Possession of a controlled substance is generally prosecuted as a misdemeanor in the state of California. The court uses Health and Safety Code §11350 to prosecute possession of a controlled substance for personal use.
A misdemeanor conviction for a drug crime in Los Angeles can still have serious consequences. Convictions for possession of a controlled substance can lead to fines and jail time.
Misdemeanor Charges for Possession of a Controlled Substance
You should not face felony charges for possession of a controlled substance for personal use. California treats this criminal act as a misdemeanor. This means you should not face time in prison.
Additionally, you will not be considered a felon after an HSC 11350 conviction. Generally, the court uses HSC 11350 charges if you are accused of:
- Knowingly possessing a controlled substance
- In a useable amount
- Without a prescription
Note that misdemeanor drug crime charges should still be treated seriously. A misdemeanor conviction can impact your life for years to come. A drug crimes lawyer in Los Angeles could help if you are facing misdemeanor charges for drug possession.
Results of a Conviction for Possession of Controlled Substances
Possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor-level offense in California. The results of a conviction can include:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
However, misdemeanor charges for drug possession do not always lead to a conviction. In some cases, you can request entry into a drug diversion program for misdemeanor charges. These treatment programs allow you to seek assistance handling drug addiction.
Individuals who complete a drug diversion program will not face a criminal conviction. Completing the program may take a significant amount of time and require individuals to submit to regular drug testing. Failure to complete a drug diversion program will allow misdemeanor charges to go forward in court.
Felony Drug Crime Charges in Los Angeles
Possession of a controlled substance for personal use is not considered a felony in California. However, this does not mean that there are no felony charges used for drug crimes. In fact, individuals can face felony charges for acts such as possession for sale and drug trafficking.
Possession for sale charges apply if someone has more of a controlled substance than they would need for “personal use.” The court can charge you with possession for sale even if you were not seen directly selling a controlled substance to another person.
Additionally, possession for sale charges often don’t require you to have large amounts of a drug. Even a few grams of a controlled substance could lead to a possession for sale charge.
Handle Both Misdemeanor and Felony Drug Charges
You can get legal help if you are accused of a misdemeanor or felony drug charge in Los Angeles. A lawyer for drug crimes in Los Angeles can work to get your charges dismissed or reduced. Your lawyer can also get you into a drug diversion program in some cases.
Find Out if Possession of a Controlled Substance Is a Felony
California does not treat possession of a controlled substance for personal use as a felony. However, possession for sale is considered a felony offense. We’re ready to help if you call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form.
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