Health and Safety Code 11352 governs drug crime offenses in which a person sells, furnishes, administers, transports, or imports illegal drugs into California. Drugs regulated by 11352 HS include heroin, peyote, cocaine, opiates, some hallucinogens, GHB, hydrocodone, and codeine. Oftentimes those who are charged with violating HS 11352 are identified through “sting” operations, but there are instances where authorities claim to have witnessed drug deals, transports, etcetera from disguised locations.
WHAT ACTS VIOLATE HS 11352?
Health and Safety Code 11352 can be violated in several different ways. If you were transporting a controlled substance from one location to another, importing drugs into California, selling drugs, supplying drugs in any way including sales, administering drugs via injection or other methods directly to another person, or giving your drugs away, California prosecutors could convict you of violating HS 11352.
Transportation under HS 11352 has become a sore subject for many defendants and defense attorneys as the distance required to fulfill the definition of transportation can be very little. In addition, the person “transporting” drugs do not need to be caught selling them to be convicted of transportation. According to the California court of appeals, this is to help decrease the incidences of sales by punishing the general transport of narcotics. Unfortunately, it often puts non-violent drug offenders in danger of receiving a felony on their criminal record for what many would consider relatively minor criminal offenses.
WHAT do CALIFORNIA PROSECUTORS NEED TO CONVICT ME?
California prosecutors have “a burden to prove” that defendants for which they are prosecuting are guilty of the crimes that they are accused. In the case of 11352 HS violations, prosecutors need to establish that you offered to perform or engaged in selling, administering, supplying, importing, or transporting a controlled substance, were aware that there was a controlled substance present, and that the amount seized was enough to be used as a mind-altering substance. In instances of alleged HS 11352 violations in which the specific offense is sales, does not require a useable amount of drugs, but this does apply for transportation offenses.
HOW CAN I DEFEND MY DRUG SALE CHARGES?
There are several different ways to defend an HS 11352 violation, all of which depend largely upon the specific circumstances of the violation in question. A skilled California drug crime defense lawyer can help you to evaluate your case circumstance and, in most cases, develop reliable defense strategies. The following are common ways in which drug crime defendants attempt to avoid a conviction.
Unlawful Police Activity
Police officers are required to act in a way that does not violate your constitutional rights. This limits their ability to search you and/or your residence and obtain evidence to be used against you without being granted permission to do so. Officers who engage in unlawful activity during the course of a defendant’s arrest run the risk of having the evidence that they obtain deemed inadmissible. There are several circumstances where the required procedures for police to follow during an arrest are either ignored or forgotten. Under these circumstances, defendants may be able to avoid a conviction through a case dismissal or not guilty verdict.
The following could be considered an example of unlawful police activity with the potential to have a substantial impact on an HS 11352 defendant’s case:
Rosco has been selling crystal meth to a variety of buyers for several months and has made a great deal of profit while doing so. One day, Rosco receives a call on his cell phone from a person who claims to have received Rosco’s number from one of Rosco’s close friends and is looking to buy a large number of methamphetamines. The person, Jaime, tells Rosco to meet her at a certain time and place to trade cash for meth. Rosco shows up, does the deal, and is immediately arrested by Jaime, who turns out to be an undercover cop. Rosco is then charged with violating Health and Safety Code 11352
Sometimes, sting operations can end in multiple persons being charged with violating HS 11352 because police found the “stash” of drugs in a place where there were multiple people. Some of the people arrested may have been involved in selling drugs, but others may not have been. Those who expect the police to identify them as being innocent are rarely given the benefit of the doubt. More often than not, officers will gather evidence against them and let defense attorneys and prosecutors hammer out the details. If there is evidence to substantiate claims that you were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
PENALTIES FOR THOSE FACING DRUG SALE CHARGES
Those facing charges for 11352 HS violations face a felony offense that is punishable by either a year in county jail as well as probation, or up to five years in state prison with a maximum $20,000 fine. If the person for which you sold drugs to was a minor, or other crimes were committed during the course of your arrest, you could face additional time in jail or prison as well as fines. A prior conviction for drug offenses or violent crimes could also affect the court’s decision when determining penalties against you.
11352 VIOLATION DEFENSE
If you are facing criminal charges for drugs in California, call or fill out our contact form. At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, we have assisted countless drug crime defendants and have done so with a great deal of success. Randy Collins, the Firm owner, obtained a not guilty verdict on the behalf of an Orange County man who confessed to selling drugs.