How Many Different Drug Crimes Exist in California?

In California, there are three main categories of drug crimes that someone could be charged with. These are drug distribution, drug possession, and drug cultivation and manufacturing.

What Are the Different Drug Crimes and Laws in California?

  • Drug distribution. The drug distribution laws in California help to criminalize the selling, transporting, transferring and importing of any controlled substances. Drug distribution and trafficking is a felony and a more serious crime than drug possession. The punishment for distribution depends on the number of drugs involved, the drug types, the location of the distribution area and if minors were targeted or involved. Your defenses include being able to prove it was for possession only or entrapment.
  • Drug possession. This drug crime includes both simple possession and possession with intent to sell. Your drug possession charges will also differ depending on if the drugs were narcotics or if they were marijuana-related. If you are charged with narcotic/controlled substance possession, you could be facing a misdemeanor charge with up to one year in county jail. Marijuana is legal in California as of January 1. Recreational users, however, still have to follow the provisions under Proposition 64.
  • Drug cultivation/manufacturing. Under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, manufacturing of a controlled substance can be punishable by a felony sentencing. Your conviction can result in a heavy fine and state imprisonment. The penalties for cultivating marijuana without obeying state laws will depend on your age and whether you have prior convictions. Possible defenses could be your age, medical necessity or that you have a state-issued license for manufacturing marijuana.

If you have been charged with a California drug crime, then it is crucial that you speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately. Contact Garcia, Schnayerson & Thompson today for a free consultation or for more information on California drug crime penalties.