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Possession, Sale or Transportation of Cocaine

Orange County Drug Defense Lawyer

California Health and Safety Codes HS 11377HS 11378, and HS 11379

Also coke, blow, snow, yay, crack, powder, white, nose candy, llello, yeyo, yak, coca, snort, booger, sugar, llelo

In  just about any state in the U.S., the possession, sale, and transportation of cocaine can be a very serious crime. In California, a violation charge of any of these laws also makes the prosecution pay closer attention and work harder for convictions.

A successful prosecution of any of these laws concerning possession, sale or transportation of controlled substances depends on these important investigations:

  1. The defendant was found in possession of a controlled substance,
  2. The defendant was aware and knew that the substance was in their possession,
  3. The defendant was aware and knew that the substance is named in the Controlled Substance Act,
  4. The amount in the defendant’s possession was enough for consumption (or for sale), and
  5. That the defendant possessed the substance with the specific intent to use it, sell it, and/or was caught in the act of transporting it.

Whether the prosecution is a misdemeanor or felony offense, the same investigation points are the same. While there are unique legal circumstances for marijuana, other substances like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, DMT, Ecstasy, opium and other narcotics are very straight forward.

It is important to know that most of the time, all the evidence the prosecution needs comes from the defendant – in the form of physical evidence found at the time of the arrest, things that was said or done, or things that other people said or did. But here’s the weakness in the prosecution: a surprising amount of evidence is often circumstantial – in other words, it is assumed without actual fact.

For instance, without fulfilling the element of specific intent to sell, the defendant cannot be convicted of Possession of Cocaine for Sale. Without specific evidence that the defendant knew he had possession. To be perfectly honest, the prosecution is largely helped by what the defendant does in front of witnesses like the arresting officers.

The prosecutor has to prove the person’s mind state to use or sell the drug. Possession itself can be proven by circumstances surrounding the possession, known as “circumstantial evidence,” if the drug is actually found to be on their possession. But going one step further, for a successful case against the defendant the a prosecutor must also prove that the defendant intended to sell. They may examine the way the cocaine was packaged, was there sufficient quantity for sale, was the defendant holding a large quantity of cash, were there scales, a ledger of customers, a “black book” of suppliers.

Penalties for Possession, Sale, Transportation

Marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, DMT, Ecstasy, opium and other narcotics.

Violation of HS 11377 (possession for personal use) is usually a misdemeanor. If convicted, the defendant will be charged up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of $1,000 (maximum). However, the defendant faces felony penalties (including sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in prison) if there are prior convictions for any of a small list of crimes that are considered violent, sex crimes against a child under 14, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, or the defendant is a registered California sex offender.

Violation of HS 11378 (possession for sale) and 11379 (possession for transportation) are both felonies.
A defendant that is charged with Possession for Sale, is not usually eligible for drug diversion or statutorily mandated drug treatment.  A conviction of convicted, jail time is all but guaranteed. Defendants face sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in prison, and a $10,000 fine (maximum). Possession of Sale is also a deportable offense if the defendant is not a U.S. citizen. Defendants issued a valid Green Card or visa are also subject to deportation if convicted.

Defense for Drug Offenses

For marijuana as well as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, DMT, Ecstasy, opium and other narcotics.

Some defenses to this charge include that the drug was possessed for personal consumption, which would result in a lesser charge (a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor). Your defense could include that you did not possess the drug or know it was present, or that someone else placed the evidence. In your defense, an attorney may object to the way evidence was gathered (unlawful search and seizure). If you have been arrested for a drug offense in Orange County, California then it is time to take things very seriously. If you want a case dismissal or reduced charges, then it is absolutely vital that you get a lawyer immediately.

Unless you have a prescription any drugs that have been found in your possession at the time of your arrest, conviction for possession of a small amount can produce consequences that can affect future employment and may even result in a suspension of your California Driver’s License, or in the case of non-citizens, eventual deportation.

Although public opinion and social attitudes are warming up to medical marijuana, you should expect that any drug arrest in Southern California will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Defendants who have been arrested and face charges for possession, sale, or transportation of illegal substances can face very high fines and years in prison.

Stull & Stull is led by Adam Stull, a former deputy district attorney. He has experience consulting with police officers and opposing counsel. He has spent considerable amount of time prosecuting misdemeanor and felony offenses involving marijuana as well as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, DMT, Ecstasy, opium and other narcotics. His decades of experience will be very valuable in giving you an aggressive and effective legal defense.

The Law Offices of Stull & Stull has more than 45 years of combined criminal trial experience in Orange County as well as Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Kern, Tulare, Fresno and Ventura counties. The Law Office of Stull & Stull is based in Laguna Hills, California.

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