California Health and Safety Code Section 11377 makes it a crime to possess Methamphetamine. To be found guilty of this crime, the District Attorney must prove that you possessed or had under you control a controlled substance, that you knew or should have known of it’s presence, that you knew of the substance’s nature and character, and that the substance was in a usable amount. A violation of section 11377 can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a felony, the defendant can be facing 16 months, 2 years, or three years in county jail. However, for most first time 11377 violations, the courts will impose probation, the terms of which will require you to take and complete a drug rehabilitation program.
Many times, a individual who is found to have methamphetamine on their person will attempt to make statements to the arresting agency to lessen the consequences. Our clients will tell me they told the arresting officer “It wasn’t mine, I was holding it for a friend”, or “I was going to a friends house because the meth was his.” This appears to lessen the severity of the crime right? Wrong!! In fact it carries the opposite effect. First, such statements prove that you knew you were in possession of the substance and further it proves that you knew what the substance was. Worst of all the California Health and Safety Code section 11379 makes it a crime to sell, transport, or give away Methamphetamine. To find you guilty of this crime, the District Attorney must prove all the elements for simple possession (California Health and Safety code 11377) along with the additional fact that you offered to, or in fact did, transport, sell or give away the controlled substance. Holding a substance for a friend, or giving it to a friend is exactly the situation the authorities are looking for when trying to add additional and more serious charges.
Worst yet, a violation of California Health and Safety Code 11379-sells and transportation of meth, is charged as a straight up felony and a sentence of 2, 3 or 4 years may be imposed. It’s also considered a prior-able offense which means that if you are convicted of the same offense again, the court will impose a minimum x number of years on top of the current violation. Further it is a crime of moral turpitude which can also negatively affect the sentencing imposed on you should you be charged with other offenses in the future.
you are charged with possession of Methamphetamine or any other controlled substance, exercise your rights to remain silent and immediately get an attorney who is familiar with these types of charges to fight for you. Remember that any statements you make may seriously hurt your case even if you think it might help. Hiring the right attorney may make the difference between receiving probation with drug treatment for simple possession, or serving 4 years in county jail for sales and transportation of Methamphetamine.