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CA Health and Safety Code Section 11350

HS Code Section 11350 is the law code that regulates possession of a controlled substance in San Diego County and the State of California. The United States Controlled Substances Act regulates controlled substances on a federal level. The list of controlled substances regulated under this Act can be found under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1300 to 21 CFR §1308.

This list is not exhaustive, however; in other words, a substance does not have to be listed as a controlled substance under this section to be treated as a Schedule I substance for criminal prosecution in the County of San Diego. Schedule I drugs can include heroin, ecstasy (MDMA), marijuana, LSD, GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid), and bath salts.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of HS 11350, the District Attorney must prove the following:

  1. The individual accused was in possession of a controlled substance (unlawfully)
  2. The defendant was aware of the controlled substance’s presence
  3. The defendant was aware of the drug’s character (and that it was a controlled substance)
  4. What type of controlled substance the defendant had on his / her person
  5. The defendant was in possession of a “usable amount” of the drug

Defenses to CA Health & Safety Code Section 11350

There are numerous defenses to a Health and Safety Code Section 11350 allegation, beginning with the stop, detention, and arrest. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Was the stop based on reasonable suspicion supported by specific and articulable facts?
  • Was a warrant supported by probable cause used to effectuate the search or arrest?
  • Was there an exception to the warrant requirement if a warrant was not secured?

If not, a motion to have the evidence suppressed, pursuant to Penal Code Section 1538.5, may be successful. Other defenses include whether or not the drug was actually "possessed" and was there a useable amount. For prescription drug cases, a valid prescription may be a defense. Moreover, drug programs that lead to a dismissal of the charge may be available; for example, Prop 36 and PC 1000.

Contact Kern Law, APC

If you have been charged or are under investigation for violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11350, please contact Kern Law, APC for a free consultation.