If you have recently been charged with manufacturing of illegal drugs in Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California, you are facing the possibility of years behind bars in the state prison system, a fine that could be in the tens of thousands of dollars range, and having a felony drug crime on your permanent criminal record.
You can't afford to risk walking into court to face a zealous prosecuting attorney without having the best possible legal representation fighting for you and your future every step of the way.
At Leah Legal, we have the detailed knowledge of the law and the in-depth, local experience it takes to win your drug manufacturing defense case. We have a long track record of successfully handling these and other drug crimes defense cases, and we will know how to build you a solid defense!
For a free, no-obligation consultation on the details of your case, contact us anytime 24/7 by calling 818-484-1100.
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How Is "Manufacture of a Controlled Substance" Defined in California?
Under California Health & Safety Code Section 11379.6, it is a violation of state law to manufacture any controlled substance (as defined by the Federal Controlled Substances Act), to perform or assist in any stage of such drug manufacturing, or to offer to do any of these things whether for compensation or free of charge.
A "controlled substance" can be an illegal narcotic like cocaine, heroine, PCP, or LSD. It could also be marijuana, if you are manufacturing it without a license, methamphetamine, or even prescription drugs if illegally manufactured.
Any part of the process of drug manufacturing is enough to count as a violation of HSC 11379.6, including compounding, converting, deriving, processing, and more. You don’t have to 100% complete the manufacturing process to be found guilty of this crime. All initial and intermediate steps are covered by the statute, and you only need take part in one step to violate it.
However, you must have known that you were involved in drug manufacturing to be guilty. If you were working for someone else, for example, and didn’t know what the final product would be, you might not have “knowingly” manufactured drugs. And you can’t be convicted of manufacture of a controlled substance for merely assembling raw materials and equipment in preparation for possible drug manufacturing - the process has to have at least barely begun.
As mentioned above, HSC 11379.6 (manufacture of a controlled substance) is a felony crime in California. It is a very serious offense, punishable by 3 to 7 years in state prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
However, it is possible to get only probation plus a maximum of 12 months formal probation in place of the long prison sentence.
For merely “offering” to manufacture drugs, the sentence is lighter (though it’s still a very serious felony.) The penalty is 3 to 5 years in county jail OR formal probation plus up to 12 months in county jail.
A drug manufacturing conviction can be sentenced even more severely if certain aggravating factors apply.
For the manufacture of “large quantities” of certain illegal drugs (PCP, GHB, meth), you can get 3 extra years of prison time if the quantity is 3 gallons (liquid form) or 1 pound (solid form) or more. If 10 gallons/3 pounds or more, it’s 5 additional years; if 105 gallons/44 pounds or more, it’s 15 extra years.
If serious physical injury or death is caused by your manufacturing or attempting to manufacture PCP/meth, then you add an extra year in state prison per injury/death inflicted. BUT self-injury or injury/death of an accomplice does not count for this sentencing enhancement.
If you are convicted of manufacturing meth/PCP in a building where a child less than 16 years old lived or was present OR within 200 feet of another building where people lived or “were present” at the time, you can get 2 extra years in state prison.
And if your drug manufacturing activities caused serious bodily injury to a child under 16, you can get 5 additional years in prison.
Finally, if you already have a drug crime prior on your record, you multiply the number of such priors by 3 to determine how many extra years in prison are added to your term.
Common Defense Strategies
Given the severity of the possible sentences you face for a manufacture of a controlled substance conviction in California, it is imperative to have a drug crimes defense attorney on your side who knows how to build the best possible defense.
At Leah Legal, we know how to build you a solid defense that fits the details of your situation and that challenges the evidence, arguments, and testimonies used by the prosecution. We have won dismissals, acquittals, and reduced charges/sentences to numerous drug manufacture defense cases over the years, and we stand ready to do the same for you!
Here are some of the most common defense strategies we use in winning these types of cases:
- Lack of Knowledge/Intent
If you were working for someone else and honestly believed you were manufacturing something legitimate OR had no idea what the end product was going to be, and only assisted with intermediate steps without knowledge you were manufacturing illegal drugs or any intent to do so, you are not guilty.
- Actions Preparatory Only
Even if you can be shown to have had an intention to manufacture a controlled substance but you did not actually begin the process - you merely took preparatory actions up to the time of arrest, you can’t be convicted of drug manufacture in California. You must have committed an “overt act of furtherance” to be guilty of this crime. But, an “attempt” to manufacture violates the statute; so it’s important for your defense attorney to be skilled to distinguish between “preparation” and “attempt” here.
