Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance in Los Angeles

Dealer selling illegal drugsUnder the recently passed Proposition 47, many of the felony drug possession crimes involving the possession of controlled substances for personal use are now misdemeanor level drug crimes. However, while the penalties for possessing personal amount of drugs have been reduced, it is still a felony to possess a controlled substance for sale. Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11351 HSC, possession for sale of a controlled substance is a felony level offense and defendants who are convicted can be sentenced to prison. In many cases, the police or prosecutors may inaccurately believe a defendant possessed a drug for sale instead of personal use and proceed with felony-level charges. Because of this, it is absolutely critical that anyone arrested or investigated for possessing drugs for sale contact a criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience in handling drug cases as soon as possible.

Attorney in LA for Sale of Cocaine, Heroin, LSD, Meth or Ecstasy

In order to convict a defendant of possessing a controlled substance for sale, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant possessed a controlled substance in a usable amount and intended to sell the controlled substances at that time that he or she possessed it. Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11351 HSC, heroin, cocaine, certain prescription medications, opiates, peyote and LSD are all controlled substances that a defendant cannot possess with the intent to sell. Defendants who possess methamphetamine, ecstasy or GHB with the intent to sell can be charged criminally under California Health and Safety Code Section 11378 HSC.

Circumstantial Evidence for Sales of Drug Cases

In order to prove that a defendant possessed a drug with the intent to sell it, the prosecution often must rely on circumstantial evidence. In possession for sale cases, this may include the presence of large quantities of drugs discovered, the presence of items associated with drug sales such as packaging material, baggies or scales, the presence of cash in large amounts and evidence of drug transactions often found in a defendant’s cell phone or from surveillance.

A defendant does not have to physically possess a controlled substance in order to violate this statute. As long as the drugs are found in a place over which the defendant exercises control, such as in a safe, a closet, or in the trunk of his or her vehicle, the defendant will be considered to be in possession of the drugs under this code section.

Defending Against Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance

There are a number of defenses that a defendant may raise in fighting a possession for sale case. If the drugs were for personal use and there is evidence that the defendant did not intend to sell the drugs, he or she would not be guilty of this offense. Merely possessing a large quantity of drugs does not necessarily mean that a defendant intended to engage in drug sales. He or she may have been holding the drugs for friends when these substances were discovered during a search.

Illegal Search and Seizure Defense in Possession for Sale

In addition, if the drugs were found during an illegal search or seizure, the defendant may be able to have the evidence thrown out by filing a motion to suppress pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC. Even where the police found the drugs during the execution of a search warrant, there may be issues if the search went beyond what was allowed under the warrant or if there was false information in the affidavit section of the warrant.

If have been arrested for possession for sale of a controlled substance, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney with significant experience in defending drug cases. Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who thoroughly understands this area of the law and is highly effective at defending clients charged with possession for sale.

For more information about possession for sale of a controlled substance, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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