Drug Manufacturing in San Diego
In California it is illegal for a person to engage or offer to engage in any of the initial, intermediate, or final steps that are involved in the unlawful production of drugs, narcotics or controlled substances. This offense is further enhanced when the controlled substance is manufactured by chemical extraction of a volatile solvent. Generally, when people hear that someone is facing manufacturing drug charges, the first thing that comes to mind is hash oil. This is because it has become extremely popular to produce this controlled substance by using butane to chemically extract and concentrate compounds of marijuana. Manufacturing butane hash oil is considered a highly dangerous activity because of the explosive nature of butane. In San Diego, the use of this volatile solvent to chemically extract concentrated cannabis within 300 feet of an occupied residence will result in a sentence enhancement. This is because the explosion of butane canisters can cause great bodily injury or death to another person making this an aggravating factor for drug manufacturing charges.
Understanding California Health and Safety Code Section 11379.6
California Health and Safety Code section 11379.6 prohibits any activity that lends itself to the process of manufacturing illegal substances. Which means that in California, you don’t need to be involved in the actual making of the controlled substance to be liable for drug manufacturing. Merely being in possession of a precursor chemical known to be required for the process of manufacturing a controlled substance is a chargeable offense. The presumption in California, under Health and Safety Code section 11383, is that a person in possession of immediate precursors at the same time, if sufficient for manufacturing a controlled substance, will be presumed to be in possession of the controlled substance.
Example: It is illegal to possess hydriotic acid with the intent of manufacturing methamphetamine.
Any chemical or chemical compound known to be required for the process of manufacturing a controlled substance.
- Click this link for the full list of precursory chemicals: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgibin/displaycode?section=hsc&group=11001-12000&file=11383-11384
Any substance for which use and distribution requires a license by the government because it is controlled by law.
- Click this link for the full list of controlled substances: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=hsc&group=11001-12000&file=11053-11058
Controlled Substances Are Classified Into 5 Schedules
- California Health and Safety Code section 11054 classifies opiates as Schedule I Drugs.
- California Health and Safety Code section 11055 classifies raw opium as Schedule II Drugs.
- California Health and Safety Code section 11056 classifies stimulants as Schedule III Drugs.
- California Health and Safety Code section 11057 classifies narcotic drugs as Schedule IV Drugs.
- California Health and Safety Code section 11058 classifies narcotic drugs containing nonnarcotic active medicinal ingredients as Schedule V Drugs.
Example: Smaller doses of Codeine
Understanding Health and Safety Code Section 11379.6
In consideration of the seriousness of drug manufacturing, California Health and Safety Code section 11379.6 has criminalized it under Penal Code section 1170(h). Under this law, “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 in Section 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058 shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, five, or seven years and by a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars.”
Basically, for criminal liability to attach to California Health and Safety Code section 11379.6, the prosecutor must prove the following two elements:
The defendant had dominion, control, or ownership of illicit substance.
The defendant had a mental realization and desire to manufacture illicit substance.
Drug Manufacturing Offenses Are Felonies
A conviction for manufacturing a controlled substance or illicit drug will expose you to felony sentencing.
Felony Penalties for Manufacturing a Controlled Substance:
- A sentence of 3, 5, or 7 years in California state prison;
- A fine of up to $50,000;
- Formal probation.
Felony Penalties for Offering to Manufacture a Controlled Substance:
- A sentence of 3, 4, or 5 years in California state prison;
- A fine of up to $50,000;
- Formal probation.
Enhancements for Drug Manufacturing
An enhancement offense is an offense whose commission alone, increases the penalties for the underlying crime. In other words, you could face a sentence of additional time and consecutive terms in state prison for enhanced offenses. If convicted for drug manufacturing, the prosecutor could request more severe sentencing due to the following enhancement offenses:
You manufactured large quantities of substances that contain PCP, Methamphetamines, or GHB.
The manufacturing took place near schools, playgrounds, where children lived or children were present or harmed.
Great Bodily Injury or Death
While manufacturing PCP or Methamphetamines, you caused another person to suffer great bodily injury or death.
You have certain drug related prior convictions.
Factors to Mitigate Drug Manufacturing Charges
If you are facing drug manufacturing charges for getting caught with a completed product, it may seem like you won’t have much of a defense. Don’t give up, in such situations, the best strategy will be to look for ways to mitigate the punishment—a skilled defense attorney will be able to establish the most effective strategy for your particular case. Here are a couple of the mitigating factors an experienced drug manufacturing criminal defense attorney can argue for the court to consider ordering less severe penalties:
Reduce Quantity of Controlled Substance
Reduce Quality of the Product
Reduce Size of Lab
By skillfully playing down these factors, the right criminal defense attorney could make a case for intent for production for personal use. This will help to reduce your culpability and could lower the potential sentence drastically.
- Defendant has a valid doctor's prescription for the controlled substance.
- Defendant is a licensed caregiver of a patient who has received a doctor's recommendation for the controlled substance.
- Defendant has a valid license, issued by the state of California for drug manufacturing.
- Defendant has a valid permit for the possession of specific chemicals.
Drug manufacturing is a serious charge and convictions may result in several years in prison, huge fines, or both incarceration and fines. Manufacturing drugs charges are highly technical and require a deep knowledge in the area. Contact attorney Vik Monder at (619) 405-0063, he practices this specialized area of criminal defense and will gladly review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the possible consequences. You need a local attorney familiar in the specific judicial system your case is presented before. Attorney Vik Monder is a reputable criminal defense attorney in San Diego, he knows how local judges and local prosecutors work, and can use that knowledge to provide you the BEST defense.