Methamphetamine Possession Defense in California – Health and Safety Code 11377(a)
When charged with a serious crime such as possession of methamphetamine in California, you need an experienced defense attorney that will fight for you using an effective defensive strategy. There are several defenses available that could result in a dismissal or reduction of your charge. Here are some successful defenses that our lawyers at Wallin & Klarich can raise on your behalf:
Lack of control or possession
In order to convict you of possession of methamphetamine, the prosecution must prove that you had actual possession or control over the drug. Your attorney can argue that you did not have the requisite possession or control of the methamphetamine in order to sustain a conviction against you.
For example: If a dealer offers to sell you methamphetamine and you agree to purchase it, you do not have actual possession or control over the drug until it is actually handed to you or placed in area where you can gain possession. If you do not assert any sort of control of the methamphetamine, you cannot be charged with possession. However, you can still be charged with solicitation or conspiracy to purchase methamphetamine under the California Health and Safety Code.
Momentary possession of methamphetamine for an otherwise lawful purpose may be a defense to a possession of methamphetamine charge under California Health and Safety Code section 11377. In order to assert this defense you must prove:
- You possessed the methamphetamine only for a momentary or transitory period AND
- You possessed the methamphetamine in order to abandon, dispose of, or destroy it AND
- You did not intend to prevent law enforcement officials from obtaining the methamphetamine
If you assert this defense, you have the burden of proving each of these elements by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that you must prove that it is more likely than not that each of the three listed items is true.
You cannot be found guilty of possession of methamphetamine if you had a valid, written prescription for the substance from a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in California. It is actually the prosecution’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not have a valid prescription.
Today, methamphetamine is highly regulated and typically only proscribed for treating obesity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If you have a condition that is treated with methamphetamine, your attorney can argue that you had a valid prescription and therefore your possession of the substance was not illegal.
Lack of knowledge
The prosecution must prove that you knew of the nature or character of the methamphetamine as a controlled substance. If you had no knowledge of the presence of methamphetamine in your possession or you thought that it was something else entirely and not a controlled substance, you cannot be convicted under California Health and Safety Code section 11377. Your attorney can argue that you lacked the requisite knowledge of the methamphetamine and therefore cannot be found guilty of possession.
Failure to follow police procedures
Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, you have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. In order for the police to honor this right, they must comply with certain formalities and procedures when conducting traffic stops and arrests. These formalities include possessing sufficient “probable cause” to make an arrest, reading you your Miranda rights before a police interrogation, and searching the vehicle only for evidence of the crime for which you were arrested. If the police illegally obtained evidence by failing to follow any one of these constitutional guarantees, your defense attorney can ask the judge to have that evidence excluded and the chances of winning your case will increase significantly.
California possession of methamphetamine defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are looking for an California possession of methamphetamine defense lawyer to represent you, Wallin & Klarich can help. With over 40 years of experience and offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Victorville, our highly skilled and professional defense attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and passionately argue that your case should be dismissed.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL (877-466-5245) or fill out our intake form. We will be there when you call.