California is among those states in the country that have made it illegal to manufacture illegal drugs and other controlled substances. Any person found guilty of the same can face severe charges for drug manufacturing, which might lead to incarceration and payment of hefty fines if convicted. There are certain drugs, such as marijuana, whose production is allowed, but only if it is for personal or medical benefits.

Due to the severe nature of drug crimes in California, it is possible for a person to be accused of manufacturing drugs while in the real sense they are doing it for the medical benefits or they already have consent from the authority. If this is your situation, it is advisable to get in touch with an experienced criminal attorney for the best legal defense. At California Criminal Lawyer Group, we offer quality criminal defense services in areas surrounding San Jose, CA. We may be able to have your charges reduced or dropped.

Understanding the Crime of Manufacturing Drugs

Manufacture and cultivation of illegal drugs is a severe offense under both state and federal laws. This, however, is an exception to the cultivation and production of marijuana, which is allowed in some states though only for personal use. The state of California has clear laws on the kinds of controlled substances a person should not cultivate and manufacture, followed by a clear sentencing guideline for those that are found guilty of the offense.

The manufacturing of illegal drugs happens when a person engages in any step of the production of the said drug. If, therefore, you are found guilty of possessing or even selling equipment used in the manufacturing of an illegal drug, or precursor items related to the same, you may face a conviction for drug manufacturing. The same applies to any person found guilty of offering or agreeing to help in the cultivation or production of a particular illegal drug.

In the state of California, the law against the manufacturing of illegal drugs is under Section 11379.6 of the state's Health & Safety Code. According to this law, no person is allowed by law to manufacture any controlled substance. The law, in this case, applies to a wide range of illegal drugs, among them narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, opiates, and ecstasy. The offense is a serious felony that could leave the offender serving several years in jail and paying hefty fines, among other penalties.

Manufacturing of illegal drugs could happen in more than one way, including compounding, converting, producing, deriving, processing, and preparing the unlawful drug, both directly and indirectly. Production could happen through the use of chemical extractions or chemical synthesis. What this means is that any person that owns or operates a methamphetamine lab is as guilty as the one that could be making hashish in his/her garage. The same goes for the one mixing precursor chemicals to produce some narcotics.

For a person to be found guilty of this offense, the prosecutor must be able to prove some elements or the facts of the crime before the court. They are:

  • That the defendant compounded, prepared, or manufactured a controlled drug.

  • That the defendant was well-aware of the nature of the drug they were preparing, manufacturing or compounding as a controlled substance

A controlled substance, as used in this statute, means a drug under regulation by the US Controlled Substances Law. Examples of controlled drugs in the country include:

  • Heroin

  • Ecstasy

  • PCP

  • Cocaine

  • Marijuana

  • LSD

  • Methamphetamines

The prosecutor will be tasked by the court to prove that the drug the offender was manufacturing was indeed a controlled substance. However, he/she will not have to confirm that the defendant was aware of the type of controlled substance they were manufacturing. The only proof the court needs is that the accused knew that the drug they were making is illegal in the state. Again, the defendant should not have completed the production or manufacturing of the drug for them to face conviction under this law. In summary, the prosecutor will only need to prove that:

  • The defendant knowingly participated in a process involving the production of a controlled drug.

  • The defendant’s participation at the time of arrest was at the beginning or intermediate steps in the process of the entire operation

Example: Three friends, Jim, Terry, and Sam, decide to make some heroin in an abandoned house on their street. In the middle of the process, Sam receives a call from his girlfriend, which prompts him to leave his friends, finishing up the process. When they are still in the process, Sheryl, Jim's girlfriend, joins them. When they are about to finish, they are discovered by the police, who arrest them for manufacturing an illegal drug.

During interrogation, they mention Sam, who had to leave earlier on in the process. Sam, however, says he is not guilty since he did not go through the production to the end. However, since he was there at the beginning of the process, he is as guilty as his friends.

Sheryl tries to defend herself that she was not aware of what her boyfriend and his friends were up to. However, since she knew that what the guys were producing was an illegal drug, she is also guilty of the offense, even though she did not know the specific drug that they were producing.

What Drugs are Covered Under This Law

The state of California has strict regulations regarding possession and use of controlled substances. These stringent regulations apply to all well-known drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, as well as the compounds used in their manufacture. Controlled substances, drugs, and specific chemicals in California are categorized under five distinct schedules, based on their medicinal use, the likelihood of the drug to be abused, and its dependency potential. The ability of the drug to be abused is the primary determinant of the schedule where the drug will be categorized. The five schedules include:

Schedule I Substances

They are the drugs that have the highest potential for abuse. It means that the use of these drugs may create severe physical or psychological dependence. In addition to that, they are drugs with no acceptable medical use. These are, for instance, heroin, opiates, and hallucinogens.

