Posted on December 14, 2015

Possession of “Methamphetamine” Laws – California HS 11377(a)

Possession of methamphetamine, also known as “simple possession” is codified under California Health and Safety Code 11377(a) hs. A conviction for this offenses carries the social stigma of being labeled as a narcotics offender which additionally adversely affect your immigration status and/or your ability to gain or maintain your state license. The best approach to successfully defending meth charges is early intervention by an Orange County Drug Crimes Lawyer.

1. What are the Elements to Possession of Methamphetamine?

In order to prove you’re guilty of possession of methamphetamine under HS 11377(a), the prosecutor must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. You were in possession of methamphetamine
2. You knew of the substances presence
3. You knew the substance was methamphetamine
4. The methamphetamine was a usable amount

2. What are the Defenses to HS 11377(a)?

Meth charges carry a number of defenses. For instance, if you were not in possession of the substance then you’re not guilty under this charge. However, note that “possession” does not require you to actually be carrying the substance. Instead, as long as you had the right to exercise control over the substance then you can still be charged and perhaps convicted under the “constructive possession” theory.

Additionally, you may not have known of the presence of the substance. For example, someone may have left or dropped the substance in your car without your knowledge.

Furthermore, the police may have committed an unreasonable search or seizure in violation of your Fourth Amendment right under the United States Constitution. In that instance, the court will deem the substance inadmissible and the prosecution will be unable to proceed with their case against you.

3. Punishment & Sentencing

A conviction for possession of methamphetamine carries up to one year in the county jail. The court will normally impose a period of probation for three years, subject you to search and seizure by a police officer at any time, require you to register as a narcotics offender, and order you to pay court fines. However, you may be eligible to divert your sentencing under “alternative diversion sentencing” where you enter a plea, but formal sentencing is put over for a period of 12 or 18 months. If you successfully complete drug treatment counseling, then after the 12 or 18 months period, the case will be dismissed.

4. Pretrial Diversion

In 2018, penal code 1000 was revised to allow certain drug offenders a chance to have their case dismissed without having to enter a no-contest or guilty plea. Ordinarily, the court will require you to complete narcotics anonymous meetings and community service to earn a dismissal. Contact our office today to discuss your eligibility in the pretrial diversion.

5. Related Offenses

Possession of a Controlled Substance
Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
Defending Meth Sales Charges
Defending Cocaine Charges

6. Contact Us to Schedule a Fee Consultation

If you have been arrested, charged, or are under investigation for possession of methamphetamine under California HS 11377(a), contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers. Call 877-888-9820 to schedule a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.

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