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Unlawful Possession of Xanax – HS 11375(b)(2)

Possession of Xanax without a valid prescription is illegal under California law. There are 18 drugs listed under HS 11375(c) that include prescription drugs such as Xanax, which are illegal to possess without a valid prescription.

In order for someone to be convicted of unlawful possession of Xanax, the district attorney must prove the following:

  • The person did not have a valid prescription;
  • The person exercised control over the drug (or had the right to do so);
  • The person knew of the drug’s presence;
  • The person knew of its nature as a controlled substance; and
  • There was a sufficient quantity of the drug to be used as a controlled substance.

The consequences of a conviction for HS 11375(b)(2), even though a misdemeanor, may result in jail, probation, a conviction on one’s record, fines, and loss of Fourth Amendment rights. If one is convicted for Possession for Sale, HS 11375(b)(1), he or she can be charged with a felony and sentenced to State Prison.


There are many defenses to HS 11375(b)(2). A valid prescription will prevent a successful prosecution; and no actual possession of the drug will also be a complete defense. The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution requires law enforcement to obtain a valid search warrant before it conducts a search; or to have a valid exception. This protection includes homes, vehicles, purses, and other personal belongings. If law enforcement did not have a valid warrant and there is no warrant exception, the evidence seized may be inadmissible in court, which may lead to the case being dismissed. A violation of the Fifth Amendment – right to remain silent – may also be applicable if an incriminating statement was made when an attorney should have been present or the statement was coerced. There will be other defenses that are case-specific.

At Kern Law, APC, we have spent 18 years representing clients charged with unlawful possession of Xanax, HS 11375(b)(2). Contact my office today for a consultation.