What are 5 Legal Defenses to HS 11378?

January 24, 2023

Health and Safety Code 11378 in California criminalizes the possession of certain controlled substances for sale. The law applies to a wide range of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, as well as prescription drugs like Oxycodone and Vicodin. The penalties for a conviction under Health and Safety Code 11378 can be severe, including significant fines and long jail sentences.

If you are facing charges under Health and Safety Code 11378, it is important to understand the possible defenses that may be available to you. The following are six defenses that may be raised in a California drug possession for sale case:

Insufficient Evidence

In order to secure a conviction under Health and Safety Code 11378, the prosecution must prove that the defendant possessed a controlled substance with the intent to sell it. If the prosecution’s evidence is weak or circumstantial, a defense attorney may be able to argue that there is not enough evidence to support a conviction.

Lack of knowledge

In order to be convicted of possession for sale under Health and Safety Code 11378, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knew that the substance in question was a controlled substance and that they intended to sell it. If the defendant can show that they did not know that the substance was a controlled substance, or that they had no intent to sell it, they may be able to avoid a conviction.


Entrapment is a defense that may be raised when law enforcement officers or agents induce a person to commit a crime that they would not have otherwise committed. If the defense can show that the defendant was entrapped by the police, the charges may be dismissed.

Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. If the defense can show that the police violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights by conducting an unlawful search or seizure, the evidence obtained in that search or seizure may be excluded from trial.

Miranda Rights Violation

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S Constitution guarantees individuals the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning by law enforcement. If the police violate a defendant’s Miranda rights, any statements made by the defendant during questioning may be suppressed and cannot be used as evidence at trial.

It is important to note that these defenses may not be applicable in every case and the success of these defenses will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. A qualified criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you on the best defense strategy for your case.

Contact Us for Help in Southern California

If you’ve been charged with HS 11378 – possession with the intent to sell, then give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call today. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

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