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Charges for Meth Possession & Sales: HS 11377(a) and HS 11378

According to the San Diego Union Tribune (February 5, 2014), methamphetamine deaths, arrests, and inmates who tested positive for meth are on the rise. The number of people who died with meth in their systems in 2012 jumped 55 percent, from 140 to 217.

Those arrested for possession (HS 11377(a)) and possession for sales (HS 11351, HS 11378) were up 56%, from 3993 to 6217. 36 percent of the adult inmates in San Diego County Jail tested positive for methamphetamine. That was up 24 percent from the previous year.

AB 109, which realigned non serious, nonviolent, and non-sexual offenders from state prison to county jails, may account for the increase of inmates testing positive for meth. However, that does not address the underlying issue: the prevalence of methamphetamine in San Diego County.

How the State Proves Meth Sales

To prove Possession of Methamphetamine for Sales: HS 11378, the State must prove the following:

1. The defendant (sold/furnished/administered/gave away/ transported/imported into California) a controlled substance;

2. The defendant knew of its presence;

3. The defendant knew of the substance's nature or character as a controlled substance;


4. The controlled substance was the following: insert the name of the controlled substance


5. The controlled substance was in a usable amount.

There are defenses to a HS 11378 charge. There are Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment considerations that are typically present for HS 11378 allegations. Moreover, there may be issues dealing with possession – actual or constructive possession. There may be many other defenses that will be case specific.

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