie ahead.