What Is Drug Manufacturing Under California Law
According to California's Health & Safety Code section 11379.6, drug manufacturing is any activity that involves producing, processing, or compounding any illicit or controlled substance that is unlawful. However, there is an exception to certain drugs such as marijuana. If one gets caught in possession of manufacturing illegal drugs or is partially offering a service that contributes to the manufacture or production of the controlled substances, it may bring to the fore drastic penalties.
Given the stringent measures put in place by law enforcement teams and state drug-fighting authorities, involvement in any form of participation in the manufacturing process is a risky move. Moreover, the prosecutors strive to ensure that such cases have substantial and robust evidence, which makes it hard for the defendants to evade such prosecutions.
For instance, under California's Health & Safety Code, any formal activity that lends itself to the processing of controlled substances is illegal. That means you will, at some level, be held liable for drug manufacturing. Hence, it is presumed that an individual in immediate possession of precursors is assumed to have illicit drugs if sufficient for the manufacture of controlled drugs.
Common Defenses for Drug Manufacturing
Following the rampant cases of drug crimes in California, one is likely to face prosecution based on the severe measures related to the manufacturing of drugs. Fortunately, with the existence of a proficient Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorney, any drug manufacturing charge will aggressively be dealt with and ensure your rights are defended from wrongful convictions. Some of the most common defenses that your attorney will use include:
Unlawful search and seizure by the law enforcement team
Even though you are involved in any way in processing and manufacturing of drugs, in violation of California's laws, the law enforcement agencies in line with the drug-fighting authorities must follow the rules under Search and Seizure Laws. Any infringement of this shall mean that the case is regarded as objectionable. The courts may not, therefore, proceed to charge the accused. Thus the attorney may convince the court that the police and other drug-fighting agencies must have issued the accused:
- A probable cause that made them suspect him/her
- A valid California Search warrant to allow permission to access the premises or location legally
- Must have done an extensive search of the area which is noted on the search warrant
Therefore any evidence obtained illegally by the officers will not be used for prosecution. This effect may lead to one's charges being significantly reduced if not entirely dropped down
In a case whereby you have been mistakenly alleged to have participated in manufacturing drugs, our Long Beach Criminal Attorney will carry out a comprehensive investigation to prove your innocence and clear your name from the gross allegations. For many years, people have cried foul of being wrongfully convicted, despite their innocence. In most cases, this happens due to ignorance or losing hope of winning the case. However, our team of professional criminal defense attorneys are aware of these and are therefore willing to do their job aggressively to protect you from such infidelities. The false accusation may come about because of the following:
- The fact that the information provided to the court was delivered by unreliable police or private informant to obtain a warrant
- A mistake by the eye witness on the alleged offender
- An act of vengeance, desire, or anger to escape one's criminal responsibility for an action
Your actions were merely preliminary
Albeit the defendant's intention of preparing to start a manufacturing plant for a controlled drug, it is not regarded as a crime according to California's laws. A case whereby the accused is caught with an object or item that is used in the production of the illegal drug, with the absence of the drug at the time of the arrest, the authorities may take it as a preparatory measure to commence the process.
Your qualified attorney will argue that your actions amounted to a mere preparation of controlled drugs, not an attempt at manufacture. Preparation alone does not justify a conviction. But even if the court finds that you tried to make drugs, you would still face only half the sentence that you would otherwise face under California's drug laws.
Legal licenses to manufacture drugs
Your attorney may as well prove to the court that indeed, you had legal rights to conduct such activities. The statutory license permits the defendant to possess certain chemicals that are used in the processing of the drugs, like marijuana. The state-issued permit will significantly contribute to the dismissal of the charges.
Penalties for Drug Manufacturing
Based on the aggressive nature of the authorities to deal with drug crimes in the State of California, it would be so unfortunate to fall into the wrong hands. However, having a proficient and experienced Long Beach Criminal Attorney on your side, you will be able to evade the wrongful allegations levied against you. Therefore, if you or a loved one is facing charges of manufacturing controlled drugs, it is vital to affirm the services of a highly competent criminal defense attorney as fast as possible.
Facing a conviction of drug manufacturing attracts incarceration with lasting periods on top of fines. Due to this, your attorney may come in handy to aggressively defend your rights. Under California's Health & Safety code, once a defendant is prosecuted and found guilty of the violations, he/she is likely to face felony charges.
One is likely to serve time in state prison for a period of three to seven years. Additionally, one will be required to pay fines amounting to $50,000. In some exceptional cases, the judge may revise the sentence opting to impose probation with a maximum period of 364 days in a state jail. For that reason, an accused convicted of offering or rendering the services to manufacture and process controlled substances will face felony charges punishable under a state penitentiary. The sentence will either be:
- Probation of up to 364 days in state jail, or
- Serve time in state prison for a period of three to five years.
