Have you been charged with an offense under CA Health and Safety Code 11378(a) possessing methamphetamine for sale? The penalties associated with this criminal offense could alter the course of your life forever.
You must take steps to dodge a conviction and protect your reputation. With help from an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney, you could put this experience behind you and focus on moving forward with your life. Contact our team for a free consultation today to learn which defenses best suit your case.
When You Can Be Charged with Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale Under CA Health and Safety Code 11378(a)
Under California Health and Safety Code 11378(a), the district attorney can move forward with criminal charges for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell if the following elements are met:
- The defendant was in unlawful possession of methamphetamines
- The defendant knew they were in possession of a controlled substance or methamphetamines
- The defendant intended to sell the methamphetamines or controlled substances
This does not necessarily mean that you must have had the methamphetamines on your person at the time of your arrest. If you were in control over it in any way, you could also face methamphetamine possession for sale charges.
It should also be noted that possession of methamphetamines with intent to sell does not necessarily mean you need to have large quantities of methamphetamines on you as long as there were more than trace amounts of the residue of methamphetamines, charges under HS 11378(a) could still apply.
Offenses Related to CA Health and Safety Code 11378(a)
There are multiple offenses related to the possession of methamphetamines for sale under California Health and Safety Code 11378(a). Examples of these charges include:
- Being under the influence of a controlled substance under California Health and Safety Code 11550 – Anyone accused of being under the influence of any type of controlled substance, including methamphetamines, could face up to one year in a California county jail is convicted.
- Possession of methamphetamines under California Health and Safety Code 11377 – Unlawful possession of methamphetamines and other controlled substances is generally a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail and fines up to $1,000.
- Possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell under California Health and Safety Code 11351 – Possession of a controlled substance of any kind, including methamphetamine, is typically charged as a felony and punishable by up to four years in a California state prison and fines not to exceed $20,000.
- Selling or transporting methamphetamines under California Health and Safety Code 11379 – selling or transporting methamphetamines for sale is generally a felony, punishable by up to four years in a county jail or a California state prison, and fines up to $10,000.
- Driving under the influence of drugs under California vehicle code 23152(f) – Driving under the influence of drugs is a wobbler offense in California, and first-time offenders could spend up to six months in county jail and be ordered to pay fines up to $1,000 in addition to their loss of driving privileges.
Legal Consequences and Collateral Fallout
Several legal penalties are associated with a conviction under California Health and Safety Code 11378(a). If convicted at the felony level, defendants could face fines as high as $10,000 and up to three years in county jail.
However, you could face sentencing enhancements if you meet specific requirements, including:
- You were accused of being in possession of more than 1 kg of methamphetamines.
- You used a minor to help you possess methamphetamines.
- You intended to sell methamphetamines to a minor.
- You violated the statute on the grounds of a homeless shelter, detox facility, or drug treatment facility.
Several collateral consequences could come with a conviction for possession of methamphetamines with intent to sell. These include:
- Immigration or deportation issues
- Loss of child custody or visitation rights
- Disqualification from federal student aid eligibility
- Loss of firearm rights
- Temporary loss of voting rights
- Difficulty finding affordable housing or gainful employment
Ways to Defend Against Alleged Violations Under Health & Safety Code 11378(a)
Generally, you must defend yourself in court if you have been accused of a violation under California Health and Safety Code 11378 (a). This is because those charged with this offense are not eligible for any drug diversion program unless a plea agreement is reached with the prosecuting attorney.
Fortunately, you could use several potential defenses to clear your name of the allegations against you. These include:
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Lack of intent to sell methamphetamines
- Lack of possession of methamphetamines
Unlawful Search and Seizure
Law enforcement officials must have probable cause or a warrant to conduct a search and seizure. When police do not have this authority, and they conduct a search and seizure anyways, any evidence obtained should be dismissed prior to the trial. If the prosecutor relied on this evidence to get a conviction, the charges against you should be dismissed.
Lack of Intent to Sell
You can only be convicted of methamphetamine possession for sale if you intend to sell methamphetamines. If you were in possession of methamphetamines and only intended for them to be used personally, these charges should not apply.
Lack of Possession
Your Los Angeles DUI lawyer can introduce evidence to show that you were not in possession of methamphetamine. This means if you did not exercise control over the methamphetamines or know of their presence, you should not be found guilty of this offense.
Contact an LA DUI Attorney for Help Defending Against CA Health and Safety Code 11378(a) Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale
Drug offenses are taken seriously in California. Under CA Health and Safety Code 11378(a), possession of methamphetamine for sale, your future is on the line—the penalties of a guilty verdict or sure to haunt you for the rest of your life.
Make sure you take your defense seriously. Contact an aggressive Los Angeles DUI attorney to discuss your opportunities to clear your name. You can reach us by phone or through our secured contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.