California Drug Cases

There are three major types of Drug Cases in California:

  1. Drug Possession
  2. Drug Possession for Sale
  3. Sales
Drug Possession

Definition: It is prohibited by law for a person to be in the possession of controlled substances.

Relevant Sections of the California Health and Safety Code: §§ 11350 and 11357.

California Health and Safety Code §11350 prohibits the possession of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, PCP, methamphetamines, certain hallucinogenic drugs and some anti-depressants. California Health and Safety Code §11357 makes it unlawful to be in possession of marijuana. Medical marijuana prescriptions may serve as a strong defense against possession of marijuana, if guidelines for it’s use were followed.

Most drug possession cases are charged as felonies. However, there is much room for negotiation and to have your case dismissed with the properly prepared defense. Courts also allow for the completion of a Drug Diversion program. A Drug Diversion program allows you to enroll into drug education and rehabilitation classes. Once completed, your case will be dismissed.

Drug Possession For Sale

Definition: It is prohibited by law for a person to be in the possession of or purchasing controlled substances in order to sell them.

Relevant Sections of the California Health and Safety Code: §§ 11351 and 11359.

California Health and Safety Code §11351 prohibits possession of many controlled substances for sale. These include popular and commonly found recreational drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth, and certain hallucinogenic drugs and anti-depressants. California Health and Safety Code §11359 prohibits the possession of marijuana for the purpose of selling.

In order for prosecution to make their case, they must prove that you had intent to sell. This is done through a totality of circumstances method. The opposition must use facts and circumstances surrounding the case to prove that their was a clear intent to sell the drugs in possession.

Majority of Drug Possession for sale cases are filed as felonies. However, because Prosecution’s case is based on facts and circumstances, there is plenty of room for strong argument. An experienced DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney may be able to reduce the case to a possession of drug charge. With a reduced charge, you have the option of completing Drug classes, making you eligible for dismissal.


Definition: It is prohibited by law for a person to be involved in the distribution of controlled substances.

Relevant California Health and Safety Code : §11352

California health and Safety Code §11352 prohibits the distribution of controlled substances. Included controlled substances are cocaine, heroin, PCP, GHB (date rape drug), and certain prescription drugs such as Codeine and morphine.

In order for Prosecution to prove their case, they must witness the actual distribution of drugs. This is often achieved by trailing a suspected distributor, or by posing undercover.

Most Sales of Drugs cases are filed as felonies, and do not allow for the completion of rehabilitation programs. Additional charges may apply, aggravating the charge in certain situations. However, there is a strong chance for your charge to be reduced to a case that does allow for rehabilitation and Drug Diversion programs.

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