What Can Happen To You If You Are Selling Opiates in Ventura County (California HS 11351)
Under California Health and Safety Code 11351, the penalties for possessing a controlled substance with the intended purpose of selling it can have a major impact on your life. Regardless of whether you possessed these substances only for personal use, you could still be charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Depending on the amount of the controlled substance in your possession, the packaging that was present such as baggies or containers, and other factors, as long as the prosecution can prove that you knew the drug was in your presence at the time, you could be convicted of this offense. An experienced Ventura drug crime attorney at Wallin & Klarich can help you obtain the best possible legal outcome in your case.
Agoura Doctor Accused of Distributing Opiates
An Agoura Hills doctor is being charged with 15 felonies for allegedly overprescribing opiates and other controlled substances to patients with no legitimate medical need. According to police, 67-year-old family doctor Terry Stranger has been giving pills to patients directly and supplying drug dealers with illegal opiates for several years.
The Ventura County Combined Agency Task Force and Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit undertook a three-year investigation of Stranger’s prescription practices and now allege that he has been writing prescriptions for addictive and controlled drugs such as oxycodone and Xanax to himself. They further claim that he allegedly sold these pills to patients and drug dealers through the mail in the United States and internationally.
A police report noted that two deaths were linked directly to his prescriptions of controlled medications. Investigators also say they have seized hundreds of thousands of dollars from Stranger, which they believe may be linked to his alleged criminal activity. Last year, detectives reportedly seized over 25,000 pills of addictive medications from Stranger, which they allege was intended to be sold illegally “outside the scope” of normal medical practice.
Criminal charges for selling opiates in Ventura County are pending against Dr. Stranger at this time. At his first court date, the court allowed Dr. Stranger to continue practicing medicine. An arraignment is scheduled for March 24.. If he is convicted of a violation of California Health and Safety Code 11351, he faces substantial fines and the loss of his medical license.
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What is Possession For Sale? (California HS 11351)
Health and Safety Code 11351 governs offenses in California related to the sale of drugs. This is a more serious crime than simply possessing the controlled substance. To be charged and convicted of a violation of HS 11351, it must be proven that you:
a) Were in possession of the drug;
b) Knew you possessed the drug;
c) Knew that it was a controlled substance;
d) Had enough of the drug that it could be consumed by the people to whom it will be sold; and
e) Had intent to sell it (as evidenced by baggies, balloons, other types of packaging, weighing scales)
Furthermore, HS 11351 specifies several of the controlled substances that, if found in your possession, can lead to a charge of possession for sale. These include:
- Opiates and opiate derivatives;
- Gamma-hydroxybutyric; and
- Other hallucinogenic substances.
If you satisfy these conditions and possessed either of these opiates or other controlled substances, you may face severe penalties that only a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you fight and reduce.
How Can You Be Charged with Possession for Sale of Illegal Drugs?
Factors the prosecution will consider when they decide whether to prosecute you for possession for sale of these illegal substances include:
- The amount of the substance that was in your possession;
- Whether packaging materials were present;
- If large sums of cash were present; and
- Whether drug paraphernalia such as a pipe were found.1
Punishment for Selling Opiates in Ventura County
If you are found guilty of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell under Health and Safety Code 11351, it is a felony. A conviction is punishable by two, three or four years in county jail. You also can be fined up to $20,000.2
Also, if you have any prior felony convictions in California for drug crimes, you face an additional and consecutive three-year term for each prior conviction.Some more text with a footnote.
Call the Ventura Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are facing charges of possessing opiates or another controlled substance for sale, you whole life can change. But it doesn’t have to. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending our clients accused of possession for sale and other drug crimes for over 40 years.
With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, Wallin & Klarich has an established reputation of providing its clients with round-the-clock support.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.