What is the Punishment for California HS 11351?

October 21, 2018

In California, possession of a controlled substance is charged under Health & Safety Code 11351 hs making it a crime to unlawfully possess an illicit substance for the purposes of sale.[1] The statute applies to substances such as cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. The government does not need to prove you actually sold a substance, but rather, you harbored the intent to sell the substance to someone else.

Ordinarily, the government relies on the indicia of sales through the quantity amount, the finding of scales, pay-owe sheets, large sums of cash, or through a confidential informant. Possession for the purposes of sale is a straight felony that cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor.

HS 11351 is punishment in the county jail for 2, 3, or 4 years with a fine amount of up to $20,000. Additional enhancements may apply if you were in possession of a firearm in furtherance of the drug operations or you suffer from a prior drug sales conviction. Consequently, the enhancement would run consecutive with your underlying sentence.

A skilled Newport Beach drug crimes lawyer may be able to obtain a probation sentence where you could complete Caltrans or community service in lieu of jail time.[2] Since the charge involves the intent to sell, you are ineligible for the benefits drug diversion that would allow you to dismiss your case upon completion. Moreover, drug diversion is not available to sales charges under the rational that you are distributing the drug for profit versus personal use to fulfill your habit.

However, some drug offenders charged with drug sales were merely selling the substance to financially support their habit. This is a major consideration for the court to assess if ordering a defendant to complete time in a rehab facility in lieu of jail.

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If you have been arrest, charged, or are under investigation for 11351 hs, then contact an experienced Newport Beach criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers for a free confidential consultation.





[1] Health & Safety Code 11351 defined (ā€œExcept as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses for sale or purchases for purposes of sale (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for two, three, or four years.ā€)

[2] Our attorneys represents clients accused of drug sales in Los Angeles and all Orange County localities including Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Fullerton, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Westminster, and Aliso Viejo.

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