Possession of Cocaine or Heroin with Intent to Sell – California Health & Safety Code 11351
Possession of Cocaine or Heroin with Intent to Sell – Penalties
If you are convicted of violating California Health and Safety Code Section 11351 you can be fined up to $20,000 and sent to county jail for two, three or four years. If the conviction stems from having possession of cocaine base for sale (“crack” cocaine), then you face a county jail sentence of three, four, or five years as well as a $20,000 fine (California Health and Safety Code Section 11351.5).
If you are convicted of violating HS 11351, you are not eligible for diversion under PC1000 or Proposition 36. Those options are available only if you are charged with simple possession of a controlled substance.
Recent changes to California’s felony sentencing laws defer certain convicted felons from being sent to state prison. Under the prior law, you would have been required to serve parole after your release. If you are sentenced to serve time in jail for a conviction of HS11351, you will not serve any parole. However, you may have to serve a period of probation following your county jail sentence.
Post-Release Community Supervision
Post-Release Community Supervision (“PCRS”) may follow a felony sentence served in county jail. PCRS is administered by each individual California County, generally by the Department of Probation. If you are sent to prison, you will be subject to either three years of PCRS, or parole, depending on your prior criminal history, if any.
The judge now has discretion over how long you are to be sentenced as well as how that sentence is to be served. You may have to serve only a portion of your county jail sentence actually in jail; the remaining balance may be served on a probationary period called “mandatory supervision.” This is known as a blended or split sentence.
Please visit our section on Felony Sentencing for more detail about changes to California’s sentencing laws under Realignment.
Furnishing Cocaine or Heroin to Minors
California is “tough on” drug trafficking to minors under age 18. Under California Health and Safety Code 11353, if you are over 18 years of age, you may be facing three, six, or nine years imprisonment in state prison if you:
- Sell or give, or offer to sell or give cocaine or heroin to a minor
- Hire, employ or use a minor to sell, prepare for sale, or peddle cocaine or heroin
- Induce a minor to use cocaine or heroin
Under California Health and Safety Code 11353.6, if you are over 18 years of age and are convicted of selling or giving cocaine or heroin to a minor, your sentence may be enhanced from three to nine additional years in custody if you conduct illegal activity as follows:
- On the grounds of a playground, church, youth center, day care facility or swimming pool while children are present or during business hours.
- On the grounds of or within 1000 feet of any public or private elementary, junior high, vocational or high school while children are present or during business hours.
- If you are four or more years older than the minor
- If the minor is under 14 years of age
These sentences may be imposed consecutively. Which means you may have to serve these enhancement sentences one after the other .
Drug Offender Registration
Pursuant to Health and Safety Code 11590, if you are convicted of possession for sale of cocaine or heroin, mandatory drug offender registration will be imposed by the court. For the next five years after your release from custody, you must register with the local authorities where you live. Registration means:
- Going into the local police or sheriff’s station within 10 days of whenever you move and annually on your birthday; and
- Providing a written statement with your contact information, including your address; and
- Being fingerprinted and photographed
Other consequences may follow a conviction for possession or sale of a controlled substance. Depending on your circumstances, these may include:
- Deportation – If you are convicted of certain California felony offenses, and you are in this country illegally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has the option to bring deportation proceedings against you. This is especially true if you are sent to jail or prison; ICE can put a deportation “hold” on you delaying your release.
- Suspension of Driver’s License – If you are under age 21 but over age 13 and you are convicted of a controlled substance crime, the judge will suspend your driving privilege for one year. If you are not yet legally eligible to drive, the court will order the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) to delay your driving privilege for one year from the age you otherwise would have become eligible to drive. (California Vehicle Code 13202.5)
- Federal Charge – Many of the controlled substances are also listed on the federal controlled substances list. This means that, in addition to state charges, if convicted of possession for sale of a controlled substance, you may also face federal charges.
- Loss of Benefits – A drug-related conviction could affect your ability to receive public benefits such as food stamps and cash aid. You may also be denied federal student aid funding for college.
- Difficulty Getting Hired – A felony conviction for dealing drugs may seriously damage your chances of getting a job. Many employment applications ask if you have ever been convicted of a criminal offense, particularly a felony.
Why do I Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Represent me if I’ve been Charged with Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine?
If you or someone you care about has been accused of dealing illegal drugs, you must contact an attorney at Wallin & Klarich today. The penalties for possession of cocaine of heroin for sale are severe and can impact your life tremendously. Our attorneys are well versed in state and federal laws and have the skills and expertise to provide you with the best possible defense in your case.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, Torrance, Sherman Oaks,San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich has successfully represented thousands of clients facing drug possession for sales charges. We have over 40 years of experience in making sure that our clients are treated fairly under the law and that they receive the best legal representation possible. We will guide you through all of your options and help you win your case.
Contact us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.