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Possession of Cocaine for Sale - HS 11351

California, just like other states categorizes Cocaine as a controlled substance. That means its manufacture, possession and use is regulated by the government under the United States "Controlled Substances Act".

Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug in California. This means that the drug:

  • Has a high potential for abuse,
  • It has a currently accepted, but with limited use in medicine
  • In case it is abused, the user may experience severe psychological and/or physical dependence.

In addition, cocaine base fall under Schedule I drug classification, meaning that aside from the drug having a high possibility of abuse, there is no accepted medical use at the moment.

Simple Possession of Cocaine

Simple possession of cocaine according to California state laws is a misdemeanor, thanks to the voter of the state of California’s ballet initiative, Prop 47. The Healthy and Safety Code 11350 HS prohibits possession of cocaine and lists several other prohibited drugs. The laws governing use of cocaine became less rigid after voters approved Proposition 36 in 2000. The proposition gives non-violent offenders the option of treatment to be drug-free instead of having them sentenced to serve a jail term.

To obtain a conviction, the officers must prove that the accused:

  • Had a usable amount of cocaine.
  • Knew about its presence
  • Was aware that it was a controlled substance.
Penalty for Possession of Cocaine

In California, simple possession of Cocaine can be a misdemeanor. That means if you are found in possession of cocaine, such an offense could result in up to one year in the county jail and $1000 in fines. But, under PC 1000 or Proposition 36, nonviolent offenders may be eligible for California drug diversion program. The offenders are allowed to undergo drug treatment in approved proms instead of serving a jail sentence. All offenders who complete their rehabilitation programs will have their drug charges dropped.

Repeat drug offenders may also receive diversion, or could face county jail time.

Possession of Cocaine With Intent to Sell

Possession of cocaine with the intention of selling is a serious offense and will attract more severe penalties. If the prosecutor can prove that the cocaine in possession was not intended for personal use, then the penalty would be two years, three years or four-year sentence in a state prison with a fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars.

Possession of cocaine base for sale attracts three years, four years or five years in prison and a maximum of a twenty thousand dollars fine.

If you are in possession of either cocaine or cocaine base for sale, and each exceeds one kilogram, there is an additional penalty of three to twenty-five years sentence in a prison and huge fine that could add up to eight million dollars.

While a defendant accused with non-violent possession of cocaine for personal consumption may be send to a rehabilitation center, those found in possession of cocaine for sale do not qualify to participate in state drug diversion program, unless the attorney is able to negotiate for treatment in lieu of custody.

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