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What Drug Crimes Are Felonies?

What Are Drug Crimes?

Drug crimes range anywhere from possession to drug trafficking, so the legal defenses and penalties vary greatly.
Drug crimes include:

  • Possession
  • Possession for sale
  • Manufacturing
  • Under the influence
  • DUI
  • Cultivating, selling, or possessing more than the allowed amount of marijuana

What Drug Crimes Are Felonies?

Drug crimes are classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific crime and/or the circumstances surrounding the crime. Those that are classified as felonies receive harsher penalties. The following drug crimes are classified as felonies.

Health and Safety Code 11351 states that it is a felony to possess certain illegal drugs with the intention of selling them. Some of the controlled substances under this law include:

  • Opiates
  • Cocaine
  • Peyotes
  • Heroin
  • GBH Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid
  • Some hallucinogenic substance
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Codeine

In order to be guilty of possession for sale, you had to know that you possessed or purchased enough of the drug to sell, knew the nature of the drug, and had the intent to sell.

Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance

Under Health and Safety Code 11352, it is a felony to sell, furnish, administer, give away, transport, or import illegal narcotics into California. HS 11352 refers the following illegal drugs:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Peyote
  • LSD
  • Prescribed drugs such as codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone

It is an illegal felony under Health and Safety Code 11379 to:

  • Sell or exchange methamphetamine for money, goods, services, or anything of value
  • Transport methamphetamine from one location to another with the intent to sell or distribute it
  • Distribute methamphetamine or provide it for other people
  • Administer methamphetamine to someone else
  • Attempt to do any of the above

In order to be guilty of transportation or distribution of methamphetamine, the following have to be proven:

  • The defendant engaged in one of the above activities
  • The defendant knew that there were drugs present and knew of their nature as a controlled substance
  • The defendant sold or transported a usable amount of methamphetamine

Under Health and Safety Code 11379.6, it is a felony to manufacture, produce, compound, or process illegal drugs. Drug manufacturing is the illegal production of drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances. It’s prohibited to engage in or offer to engage in any activity that helps in the manufacturing of illegal substances.
You do not have to finish the manufacturing process to be guilty of drug manufacturing. This crime is committed as soon as the drug manufacturing process begins.

Some of the most commonly manufactured controlled substances in the United States are:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines (Meth)
  • PCP
  • Heroin
  • Ectasy
  • LSD

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Driving under the influence of drugs can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime. It can be charged as a felony if any of the following are true:

  • It is the fourth or subsequent DUI offense for the defendant
  • The defendant has any prior felonies
  • Someone (other than the defendant) was injured because of the DUI

Sale and/or Transport of Marijuana

Even though marijuana is now legal in California, it is still a crime to sell or transport it without both a state and local license. Usually, this is a misdemeanor unless it is committed by someone with serious criminal history, in which case it would be a felony.

Keep in mind that many drug crimes that are classified as misdemeanors can be elevated to felonies depending on criminal history.

If you or a loved one has been accused or charged with a felony drug crime, it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you have any questions, don’t go it alone. Mark Broughton will sit down with you one-on-one to review your case and your options for the best possible outcome.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.