Narcotics Possession

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Possession for Sale of Narcotics

In California, mere possession of a controlled substance is a crime. Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell is punished even more seriously. The difference between a charge of drug possession and a charge of possession with the intent to sell drugs can hinge on a variety of factors, and each case will depend upon a unique set of facts and circumstances. Having the strong defense team of Don Ho Law at your side will ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Possession and Possession for Sale:
California Health and Safety Code §§ 11350-11356.5

If you are found with a controlled substance without a valid prescription, you can be charged with the crime of possession. There are several kinds of drugs which could lead to a charge of possession, including: cocaine, heroin, opiates, hallucinogens, peyote, and prescription drugs such as codeine and Vicodin.

If you are found with any of these drugs, the police will look at a variety of different factors to determine if they think you plan to sell them. If any of these factors exist, they may also charge you with possession with the intent to sell drugs:

  • If you possess more than the average user would possess
  • If the drugs are packaged in a way that indicates you plan to sell them, such as divided into separate baggies
  • If you have devices for measuring drug quantity, such as a scale
  • If you have supplies for packaging drugs for sale
  • If you have large amounts of cash
  • If many people are observed visiting your home and staying for only short periods of time

These factors alone, however, do not prove a charge of possession with the intent to sell drugs. The prosecution will still have to prove:

  1. That you knowingly possessed or purchased a drug that you knew to be a controlled substance, and
  2. That you possessed enough of the drug to use or to sell, and either
    1. Possessed the drug with the intent to sell it, or
    2. Purchased the drug with the intent to sell it.

Defenses against these charges

This charge can be difficult for the prosecution to prove because it requires showing that you knew the exact name of the drug, the chemical makeup of the drug, or what kinds of expected effects the drug produces, and that you actually intended that the drug be sold, either by you or by someone else. Because this requires the prosecution to prove what you were thinking, they will have to try to guess at your intent by looking at the facts surrounding your case. Don Ho, Orange County criminal defense attorney, knows how to use these same facts to defend you, and will do so zealously.

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