California laws are stringent on crimes involving drugs or controlled substances. You commit the offense of manufacturing drugs when you produce, convert, prepare, or process a drug. Most drugs fall under the broad category of controlled substances whose manufacture and use the government regulates. The crime of manufacturing a controlled substance is addressed under California Health and Safety Code 11379.6, and a guilty verdict attracts serious penalties in hefty fines and jail time. You can face criminal charges under this law even when you did not complete the drug manufacturing process. If your participation in the initial or intermediate steps is evident, the court can find you guilty of the offense.
If you stand accused of manufacturing drugs in California, seeking legal guidance is critical. At Koenig Law Office, we understand the severity of the consequences of a drug crime conviction in California. We will help you understand the nature of your charges and guide you toward building a strong defense to fight the charges. We are dedicated to serving clients seeking guidance and legal representation to battle drug crime charges.
Overview of California HSC 11379.6
The California Health and Safety Code states that any individual who manufactures, derives, converts, or prepares a controlled substance will face an arrest and charges under HSC 11379.6. Certain exceptions exist to manufacture drugs, including permitted marijuana cultivation for medical use. However, individuals who legally cultivate marijuana are licensed to engage in the activity. If you are licensed to grow medical marijuana, the quantity you cultivate must not exceed the legal standards.
Although the modification in marijuana laws has allowed increased personal use, the legal expansion doesn’t apply to other drugs. Arrests and prosecution for the manufacture of drugs are not limited to individuals involved in the actual production of the drugs. Supplying chemicals used to produce a controlled substance could attract charges under this law. Before the court convicts you for the manufacture of drugs in California, the courts require the prosecution to prove these elements:
You Manufactured, Produced, or Compounded a Drug
Most drugs fall under the category of controlled substances. A controlled substance is any chemical component or substance whose manufacture the state laws regulate. Drugs are categorized in different schedules depending on their ability to affect the consumer. Charges for the manufacture of drugs could arise as a result of manufacturing the following substances:
You knew of the Drug’s Nature
Like most drug crimes, the court cannot find you guilty of manufacturing drugs unless the prosecution processes your knowledge of the nature of the substance. Therefore, it must be apparent that you knew you were making a controlled substance. The court does not need the district attorney or prosecution to prove your knowledge of the specific substance involved.
Additionally, you must not complete the production process to be found guilty under HSC 11379.6. The prosecutor can establish that:
- You willfully participated in the production process
- Your participation was at the initial or intermediate steps of the illegal operation
Sentencing and Punishment for Manufacturing Drugs in California
Manufacture of a controlled substance is a felony under California law. A conviction for a violation of this statute attracts a three-year prison sentence and fines that do not exceed $50,000. The court can place you on probation and a one-year jail sentence instead of prison time. Often probation for drug crimes is not available for all defendants. The manufacture of a controlled substance is a serious crime. Therefore, the prosecution may only recommend probation if you do not have prior convictions for drug crimes.
While serving probation may keep you out of prison, the court imposes various harsh probation conditions. If you end up on probation after an HSC 11379.6 conviction, it would be best if you followed all probation conditions. A probation violation could attract a probation revocation and reinstatement of your original prison sentence.
Drug Diversion Instead of prison time for Manufacture of Drugs
California law offers drug diversion as alternative sentencing for non-violent drug offenders. The drug diversion program entails treatment and rehabilitation followed by a dismissal of your charges. Several drug diversion programs like PC 1000 and prop 36 may be available when you face charges for manufacturing a controlled substance. You will undergo treatment and counseling during your time in the drug diversion.
If you are found guilty of HSC 11, You will only qualify for drug diversion if your crime is related to simple possession. Therefore, your attorney can convince the prosecutor that you manufactured the drugs for personal use, not for sale. With a successful defense, you can have your charges reduced to simple possession before the diversion.
Aggravating Factors Under HSC 11379.6
When you face drug crime charges, an aggravating factor is a circumstance that makes your charges more serious, causing an increase in the penalties. Some of the aggravating factors HSC 11379.6 case include:
Manufacturing a Large Quantity of the Drugs
If you face an arrest for manufacturing methamphetamine, GHB, and PCP in large quantities, you will face additional penalties. The increment in your penalties is based on the type and amount of the substance you manufactured. The enhancements for this crime are as follows:
- You would face a three-year additional sentence if you manufactured a substance that exceeds one pound or three liters
- A five-year additional sentence for processing or manufacturing up to three pounds or ten gallons of a restricted substance
- Up to ten years in prison for 10 pounds of twenty-five gallons of the drug
- A fifteen-year additional prison sentence for drugs surpassing 44pounds or 105 gallons
California law is strict on repeat offenders. You risk facing an enhanced penalty for manufacturing drugs for having a prior conviction for a similar offense or other drug crimes. Drugs crimes that could affect your sentencing under HSC 11379.6 include:
- Possession for sale of a controlled substance under HSC 11351
- Transport for sale of a drug under HSC 11352
- Possession of Methamphetamines with an intent to sell under HSC 11378
The court will impose a three-year sentence for each drug conviction. You risk spending long in prison if you have multiple prior offenses. Therefore, fighting HSC 11379 is a priority.