- Wrong Place/Time
It often happens that a police sting operation results in arresting innocent people who were simplay at the wrong place at the wrong time. It may be someone else (probably living with you) was secretly manufacturing drugs on your property without your knowledge or consent. Or, you may have been at a drug lab and maybe were guilty of drug use or simple possession - but not manufacture. And the sentencing is very different for lower-tier drug crimes versus drug manufacture, so it’s crucial to get a good drug crime lawyer so you are not falsely convicted of a higher-level crime.
- Mistaken Identity
It could be the police “got the wrong man.” Maybe someone falsely accused you of drug manufacture to find a scapegoat and get off “Scot free” themselves - or just out of meanness or for revenge. It could also be a police informant gave a false tip or an eyewitness made a mistake, resulting in the wrong person being arrested. We know how to clear things up and clear your name by exposing the prosecution’s weak, false case for what it really is.
- Violations of Your Rights
Oftentimes, police make a raid and arrests without a search warrant, outside the limits of their search warrant, or without probable cause, without reading you your Miranda Rights and following all proper police protocols. If so, we will identify how your rights were violated and can likely get your case dismissed pre-trial.
Although we at Leah Legal always first and foremost fight for a dismissal or acquittal - a total victory - there are undeniably cases where such a result is not realistic. In that case, we do not “give up” but simply change our strategy. We continue to fight hard in your best interests with your knowledge and consent, to secure a charge reduction and/or lighter sentence as part of a favorable plea deal.
You can’t qualify for drug diversion programs under Prop 36, PC 1000, or through California’s Drug Court system IF you are convicted of manufacture of a controlled substance. BUT, we may be able to secure you a reduction to a lesser charge that would allow you to enter a drug diversion program.
Drug diversion allows you to enter a “guilty” plea in exchange for your sentencing being deferred while you complete an agreed upon drug rehab and education program (and probation). If successfully completed, your case is ultimately dismissed so that it doesn’t go on your criminal record.
Common Related Offenses
There are many other closely related drug crimes that sometimes come up during a HSC 11379.6 (manufacture of a controlled substance) defense case. Here are some of the most common ones you should be aware of:
- Simple Possession (HSC 11350) or Possession of Meth (HSC11377): It’s sometimes possible to get a drug manufacture charge reduced to that of simple possession of a controlled substance or specifically of methamphetamine. Although these crimes still can result in years in jail or prison and a heavy fine, you can often avoid all or most incarceration time and get approved for drug diversion instead, with the help of a good lawyer.
- Possession For Sale (HSC 11351): Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of selling it is a felony and a very serious charge, but it’s still not punished as severely as is drug manufacturing, so this is another possible charge reduction in certain types of cases.
- Drug Transport/Sale (HSC 11352): If you moved drugs with an intention to sell them or distribute them, or if you actually sold a controlled substance, this charge could be made on top of the drug manufacture charge. It is a felony and punishable by 3 to 5 years behind bars - and up to 9 years if you moved drugs for sale over 3 or more county lines. But again, as severe as it is punished, drug manufacture usually has a still harsher sentence.
- Under the Influence (HSC 11550): Being under the influence of illegal drugs or of misused or wrongly prescribed prescription drugs is a crime in California. Many times, people arrested for drug manufacture are also found to have a “detectable amount of illegal intoxicating drugs” in their system at the time of arrest, and are thus also charged with HSC 11550. But if the drug manufacturing charge can’t be proved, you might only be convicted of being under the influence of a controlled substance, which is a far lesser offense.
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (HSC 11364): Possession of any and all instruments used to administer or personally use illegal drugs, such as needles, pipes, bongs, and cocaine spoons, constitutes the crime of possession of drug paraphernalia. Those charged with manufacturing illegal drugs often have such paraphernalia on hand - but note this differs from “equipment used to manufacture drugs.”
- Possession of Drug Manufacturing “Materials” (HSC 11383/11383.5): If you are found to have knowingly possessed specific substances that are used to manufacture meth or PCP, you could face 2 to 6 years in state prison, besides any prison time for a drug manufacturing offense.
- Allowing Others to Manufacture Drugs (HSC 11366.5): Even if you did not take part at all in manufacturing a controlled substance - IF you did knowingly and willfully allow someone else to do so in your home or on your property of any kind, you have violated HSC 11366.5, which is a felony offense. And, if you allow someone else to store or sell drugs on your property and/or protect the drug manufacturing site or distribution/storage point from police, you also violate this statute.
Contact Us for Immediate Help!
At Leah Legal, we stand ready to rush to your assistance with top-tier legal advice and representation if you have been charged with manufacture of a controlled substance or other related drug crimes.
We combine exceptional legal aptitude with a tenacious, never-say-die attitude that always keeps us fighting for the best interests of each and every client we serve.
Contact Leah Legal anytime 24/7/365, by calling 818-484-1100, and we can give you a free legal consultation and immediate attention to your case!