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Possession, Sale or Transportation of Heroin

Orange County Drug Crimes Lawyer

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

Also  dope, H, smack, black tar, tar, fine china, skag, junk

Possession, sale, and transportation of heroin (without prescription or state license) is a very serious crime. In California, any charge associated with heroin will bring the full attention of the prosecutor’s office. They’ll bring out the heavy guns.

As with most other laws concerning possession of heroin, in the prosecution will quickly act to collect evidence that proves the following points:

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

Prosecution of all controlled substances (marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, DMT, Ecstasy, opium and other narcotics) follows the same general legal process. The surprise for many defendants is that much of the evidence comes from things that they did or said at the time of arrest. Obviously, for there to be a case, there is physical evidence – the substance found in possession. But the rest of the evidence – and in some cases, a surprising amount of evidence, is often circumstantial. In other words, the prosecution is guessing.

For instance, without fulfilling the element of specific intent to sell, the defendant cannot be convicted of Possession of Heroin 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 (the “circumstantial evidence”). For instance, the drug may actually be found in possession, but the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant intended to sell. They may examine the way the heroin 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 (sale) and 11379 (transportation) for heroin are both felonies. Convicted of “Possession for Sale” (HS 11378) renders the defendant ineligible for drug diversion or statutorily mandated drug treatment.  Strictly speaking, if convicted, jail time is all but guaranteed, with sentences of sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in prison, and a $10,000 fine (maximum) depending upon the circumstances of the charges. 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.

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.

If you are serious about obtaining a case dismissal or receiving a substantial reduction for your charges, then your next move is obtaining experienced and aggressive legal counsel that will provide you with the best possible outcome.

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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