Schedule II Substances

They are those drugs that have a slightly lower potent for abuse when compared to the drugs under Schedule 1 category. Still, their continued use could result in severe physical and psychological dependence. For that reason, they are dangerous drugs, just the same as those categorized under Schedule 1. Examples include morphine, raw opium, and oxycodone, among others.

Schedule III Substances

They are, for instance, anabolic steroids and pentobarbital. They have a much lower potential for abuse when compared to the two schedules above. Their potential for damage could cause psychological or physical dependence.

Schedule IV Substances

These have a slight potential for abuse. Examples include zolpidem, Xanax, Darvon, Darvocet, Soma, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, Tramadol, Talwin, and diazepam.

Schedule V Substances

Drugs under this category have the least potential for abuse. They are those chemicals, substances, or drugs whose production is with limited amounts of certain narcotics. Most drugs under this category are those that are used for analgesic, antidiarrheal and antitussive purposes. Examples of these drugs include Motofen, Parepectolin, and Lyrica.

These listings are usually not comprehensive and are only meant to provide a general reference on the most common controlled substances in the state.

Consequences of Getting a Manufacturing Drugs Conviction in California

Drug-related crimes are some of those crimes that are severely punished in the state of California. A conviction of manufacturing drugs will, therefore, not be an exception. If the court finds you guilty of the offense, you will be convicted of a felony offense punishable by:

  • A maximum of seven years behind bars

  • A fine of not more than $50,000

The court can give you the two punishments or one, depending on your criminal record and the circumstances surrounding the offense.

Note that the length of your incarceration will be determined by the amount of substances you were found guilty of manufacturing. If the amounts were plentiful, you would get a more extended time behind bars, even if the production was incomplete at the time of the arrest.

Other than prison terms and payment of fines, a conviction for any drug-related crime attracts other consequences that a suspected offender should be aware of. This particular offense will result in the following outcomes:

Immigration Consequences

Offenses that revolve around dangerous substances and drugs are considered crimes of moral turpitude. For that reason, they are likely to affect your immigration status in the United States. It means that if you are already living in California are found guilty of manufacturing a controlled drug, you could face deportation. Similarly, if you have a record of a conviction for producing drugs, you will be marked as inadmissible to the United States.

In addition to that, dangerous crimes such as the manufacturing of controlled substances are categorized as aggravated felony offenses in the state of California. Any noncitizen found guilty of such crimes must face deportation. As if that is not enough, some types of relief are made inaccessible for anyone that faces conviction for aggravated felony offenses in the state. Some of these reliefs include:

  • Asylum relief

  • Cancellation of removal

  • I-212 hardship waivers

  • Permission to reapply to be admitted back in the country after deportation

No Record Expungement

Record expungement is a privilege that allows anyone that has been arrested in the past to erase the record of arrest out of their criminal record, and any negative consequence it might have in their future. However, this is not a privilege that can be enjoyed by those people who get convicted of manufacturing drugs in California.

It means that this record will remain in your criminal record and accessible by the members of the public, including potential employers and other service providers. Consequently, the ex-convict may have a hard time getting suitable employment or even better rates for services such as insurance.

Generally, California does not allow record expungement for those who have faced conviction for crimes that resulted in prison sentences.

Gun Rights

A conviction for manufacturing drugs in California will also affect your gun rights. It means that the convicted person will lose their gun rights and so, will not be allowed to keep a gun or even acquire one. California law does not allow any person that has been convicted for a felony offense to own or buy a gun

Possible Legal Defenses for Manufacturing Drugs in California

From the consequences listed above, it is clear that manufacturing controlled substances are among the most severely punished crimes in the state of California. If, therefore, you are under suspicion for the same, it is advisable to get in touch with an experienced criminal attorney. With proper legal defense, you may be able to avoid the harsh penalties and have your charges either reduced or dropped. The good thing is that there are several legal defense strategies that an experienced criminal attorney can use in your case. Some of them are:

You Had Authority Consent to Produce the Drug

If a person has consent from the authorities to produce such drugs as medical-grade marijuana, they are not guilty or manufacturing drugs as provided under Section 11379.6 of California’s Health & Safety Code. If you have sought consent and you have a document to prove it, your attorney must be able to show it to the court as proof of consent. In that case, the court will dismiss your charges and set you free.

