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Possession of Heroin and Possession for Sale - HS 11350 and HS 11351

Heroin is one among many recreational drugs abused in the state of California. It is particularly popular with its users due its euphoric effects. Possession, use and sale of heroin is illegal under both federal and state law. California state law classified simple possession heroin as a misdemeanor, thanks to the voters who passed Prop 47, that reduced many drugs from felonies to misdemeanors.

State law offers an option for rehabilitation for those in need of treatment. However, the law is tough on dealers and traffickers and charges levied against them are serious.

Treatment for Offenders Under Prop 36

In the year 2000, Californian voters passed Proposition 36, which allows offenders who are nonviolent in possession of heroin to undergo treatment instead of serving a jail term in a state prison.

The proposition came into effect in 2001, and it is now part of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (SACPA). This law is only applicable to offenders who are non-violent and are willing to get treatment. Once the treatment program is complete, all charges could be dropped.

Penalty for Simple Possession of Heroin

Possession of heroin in California is classified a misdemeanor. If convicted, the offender may be sentenced up to one year in jail and be exposed to a fine up to $1,000.

Non-violent offenders are eligible for a drug diversion program. In the program, criminal charges are dropped once they complete drug treatment program approved by the court. Those participating in PC 1000 or Prop 36 will be required to submit to education or treatment, submit to drug testing, file proof wit the court regarding their progress, and appear in court to update the court regarding their progress.

The programs approved by the court include drug education, residential treatment or other outpatient services. Other programs include therapy and services like detoxification or any other aftercare services.

This program will not include drug rehabilitations offered in the facilities within the prisons or the jails. Some individuals may obtain inpatient treatment in lieu of the statutorily offered programs and attorney can negotiate for treatment in lieu of jail.

Possession With Intent to Sell

Possession of heroin with the intent of selling it to another person carries a more severe penalty. If you are faced with charges related to the sale of heroin, the court may sentence you to serve two or more years in state prison.

Also, you might be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars. Individuals convicted of possession for sale may not be entitled to drug diversion program.

According to the Health and Safety Code, the court may order you to serve:

  • 3-5 years in state prison if you sell to minors
  • 3, 6, or 9 years in state prison if you use a minor to sale
  • 5, 7 or 9 years in state prison if you sale in public places.

The court may also order you to pay a certain amount of fine.

Other Related Crimes

Being caught with burnt spoon used to cook down and inject heroin, needles, hypodermic syringes, needles, or any other drug paraphernalia could subject you to prosecution under California's law against possession of drug paraphernalia. This charge that could attract a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000.

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