Many laws in California prohibit the illegal sale of controlled substances. Under 11352, it is a crime to sell controlled substances classified as narcotics, while 11379 makes it a crime to sell controlled substances classified as restricted dangerous drugs, and 11375 makes it illegal to sell synthetic stimulants or cannabis, or prescription narcotics.
A prosecutor for the state must prove many elements of a case involving the selling of drugs in order to secure a conviction. Simply having drugs on you is not enough to prove you had the intent to sell them. A criminal defense lawyer will know these elements and will refute the arguments of both the prosecution and law enforcement to give you the best chance of success.
The prosecution must prove five elements of the case when trying to secure a conviction. If they cannot prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, that can serve as a valid defense. The elements are as follows:
- The defendant had actual possession of the controlled substance
- The defendant was fully aware that they were in possession of a controlled substance
- The defendant possessed enough of the controlled substance that they could sell it for profit
- The individual that was in possession of the controlled substance had full intention to sell it
- The individual knew the drugs are considered a controlled substance and therefore, illegal to possess or sell
When someone is in possession of a small amount of drugs, it is unlikely that they can be charged with possession with the intent to sell. This is because when the amount of drugs is small, a person was likely using it for personal use. When someone was under the influence of the drug in question at the time of the arrest, it can also indicate possession for personal use. In both of these situations, a person may face other charges.
The term ‘possession’ seems to indicate a person actually had physical control of drugs that were on their person at the time of the arrest. However, this is not always the case. Possession with intent to sell can take many forms. The three most common types of possession include:
- Actual possession, which is the most common type and involves a person that has actual physical control of the drug, such as carrying it in a backpack
- Constructive possession, which occurs when a person is not in physical control of the substance but does have access to it, such as when a drug is in a home
- Joint possession, which occurs when more than one person is charged with possession. Joint possession combines actual and constructive possession.
Any time you are facing any type of possession with the intent to sell charge, it is critical that you speak to a criminal defense lawyer that can help protect your future.
If you have been charged with
possession with intent to sell, call 805-477-0070 now.
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At the Law Offices of David Lehr, our California criminal defense lawyer is passionate about helping people beat their criminal charges and retain their freedom. If you have been charged with possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell, or any other drug crime, let us handle your case. We know the defenses that will give you the best chance of beating your charges. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free case review with our seasoned attorney.
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