Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine in Los Angeles
After Proposition 47 was passed in 2014, many drug possession crimes were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. However, while “simple possession” – possession of a personal amount of narcotics – is now a misdemeanor in most cases, possessing drugs for sale is still a felony. Like California Health and Safety Code Section 11351 HSC which covers drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and opiates, California Health and Safety Code Section 11378 HSC makes it felony to possess with the intent to sell methamphetamine, MDMA (aka ecstasy), PCP, GHB and other specified substances. This is a serious drug crime and those convicted can be sentenced to serve time in prison.Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine versus Simple Possession
The underlying facts of a simple possession of methamphetamine case and possession for sale may be very similar; however the penalties are very different. Simple possession is now a misdemeanor and defendants who are convicted under California Health and Safety Code Section 11377 HSC face a maximum year in jail. In many cases, the defendant may be eligible for a drug diversion program under Proposition 36 or Penal Code Section 1000 PC that would ultimately result in the criminal charges being dismissed.
Possession for sale of methamphetamine under California Health and Safety Code Section 11378 HSC is always a felony and those convicted can be sentenced to up to three years in state prison. In many cases, police and prosecutors will charge possession for sale when in reality the defendant only possessed methamphetamine or ecstasy for the personal use of the defendant or his or her friends. Law enforcement and prosecutors will often look for evidence that the defendant was intending to sell the drugs, such as large quantities of methamphetamine discovered, drugs that have been separated and packaged for sale and the presence of items associated with drugs sales such as large amounts of cash and scales.Defenses to Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine
In many cases, the prosecution may charge the defendant with the more serious crime of possession for sale of methamphetamine when in reality the defendant only possessed the drugs discovered for personal use. In these cases, an effective drug crimes attorney may be to demonstrate why misdemeanor simple possession charges are more appropriate and the defendant may be able to qualify for a drug diversion program.
If the drugs were discovered as the result of a warrantless search or seizure not supported by reasonable or probable cause, the defense can challenge the admissibility of the evidence by filing a motion to suppress pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC. If successful, the evidence will be suppressed and the prosecution will most likely dismiss the case.
Even if the drugs and other evidence were discovered during the execution of a search warrant, there may be grounds to have the warrant invalidated if there was false information in the affidavit or if the warrant was improperly executed.Offenses Related to Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine
Law enforcement agencies throughout the area have stepped up their enforcement efforts in regards to methamphetamine and ecstasy drug offenses. It is a felony to sell methamphetamine under California Health and Safety Code Section 11379 HSC. In addition, a defendant can be charged with a felony for manufacturing a controlled substance under California Health and Safety Code Section 11379.6 HSC and possessing drug manufacturing materials under California Health and Safety Code Section 11383 and 11383.5 HSC.
If you have been arrested for possession for sale of methamphetamine, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney right away. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Michael Kraut is a highly skilled litigator who understands how to effectively defend those charged with drug crimes.
For more information about possession for sale of methamphetamine, 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.