If you are facing HS 11350 charges, an experienced attorney can be the difference between facing a drug diversion program and spending three years in a state prison. Woelfel Law Firm routinely obtains exceptional results and has significant experience in the area of controlled substance crimes.
What is HS 11350 (Possession Of A Controlled Substance)?
California law makes it illegal under HS 11350 for a person to possess a controlled substance without a valid prescription. The United States Controlled Substances Act states that a controlled substance may be either illegal drugs or drugs that would be legal were there a valid prescription. The prosecutor must prove 4 different things to charge someone with violating HS 11350: possession of the controlled substance, knowledge of the existence of the controlled substance, knowledge of the substance as a drug, and a sufficient volume of the drug to be used as a controlled substance.
What constitutes possession?
Possession can be shown in three different ways: actual, constructive or joint. Actual possession is immediate physical control over the drug. This means that it is on your person, in your pocket or purse, etc. Constructive possession occurs when the drug is not found on the defendant, but is found in an area in the exclusive control of the defendant; examples of an area in the defendant’s control include his or her house or car. Joint possession is when the controlled substance is found in an area or object shared by multiple people.
What kinds of penalties can a person expect from being convicted of HS 11350?
Possession of a controlled substance can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged with a misdemeanor, a person can expect to spend as long as a year in county jail. Misdemeanor offenders may qualify for alternative sentencing in a drug diversion program. A felony has more serious consequences and can possibly lead to up to three years in state prison.
The variability of potential charges and sentences makes an experienced attorney all the more important when considering options. This is especially true for drug diversion alternative sentencing; while this could potentially lead to no jail time and charges being dismissed, the limitations and requirements are complicated. Best results can be expected by contacting an attorney experienced in this area.