Note that authorities can give consent to the manufacturing of only certain types of drugs. If that happens, the amount of drugs to be manufactured will be strictly regulated and must not exceed that which is required. Again, only particular people will be given a license for drug manufacturing, for instance, caregivers who might need the drug to aid with the treatment.

The Police Subjected You to Illegal Search & Seizure

Even though the police are supposed to do their best to gather evidence in case of commission of a crime, California laws protect its people from illegal search and seizure. When the police conduct a search on personal property without a warrant, the evidence gathered may be inadmissible in court if there is proof that the search was illegal. If this is what happened in your case, you may be able to compel the court to dismiss all the evidence gathered against you. Your attorney will, however, prove to the court that the police conduct was illegal.

The police, on the other hand, will be allowed to explain why they did not have a warrant for the search or seizure. The court will have to listen to both sides to make a verdict. If there is proof that the search and/or seizure was illegal, your charges could be dropped or reduced to a lesser charge.

That Yours Was a Case of Entrapment

Again, the police might use entrapment to ensure that they catch an offender in the act. This strategy is mostly used by undercover detectives who are working on unmasking a particular criminal operation. Entrapment can work very well, as it involves arresting the offender in the act or crime scene. However, if the police lure the offender into committing the crime, the court may be compelled to dismiss all the pieces of evidence gathered against him/her.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to make arrests in cases involving manufacturing illegal drugs unless the police go undercover. Most drug-related arrests that happen in California have been made this way. A smart criminal attorney understands how entrapment works and will, therefore, seek to find the methods used by the police to lure the offender into committing the offense.

If, for instance, there was the use of pressure, fraud, harassment, threats, or flattery, it will be a straight case of entrapment. If this is used in your defense, the court may have to dismiss all the evidence gathered against will leave the prosecutor with little proof, which may not be sufficient to convict you.

That The Process Was Just In Its Preparation Stage

Preparing to manufacture a drug is not the same as making the drug. In this case, the offender may not be guilty of the said offense. If the process was in its preparation stage, it means that the prosecutor will not have enough evidence to convict you under Section 11379.6 of California’s Health & Safety Code. According to this law, the offender must have begun the manufacturing process for them to be found guilty

California Manufacturing Drugs and Related Offenses

There are certain offenses under California laws closely related to California manufacturing drugs. Some of these offenses can be charged together with Section 11379.6, and others can be charged in place of Section 11379.6. These offenses are:

Possession of Controlled Substances for Sale

This offense is covered under Section 11351 of the California Health & Safety Code. Just as its title suggests, the prosecutor will have two elements to prove to find the offender guilty of this offense:

  • That he/she was found in possession of a controlled substance

  • That the offender intended to sell the substance

The offender may not admit to the intent of selling the drug, but there are indications of sale such as:

  • That the illegal drug was in large quantities

  • That the drug was packaged in separate bundles

  • That there was a lot of cash, found together with the substance, especially amounts in small denominations

  • That there were scales in the scene of the crime

  • That there was a lot of traffic in the scene of the crime, with people only staying for a few minutes

A person found guilty of possession of illegal substances for sale will be convicted to a maximum of four years in jail, with a maximum fine of $20,000.

The similarity this offense has with manufacturing drugs is that both laws cover the same substances.

Running a Drug House

This crime is under Section 11366 of the California Health & Safety Code. According to this law, it is unlawful for a person to do the following:

  • Maintain or run a room, house, building or place

  • To do the above to sell or give controlled substances

Note that maintaining or running a drug house is not necessary for a person to be convicted of manufacturing drugs under Section 11379.6. However, both offenses include the same illegal substances.

The crime of maintaining or running a drug house is a wobbler in California, which means that it can either be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. As a misdemeanor offense, anyone found guilty of the crime may be punished by a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of not more than $1,000. However, as a felony offense, the punishment could be graver. The offender might get a maximum of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, the offender may end up losing the property that was used for the sale or distribution of drugs.

Find San Jose Criminal Attorney Law Firm Near Me

California is quite strict when it comes to the use, production, or distribution of dangerous substances. For that reason, anyone found guilty of manufacturing drugs can face severe consequences, which could affect almost all aspects of their life. It is in your best interest to hire an attorney. At California Criminal Lawyer Group, we understand how severe the consequences of a conviction could be. It is why we offer quality criminal defense services to people living in San Jose, CA. If you or your loved one is facing charges for manufacturing drugs, call us at 408-622-0204. We will walk with you throughout the process as well as prepare a strong defense against your charges.