December 1, 2014 By Paul Wallin

Consequences of Possessing Codeine without a Prescription (California Health and Safety Code Section 11350)

consequences of possessing codeine California
There are serious consequences of possessing codeine.

Codeine is an opiate derived from the opium poppy that is frequently prescribed for pain. It is a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Because it is prescribed in different dosages, it’s listed under three schedules, depending on the codeine content and the potential for abuse.

Medications with high codeine content have a much greater potential for abuse and possible addiction. Pure codeine or medication containing 90 mg or more per dose is classified as a Schedule II narcotic. Lower doses of codeine, like the codeine contained in Tylenol or cough syrup, are Schedule II or V, depending on the amount of codeine the medication contains.

Punishment for Codeine Possession (HS 11350)

Due to the fact that codeine is regularly prescribed for pain, it is also widely abused. If you possess codeine without a prescription in California, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. If you’re convicted of this crime, you could be sentenced to up to one year in county jail and ordered to pay expensive fines.

Codeine, especially in lower doses, is widely prescribed for things like the common cold, and you may be committing a crime by abusing it without realizing it. For instance, if your friend gives you the rest of their prescribed bottle of codeine because you have a bad toothache and you get caught with it, you could face a criminal drug charge.

In order to be convicted of the crime of possession of codeine, the prosecutor must prove that

  • You unlawfully possessed codeine;
  • You knew of its presence;
  • You knew it was a controlled substance; and
  • You possessed a usable amount.1

Defenses to Possession of Codeine

There are a number of defenses to a possession of codeine charge which an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney can argue on your behalf. Some of these include:

  • You had a valid prescription
  • You didn’t know you possessed it
  • You only had it for a moment
  • Police failed to follow proper procedure when placing you under arrest

A Drug Diversion Program Could Clear Your Record (PC 1000 & Prop 36)

If you are arrested for possession of codeine, you may still be able to clear your record and move forward with your life. If you’re a first time offender you could be eligible for a drug diversion program. Your eligibility will depend on the facts of your case.

If you complete the drug diversion program and stay out of trouble with the law, your charges may be dismissed.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

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Our criminal defense attorneys can help you today.

If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of codeine it is crucial that you contact a Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately. Our skilled attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with drug crimes. We will analyze the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible in your case.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

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AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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