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HS 11377(a): Possession of Methamphetamine

HS 11377(a) is the California law that governs possession of methamphetamine and various other controlled substances. It is a very serious offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the amount of the drug involved. Recently, law enforcement has reported increased arrests in San Diego County with adults and juveniles.

Typically, the charge involves possession of methamphetamine, but can include other substances. To prove HS 11377(a), the district attorney must prove the following:

  • The defendant [unlawfully] possessed a controlled substance;
  • The defendant knew of its presence;
  • The defendant knew of the substance's nature or character as a controlled substance;
  • The controlled substance was (identify the controlled substance); and
  • The controlled substance was in a usable amount.

The useable amount does not have to be enough to create an effect on the user. Debris or trace amounts are not considered useable and cannot be prosecuted. A valid, written prescription from a licensed physician, podiatrist, veterinarian, or dentist in the State of California may provide a complete defense to an allegation of HS 11377(a)

What to Do after an Arrest for HS 11377(a)

If arrested for suspicion of HS 11377(a), remain silent. The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution protects against self-incrimination. That is, when you are in custody and being interrogated, you have the right to do two things: remain silent and request an attorney. Utilize these rights – most of the information provided to law enforcement during this interview will be used against you. Law enforcement has no duty tell you the truth during an interview. Often, police officers will make incorrect statements in the hope that you will admit or confess to a crime. The only way you can guarantee that you have not hurt your case is to remain silent.

Contact Kern Law, APC

HS11377 (a) is a very serious allegation and having an experienced attorney is critical. There may be Fourth Amendment rights that your attorney can attack. For example, if a search or seizure was performed without probable cause, without a warrant, or a warrant exception (emergency, plain view, etc.), he or she may be able to have the evidence suppressed. The suppression of this evidence may lead to a dismissal of your case.

Furthermore, there are drug programs – Prop 36, PC 1000, etc., – that may be available when someone is confronted with this charge.

If you have been charged with HS 11377(a), contact Kern Law, APC today, speak with me personally, and I will provide you with a free case evaluation.