Subsequently, the length and severity of the sentence may be intensified based on a number of aggravating factors.
A prior conviction related to drug crimes
For a first-timer, being caught in the act may be shocking and costly. In some cases, the courts may give lighter sentences due to no outstanding record on your file. However, a scenario whereby you have been convicted of manufacturing drugs whereas you have a prior existing record on the same crime, then it will attract felony conviction of three years in addition and consecutive to the current underlying violation. Some of the preceding violations under California's law are:
- Possession of a controlled substance for sale
- Possession or selling of methamphetamines
- Transporting or selling a controlled substance
Aggravation due to the quantity of drugs manufactured
California's Health & Safety Code highlights several types of drugs and substances that are classified as being unlawful. Any drug confiscated that falls within the scope of the restricted or illicit drug is likely to result in severe penalties. The quantity found also plays a vital role in the severity of the sentence to be passed. If you are caught conspiring or manufacturing substances that contain any of the highlighted drugs, then it may attract additional and consecutive terms based on the volume of the drugs. These include:
- One will serve jail time of three years a case where the drugs manufactured exceed three gallons of liquid by the amount or one pound of solid by weight
- Serving five years for an instance whereby the drugs made surpass ten gallons liquid/three pounds of solid
- Prison time of ten years if the drugs manufactured surpasses 25 gallons liquid/ten pounds of solid
- Serving fifteen years in a scenario whereby the illicit drugs manufactured surpasses 105 gallons liquid/44 pounds of solid
Location of the manufacturing plant
Any crime that involves a minor being a victim can rapidly aggravate the charges. For example, if you are caught making or tendering to help the drug manufacturers in a location next to children under the age of 16 at the time of the infringement, the court is more likely to aggravate your sentence. The probability of serving longer sentences will automatically be considered. This means the defendant is anticipated to face two years in the state penitentiary.
Note that this is additional and consecutive to the sentence received for the underlying offense. A case in which a child under the age of 16 has suffered physical injury as a result of your actions at a manufacturing plant, then under California law, in addition to the existing violation sentence, you are likely to face five years in state prison.
Besides minors, you are also likely to face longer sentences in a scenario where your location is within 200 feet of a residential area or any structure where people are present at the time of the violation.
The violation caused injury or death
A situation whereby the products you manufacture caused significant harm or demise to another individual other than a partner in crime will attract an additional and consecutive one year sentence in the California state prison for each death or injury.
This is an alternative option of sentencing that allows the defendant, if he/she was non-violent, to receive treatment in place of serving time in prison. Under California's laws, it may be considered based on:
- The Penal Code 1000 PC
- California drug court
- Proposition 36
This alternative may have some benefits for the accused. Upon completing the program, one may evade serving time in a state prison/jail as well as have the charges dropped. However, it is not common as the few people given this penalty may be lucky enough. Your attorney may convince the court that:
- You were only manufacturing the drugs for personal use, not for commercial purposes
- They allow you to plead for a minor offense of simple possession
Crimes Related to Drug Manufacturing
Taking note of all the drug-related crimes, the repercussions linked to the offense relies on the type of charge brought levied against the accused. A case whereby the defendant was processing the substances for personal use may receive a lesser sentence compared to the one making for selling. Here are some of the drug crimes related to drug manufacturing.
- A violation of California law against possession of an illegal drug. The defendant is likely to be charged with a felony for having custody of a variety of drugs or substances that have been highlighted in the California Drugs Code of Health & Safety.
- Infringement of the law against possession of a prohibited substance for sale. This is a more severe offense. If the defendant is caught in possession of a large quantity of drugs when he/she is found to be producing drugs, the prosecutors will most likely charge them both with the manufacture of narcotics and with possession for sale.
- A violation against transporting or selling an illicit drug whereby the accused is involved in dealing with selling, furnishing, giving away, or carrying of prohibited drugs.
- Having custody of materials for manufacturing illicit substances. This involves specified chemicals and a combination of chemicals that may be used in making drugs such as methamphetamine.
Facing drug manufacturing charges is a serious crime. Keeping in mind the zealous efforts of the authorities to stop drug crimes, it is vital to seek the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney to defend your rights. We at the Long Beach Criminal Attorney have the requisite skills to serve your best interests in the justice system. Call us at 562-308-7807, and we will persistently pursue the best possible result for you.
If you have been arrested in Orange County or San Diego please check out these law firms: Orange County Criminal Lawyer or San Diego Criminal Lawyer