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    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

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    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

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What Is A Controlled Substance?

Posted in California Law,Criminal Defense,Drug FAQ'S on February 10, 2022

The majority of drug crimes in California rely on controlled substances being involved. However, you may not be sure what a controlled substance is or why you are being charged with a drug offense in the first place. 

Controlled substances are illegal for individuals to possess or consume under state and federal law. When you have been accused of a crime involving a controlled substance, contacting a California drug lawyer at the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath can help you determine how to approach your defense. 

What are Controlled Substances in California?

Illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy, LSD, methamphetamines, and other types of drugs, are classified into categories of controlled substances, known as “schedules.” 

Crimes involving controlled substances are referred to as drug crimes. They can be prosecuted as infractions, misdemeanors, wobbler crimes, or even felonies, depending on the specific details of your case.

The various penalties you can face will vary widely depending on the type of drug crime you are charged with, which schedule the drug in question falls into, the amount of drug in question, and whether there are any other aggravating factors present.

How Does California Classify Controlled Substances? 

Controlled substances in California are divided into five different schedules. Schedule I drugs, including hallucinogens and heroin, are highly addictive and are not used medically. On the other end, Schedule V drugs, such as codeine, carry a low risk for addiction and are widely used medically.

The California Health and Safety Code Sections 11053 through 11058 can give you a better idea of which specific drugs fall into which schedule of controlled substances. For example, morphine may be considered a Schedule II drug, whereas diazepam is a Schedule IV drug.

Crimes and Penalties for Controlled Substances in CA 

The consequences you will face for a drug crime conviction vary widely depending on the type of drug crime you were charged with. Possession of a controlled substance is generally a misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to one year in county jail and fines of up to $1,000.

However, if you were convicted of manufacturing a controlled substance, you would likely face felony charges, punishable by up to seven years in prison, and fines as high as $50,000 under California’s Health and Safety Code 11379.6.

In addition to imprisonment and fines, there are many collateral consequences associated with drug convictions that you should be aware of. Some of which include:

  • Child custody issues
  • Court-mandated drug treatment
  • Probation Requirements
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • Citizenship or immigration issues
  • Completion of court-mandated mental health counseling
  • Community service
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license

These are just a few of the penalties you can expect to deal with if you are found guilty of a crime involving a controlled substance in California. Find out how to best approach your defense when you contact a dedicated California drug lawyer for help.

Get Help From a California Drug Lawyer 

There are multiple drug crimes involving controlled substances you could be facing. Get help understanding the extent of the charges against you and the penalties you are facing when you contact a powerful California drug lawyer at the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath

Schedule your confidential consultation today when you call our Riverside office at 951-667-5293 or our Orange County office at 714-758-5293 or fill out our convenient contact form, and we will reach out to you to find out more about the drug charges against you.