What is a controlled substance?
There are two categories of controlled substances:
- Drugs That Are Always Illegal – Drugs like heroin and cocaine fall into this category.
- Certain Prescription Drugs – Some prescription drugs are considered controlled substances. Possession of a drug like that without a prescription is illegal.
Penalties for drug-related offenses will depend on the drug the accused is alleged to have possessed. A conviction for possession of an illegal drug will result in more significant penalties than a conviction for possession of a prescription drug.
Are you being prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance in California?
To secure your conviction, the prosecution must show that:
- You possessed a drug that qualifies as a controlled substance, and it was illegal for you to have it (without a prescription).
- You knew of the presence of the substance (someone did not place the drugs in your possession without your knowledge)
- You knew the drug qualified as a controlled substance.
- The amount of drugs you possessed was usable (if you only had residues of a drug, you may not be convicted)
Types of Possession:
- Actual possession: When you have immediate physical access to a drug. For example, if you have drugs in your pocket.
- Constructive possession: Applies when you may not have the drug in your possession, but you can access it. For example, if you have the drug in a locker.
- Joint possession: Joint possession implies that two or more parties have joint control of the drug.
If you are found guilty of such a crime, you can face up to a year in jail, fines, and more. Hiring a criminal defense attorney will improve your chances of avoiding the harshest penalties for your charges.