California Health and Safety Code Section 11383 and 11383.5 HSC: Possessing Drug Manufacturing Materials

1. Definition and Elements of the Crimedrug crime

Manufacturing controlled substances is an illegal act that can often prove very dangerous as well, as many of the chemicals involved in drug manufacturing are volatile and can cause significant damage to life and property if mishandled. Thus not only is it against the law to manufacture drugs under California Health & Safety Code Section 11379.6 HSC, California Health & Safety Code Section11383 HSC and California Health & Safety Code Section 11383.5 HSC additionally make it a crime to possess with the intent to manufacture certain illegal drugs.

Depending on the materials possessed, the following Health & Safety Code Sections may be violated:

  1. California Health & Safety Code Section 11383(a) HSC - Possession with Intent to Manufacture PCP
  2. California Health & Safety Code Section 11383.5(a) HSC - Possession with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine or N-ethylamphetamine
  3. California Health & Safety Code Section 11383.5(b)(1) HSC - Possession with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine
  4. California Health & Safety Code Section 11383.5(c),(d) and (f) - Possession of Isomers or Precursors with Intent to Manufacture a Controlled Substance

These offenses require that the defendant possessed specific materials or substances needed to manufacture the particular illegal drug and that when he or she possessed these items, he or she did so with the intent to manufacture the specific drug.

2. Related Offenses

Similar offenses include the following:

  1. Manufacturing a Controlled Substance - California Health & Safety Code Section 11379.6 HSC
  2. Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance - California Health & Safety Code Section 11351 HSC
  3. Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance - California Health & Safety Code Section 11352 HSC
3. Examples

A woman with a large family knows that cold season is coming up so she wants to stock up on medications. She goes to her local pharmacy and buys all of the cold medicine in stock. She asks the pharmacist if there is any more cold medication and he tells her there is not. She then goes next store to a neighboring pharmacy and buys all of their cold medication. Cold medicine contains pseudoephedrine, which can be used in cooking methamphetamine and thus both pharmacists report the woman to authorities. This woman would not be guilty of possessing drug manufacturing materials as she did not intend to manufacture drugs and she had a legitimate purpose in purchasing large amounts of cold medicine. In reality, the situation would not occur as new laws now strictly control the amount of cold medications any one person can legally buy at once.

In another example, a man wants to manufacture PCP so he obtains piperidine and cyclohexanone, the components needed to make this illegal drug. However, although he wants to manufacture PCP, he is unable to because he does not possess the necessary lab equipment. The man could still be charged with possession with intent to manufacture PCP in violation of California Health & Safety Code Section 11383(a) HSC because he possessed the component substances needed to manufacture PCP and he intended to make it. The fact that he lacked the capacity to actually manufacture PCP is not relevant.

4. Defenses to Possessing Drug Manufacturing Materials

If the materials were found as the result of an illegal search or seizure conducted by the police, the defendant may be able to have the materials suppressed by challenging the search and/or seizure for lack of probable cause. If successful, the evidence would be thrown out and the prosecution would likely have to dismiss the case.

5. Penalties

The offenses included under California Health & Safety Code Section 11383 HSC and California Health & Safety Code Section 11383.5 HSC are all serious felonies that are punishable by up to six years in prison if convicted.

6. Criminal Defense for Possessing Drug Manufacturing Materials Cases

If you or someone you know have been accused of possessing drug manufacturing materials, it is very important that you meet with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experienced who has significant experience in both prosecuting and defending those charged with serious felonies such as these. Mr. Kraut is highly regarded by judges, prosecutors and law enforcement and maintains a stellar reputation in the legal community.

For more information about possessing drug manufacturing materials, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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