Causing Severe Injuries or Death to Another Individual
If another person suffers serious injury or death during the drug manufacturing process, you will face an enhanced sentence under this statute. Severe injury or death attracts an additional sentence of up to one year. However, it is vital to understand the enhancement of each injury or death. Therefore, if multiple people lose their lives during the violation of HSC 11379.6, you could face a significant prison sentence.
Manufacturing Drugs in an Occupied Structure or Presence of Minors
California law imposes harsh penalties on individuals who commit drug crimes involving children. The court orders you to serve an additional prison time if you are found guilty of manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a child under sixteen. If the child in question suffers an injury or death, the court increases your sentence by five years. Additionally, the manufacture of drugs within an occupied building can cause you to spend up to two years more in state prison.
Legal Defense Against Drug Manufacturing Charges
Facing an arrest for violating HSC 11379.6 is not the end. The following are legal defenses you can use to fight the charges:
Illegal Search and Seizure
Even when law enforcement officers suspect you are involved in manufacturing illegal drugs, they need a valid search warrant to search your property or seize any item from your home. If police access your property without a warrant to search for evidence of the manufacture of drugs or exceed the scope of their search, you can argue this in your case.
Since all citizens are protected from illegal police searches, evidence collected in the unlawful search is not admissible to court. With your lawyer's guidance, you can file a motion to dismiss the evidence presented by the prosecution. This will cause a weakness in the case against you and improve the chances of a favorable outcome.
Your Actions were Preparatory
The prosecution must prove that you started the drug manufacturing process when establishing your guilt under HSC 11379.6. Therefore, you can argue that your actions were preparatory. Having an intention to manufacture a controlled substance is not enough to secure a conviction for the manufacture of drugs. This defense applies when law enforcement officers arrest you for possessing items used to manufacture the drugs. However, in this case, you may be found guilty of the attempt to manufacture the drugs, which is a lesser offense.
Baseless drug manufacturing charges are common in California. Such charges result from false accusations or mistaken identity. Various factors could cause you to be a victim of false allegations, including:
- Wrongful identification by an eyewitness
- Vengeance or jealousy from a third party
- Another person’s attempt to evade criminal responsibility by pinning the blame on you
- The police receive information on the crime from an untrustworthy informant
A seasoned drug defense attorney can guide you to investigate different factors of your case to uncover the scheme of false accusations.
A criminal charge for manufacturing drugs cannot be based solely on informants or witness testimony. The court requires the prosecutor to prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Although the prosecution can rely on circumstantial evidence, most drug crime charges will require physical evidence of your involvement in the crime. Without sufficient evidence, you have a chance of facing a reduced charge or having your charges dismissed.
Under California law, entrapment is a circumstance where a police officer persuades a law-abiding individual to commit a crime. Proving that the law enforcement officers forced you into violating HSC 11379 gives you a chance to beat your charges.
You did not Commit the Crime.
The most straightforward legal defense to a drug charge is arguing that you did not engage in the alleged criminal activity. It is not unusual for a drug user or addict to frequent the labs or areas where these drugs are manufactured. Therefore, facing an arrest in such an area does not indicate that you participated in manufacturing the illegal substance. The burden of proof lies solely on the prosecutor. However, you can present documentation and testimony to support your innocence claim.
Statute of Limitations
After receiving information about your involvement in the manufacture of drugs, the law enforcement officers and prosecution may wait a while to arrest and charge you with the crime. Mostly, prosecutors want you to be arrested when there is enough proof to secure a conviction. The statute of limitations to file charges under HSC 11379.6 is three years. If the statute of limitations to file the charges has elapsed, you can no longer face the consequences of the offense.
Find a knowledgeable Drug Crime Defense Attorney Near Me.
Under California Health and Safety Code 11379.6, it is a crime to manufacture, prepare or process a drug. This statute covers various drugs listed under ‘Schedules I to V of controlled substances. A violation of HSC 11379.6 is a felony whose conviction can take away your freedom and change your life.
In addition to spending time in prison and paying hefty fines, a conviction for manufacturing a controlled substance remains on your criminal record. Since a criminal conviction is a public record, the conviction is accessible to potential employers and other individuals who perform a background check on you. A drug-related conviction could change people’s opinions about you and how they relate to you.
Given the life-changing consequences of drug manufacturing charges, you must proceed with the case with the guidance of a skilled drug crime defense lawyer. At Koenig Law Office, we have the extensive knowledge to navigate your case and secure a favorable outcome. If you or a loved one faces an arrest and charges for manufacturing drugs or other drug-related offenses in Bakersfield, CA, you will need our legal expertise. Contact us today at 661-793-7222.