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Manufacture of Controlled Substance in California

If you are accused of manufacturing drugs, you may face serious criminal charges. Manufacturing drugs is a felony offense in California. Penalties include up to seven years in jail, and a fine of up to $50,000. Many people charged with manufacturing a controlled substance are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you are facing drug manufacturing charges, contact your experienced East Bay criminal defense attorney.

Manufacturing Drugs in California

Some drugs, such as marijuana, are consumed without significant processing. Other controlled substances are created through chemical processing, compounding, manufacturing, or converting. Drugs are manufactured as a way for individuals to get drugs at a lower cost, access difficult to obtain drugs or to be sold to make money. Manufactured drugs include:

  • Methamphetamines
  • Ecstasy/MDMA
  • PCP
  • Crack cocaine
  • LSD
  • Marijuana concentrates

California Health and Safety Code 11379

Manufacturing a controlled substance is a violation of California Health and Safety Code 11379.6. Every person who manufactures, compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance specified by law shall be punished by imprisonment for three, five, or seven years.

Penalties for Drug Manufacturing in California

Penalties for drug manufacturing depend on the location of drug manufacturing, the amount of drugs involved, the individual's criminal history, and whether any other criminal activity was taking place. Manufacturing a controlled substance is a felony. Penalties include 3, 5, or 7 years in prison, and a fine of up to $50,000.

If large quantities of drugs are involved in manufacturing, there may be additional penalties, up to 15 years additional prison time. Simply offering to manufacture drugs in punishable by 3, 4, or 5, years in prison, even if no drugs were ever handled.

A conviction does not require the defendant completed the process of manufacturing a controlled substance. It only involves knowingly participating in the beginning or intermediate steps to process a controlled substance.

There is a number of aggravating factors that the sentencing court can consider when imposing a sentence. Aggravating factors can increase the potential penalties involved. This includes:

  • A person under 16 years old resided in the structure where methamphetamines were manufactured;
  • Methamphetamines were manufactured within 200 feet of an occupied residence or structure with another person present; or
  • Use of a volatile solvent to chemically extract concentrated cannabis within 300 feet of an occupied residence or structure with another person present.

Manufacturing methamphetamines can be a dangerous process, involving toxic chemicals and the risk of fire or explosion. Because of the dangers involved, making meth in a structure where a child is present can result in an additional 2 years in prison. If a child is injured in the manufacture of meth, a conviction for manufacturing drugs can result in an additional 5-year prison term.

Manufacturing drugs can also involve other criminal charges. Drug manufacturing can be associated with drug sales, gang activity, organized crime, and weapons charges. This may result in multiple felony charges, including conspiracy to commit criminal offenses associated with multiple people involved in drug manufacturing.

In addition to prison time and fines, the court can impose a number of parole conditions after the individual is released from prison. This includes required check-ins with a parole officer, avoiding contact with certain individuals, required drug testing, and submitting to random searches. A felony conviction may also impact your rights to own a gun, right to serve on a jury, and make it more difficult to find a job.

Controlled Substances Act

Controlled substances in the U.S. are classified by the federal government. Under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA), drugs are categorized based on their medical uses, the potential for abuse, and safety level. However, many have criticized how specific drugs are categorized under this system. Marijuana, although legal for recreational and medical use in California, is still classified as Schedule I--the same classification as heroin.

There are 5 schedules of controlled substances under the CSA. Schedule I are generally considered more dangerous, with Schedule V substances considered the least dangerous.

  • Schedule I drugs are considered to have no valid medical purpose with a high potential for abuse. This includes MDMA, mescaline, GHB, LSD, and marijuana.
  • Schedule II drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse as well as a currently accepted medical value. This includes Percocet, fentanyl, morphine, methamphetamines, and OxyContin.
  • Schedule III drugs are considered to have a currently accepted medical use with some potential for abuse, but are considered safer than Schedule I or II drugs. These include commonly prescribed steroids, antidepressants, and appetite suppressants.
  • Schedule IV and V drugs are considered to have a lower potential for abuse than the other schedule drugs. These include a number of common prescription drugs, like Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Ativan, and prescription cough medicine.

Defenses to Drug Manufacturing Charges

There are a number of possible defenses to drug manufacturing charges. This includes visiting a location to buy drugs and not to manufacture drugs, unlawful search and seizure by law enforcement, manufacturing a non-controlled substance, or mistaken identity. Talk to your attorney about the defenses available in your case. Your attorney will review the criminal police records, investigate your case, and identify your best defenses.

Your attorney can challenge the prosecutor's evidence through a motion to suppress and other pretrial motions. Successful challenges to the evidence can result in the prosecutor dropping the charges against you without even going to trial.

East Bay Drug Crime Lawyer

Lynn Gorelick has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience defending her clients accused of drug manufacturing and drug sales. She understands how to approach the individual facts of each case for the greatest chance of success, keeping her clients out of jail and maintaining a clean record. Whether you are arrested in Oakland, Richmond or anywhere else in Contra Costa or Alameda Counties, contact Lynn Gorelick understands you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.

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