How Does California Law Define Manufacturing a Controlled Substance?

According to California Health and Safety Code 11379.6, anyone accused of producing, processing, or manufacturing controlled substances can be charged with a criminal offense. Some examples of controlled substances that can be found under this statute include:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • DMT
  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamines
  • Mushrooms
  • Peyote
  • Opium

Prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction. To demonstrate the elements of the offense have been met, the district attorney must show that:

  • The defendant prepared, produced, or manufactured a controlled substance
  • The defendant knew and had the intent to manufacture a controlled substance

What is the California Schedule of Controlled Substances?

The Schedule of Controlled Substances describes how narcotics and illicit drugs are classified. There are five separate Schedules of controlled substances. Controlled substances with a greater propensity for addiction or misuse (and no medically-accepted use) are more likely to be categorized as Schedule I or II controlled substances.

Alternatively, suppose a controlled substance is used within the medical community and has no significant propensity for addiction or misuse. In that case, it may be classified as a schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance.

Here are some of the different types of controlled substances found in each Schedule:

Schedule I Controlled Substances in California

Schedule I controlled substances are the most severe type of drug. They are the most likely to be misused or addictive and have no accepted use in the medical community. Examples include:

  • LSD and other hallucinogens
  • Heroin
  • Opiates
  • Cocaine
  • PCP
  • Peyote
  • Mescaline

Schedule II Controlled Substances in California

Schedule II controlled substances are a classification of drugs that are highly addictive and have minimal use within the medical community. Some examples include:

  • Raw opium
  • Amphetamines
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Vicodin

Schedule III Controlled Substances in California

Schedule III controlled substances can be addictive but have some accepted medical use. Examples of Schedule III controlled substances include:

  • Pentobarbital
  • Ketamine
  • Lysergic acid
  • Testosterone

Schedule IV Controlled Substances in California

Schedule IV controlled substances are not as addictive but can be misused. They are accepted within the medical community with a prescription. Examples of Schedule IV controlled substances include:

  • Zolpidem
  • Diazepam
  • Ativan
  • Xanax
  • Ambien
  • Tramadol

Schedule V Controlled Substances in California

Schedule V controlled substances are rarely addictive but can be misused. They have accepted use within the medical community as long as a doctor writes a prescription. Examples of schedule V controlled substances include:

  • Diphenoxylate
  • Low doses of codeine
  • Ethylmorphine
  • Buprenorphine
  • Difenoxin

Penalties for Manufacturing a Controlled Substance in California

If you are found guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance under California Health and Safety Code 11379, you could face severe penalties. Fines can reach up to $50,000, and you could spend up to seven years in a California state prison. In addition to criminal penalties, there are also collateral consequences.

You could be ordered to participate in drug or alcohol treatment, see a mental health counselor, lose your firearm rights, and face deportation or other immigration issues.

California state law also has sentencing enhancements based on the volume of the manufactured drug and whether you are accused of manufacturing drugs in places children may frequent, such as playgrounds or schools.

You may also face additional penalties if you are charged with manufacturing a controlled substance alongside another type of drug offense, including:

How to Defend Against Manufacturing a Controlled Substance Charges in California

Several defenses could be used to challenge the drug manufacturing charges against you. Your manufacturing a controlled substance attorney will diligently analyze your case’s details to determine the most suitable strategy.

Common defenses used to fight drug manufacturing charges include:

  • The defendant’s arrest and evidence were obtained after an unlawful search and seizure.
  • The district attorney failed to file criminal charges within the three-year statute of limitations.
  • Mistake of fact or wrongful identification of the defendant
  • Police entrapped the defendant through pressure, fraud, or harassment.

You Could Be Eligible for a California Drug Diversion Program

Instead of defending yourself at trial, you might be eligible to enter a pretrial diversion program. California offers drug diversion programs to non-violent offenders. You may also qualify if this is your first time being charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.

Upon entering a drug diversion program, you must agree to participate in drug or alcohol treatment and abide by other terms. You must complete the requirements of your drug diversion program for the district attorney to drop the drug manufacturing charges against you or reduce them to a lesser offense.

Suppose you fail to adhere to the requirements of your drug diversion program. In that case, you could expect the prosecutor to move forward with the initial drug manufacturing charges. They could potentially increase the offenses to drug manufacturing for sale, dramatically extending the penalties you face.

When Does Manufacturing a Controlled Substance Become a Federal Offense in California?

There are two primary instances where a manufacturing a controlled substance offense could lead to federal charges. First, if you are accused of manufacturing large amounts of controlled substances, it is more likely that federal prosecutors will pick up your case.

You could also face federal charges for manufacturing controlled substances if you sell or transport controlled substances across state lines or internationally. The consequences of a federal drug crime conviction are far more severe than at the state level. You could face much heavier fines and more prolonged incarceration at a federal prison.