Without covering all the kinds of drug crimes out there (which get specific down to the type of controlled substance to the amount found or possessed), it’s best to think of what character of offense it is. Namely: Possession, Sales, Transportation, and Manufacturing. These have always been the big four and they have always overlapped in terms of what kind of evidence points to what. To be straightforward about this particular topic of criminal defense…talk to an experienced drug crimes lawyer. California’s drug laws are convoluted and byzantine, but we can break the laws down (and the drug’s history) for you.
As with all controlled substances, possession alone can be enough to be arrested and charged (and on your criminal record). Notice the similarities in possessing marijuana and possessing methamphetamine. Health and Safety Code Section 11357 (Marijuana Possession):
Now compare this to possession of methamphetime: Health and Safety Code Section 11377:
Even though both charges have different consequences, the law of possession is mirrored in almost all of the substances
Transportation includes an extra element or two depending on whether you have been charged with simple sales or sales/transport. But notice the differences: Health and Safety Code Section 11360:
Therefore, the state would have to prove that the amount was more than what’s considered personal use and there must have been an action taken that would indicate a “handing over” to another person.
To be arrested or charged with Sales, you must have:
Unlawful Cultivation of Marijuana under H&S Code §11358 requires the law to show BOTH of the following:
Keep in mind that given the examples above speak to Marijuana charges, it must be said that every charge above comes with a little disclaimer that the Compassionate Use Act may apply as a serious defense to any possession/transport/sales case given the circumstances of the evidence and a number of competing factors.
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