It can be a stressful and shameful experience to stand accused of any drug-related charge. If you are being investigated or charged with a drug manufacturing offense, retaining the services of an attorney should be your first step in preparing a defense.
Although every drug manufacturing charge is unique, an experienced attorney will be ready to listen to your side of the story to prepare viable defenses that can work out in your favor for a less severe charge or ultimate dismissal of the case.
At Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney Law Firm, we understand how devastating and stressful it could be for you and your family if you are under investigation or arrest for being involved in manufacturing drugs and narcotics. We will keenly review your case once you contact us to prepare airtight criminal defense arguments that can help you prove your innocence for the best possible outcome on the alleged drug manufacturing charge.
Read this article to learn more about drug manufacturing charges and how to protect your best interests during the prosecution process for the best favorable outcome.
Manufacturing Drugs as Defined Under Health and Safety Code Section 11379.6 HS
According to HS 11379.6, it is illegal to manufacture, compound, produce, process, convert, or prepare a controlled drug substance indirectly or directly by chemical synthesis or chemical extraction. For the sake of this statute, a "controlled substance" could be any of the following drug substances:
- Cocaine (crack)
- Marijuana concentrates
Generally, taking part in any stage of producing or manufacturing any of these types of controlled substances is a crime under HS 11379.6. Below are some of the acts that could attract a charge under this statute:
- Creating an intermediate substance that makes the final product or drug substance
- Selling or distributing specialized equipment or ingredients for manufacturing a controlled substance like cocaine which requires different chemical compounds
- Lending a hand or offering help in the manufacturing process
Although marijuana falls under this list of controlled substances, cultivation and possession of marijuana within certain limits is legal for recreational and medical use. Typically, it is lawful for an adult aged 21 years or above to buy, consume and possess not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana in their private residence or any other place where it is lawful to consume this substance.
However, particular marijuana-related activities are still illegal under federal and state laws, for example:
- Compressing or processing marijuana resin into cooking meth or hashish
- Smoking marijuana in a public place
- Growing or cultivating more than six plants of marijuana at your private residence
According to HS 11379.6, the crime of manufacturing controlled substances or narcotics is chargeable and punishable as a felony. That means you could be subject to severe consequences upon conviction, including steep fines and extensive prison time.
If you are in trouble with the law on suspicion that you were manufacturing a controlled substance, you should talk to an attorney for legal representation henceforth. An experienced attorney will help you understand what you are up against in a manner you can understand best and protect your interest in court for a favorable outcome.
Court Procedures You Should Prepare for After an Arrest for an Alleged Drug Manufacturing Charge
Once a police officer arrests you on suspicion that you are a culprit in a drug manufacturing case, they will take you to their station for booking and processing. For a minor offense or an infraction, arresting officers can allow you to go home after signing a citation to appear in court to counter the alleged charge.
However, a police officer will hold you in jail with other arrestees or convicts for a severe offense like drug manufacturing until your first court hearing, known as the arraignment.
Typically, you should expect the arraignment hearing within 24 hours following an arrest on suspicion that you are a culprit in a drug manufacturing case. However, when the arrest occurs on the weekend or holiday, you will remain in jail for up to 48 hours.
Under any circumstance, you should never undermine the need to have an attorney during this hearing. If you cannot afford a private attorney, the court will appoint a public defender who will represent your best interests henceforth. Here is what to expect during this hearing:
- The court will inform you of the alleged charges
- The court will give you a chance to enter a plea of your choice
- The court will provide you with an opportunity to post bail
Considering the severity of the penalties you could face upon conviction for HS 11379.6 violation, pleading guilty to the alleged charges is not a path you would like to take. With a skilled defense attorney in your corner, you could have this case dismissed or reduced to a less severe charge at trial when you enter a plea of "not guilty."
When you enter a plea of "not guilty," the court will hold a bail hearing within the shortest time possible to determine whether or not you deserve your freedom back, pending the alleged case trial date. If you are eligible to post bail, you should do so as soon as possible to go on with your daily life before the alleged drug manufacturing case's verdict.
Typically, during the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will present drug manufacturing evidence they have against you, including:
- Physical evidence, for example, various types of manufacturing equipment
- Surveillance videos
The purpose of this hearing is to give a judge a chance to determine whether or not the prosecutor has sufficient evidence against you to necessitate a trial on the case. A reliable and skilled attorney can use this chance to convince the judge why your case should not stand trial by pointing out weaknesses in the prosecutor's evidence.
If the judge finds your attorney's arguments convincingly reasonable, they can drop or reduce the alleged drug manufacturing charges against you to a less severe charge.
Typically, if you are out of jail on bail, you should expect a preliminary or "prelim" hearing within 21 days after your initial court appearance. However, if you are still in police custody because you cannot post bail, this hearing must occur within 14 days after the arraignment hearing.
If it is impossible to resolve the alleged case during the preliminary hearing, you should prepare for a trial hearing which is the trickiest stage of the criminal justice system. At the trial hearing, you should expect a panel of 12 jurors ready to make a judgment on the alleged drug manufacturing charge, depending on the evidence the prosecutor and your attorney will present.
However, you have a right to request a bench trial where a judge determines whether or not you are guilty of the alleged charge. To increase the chances of achieving a fair outcome on the alleged charge, an experienced attorney will opt for a jury trial instead of a bench trial because jurors are more likely to be more sympathetic to the alleged case than a judge.
To obtain a conviction against you for HS 11379.6 violation, the prosecutor or district attorney (D.A) must prove the following elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt in front of 12 jurors:
- You knowingly participated in the process of making a controlled drug substance or narcotic
- This participation was at the initial or intermediate stages of this operation
- You did not have the required licensing credentials to do so
According to HS 11379.6, you will be guilty of a drug manufacturing charge even if you did not complete the production or manufacturing of the alleged controlled drug substance. During this hearing, your attorney should be very attentive and keen to detect loopholes in the prosecutor's arguments that were undetected at the preliminary proceeding.
If everything goes to your advantage, the court will consider the allegations against you untrue and drop or reduce the alleged drug manufacturing charge.
Generally, the sentencing hearing can happen separately or merge with the trial hearing upon conviction of the alleged HS 11379.6 violation. Like any other court proceeding, you need your attorney during this proceeding to convince jurors that you deserve the minimum penalty for your offense.
Below are the standard penalties you should expect for a drug manufacturing charge conviction under HS 11379.6:
- Detention in the state prison for three (3), five (5), or seven (7) years
- A maximum of $50,000 fine
Factors That Will Aggravate a Drug Manufacturing Charge Sentence
You could be subject to an additional and consecutive prison term on top of the above standard penalties if any of the following facts are true:
You Have a Prior Criminal Record
If you have a prior criminal for drug-related charges or convictions, you will be subject to harsher consequences upon a conviction for HS 11379.6 violation. Typically, you will be subject to an additional prison term of three years for each past conviction record. Previous drug charges or convictions that would increase your penalty following a conviction for HS 11379.6 violation include:
- Manufacturing a controlled drug substance or narcotic which is illegal under HS 11379.6
- Possession of a controlled drug substance for sale which is illegal under HS 11351
- Transporting and selling a controlled drug substance which illegal under HS 11352
Manufacturing Significant Amounts of a Controlled Drug Substance or Narcotic
If you are guilty of manufacturing or producing a significant amount of a controlled drug substance like crack, methamphetamines, or phencyclidine (PCP), your sentence will become harsher. Typically, you could be subject to an additional prison term of up to 15 years, depending on the amount of drug substance linked to your unique case.
Causing Bodily Injury or Death of Person
You could also face an additional and consecutive prison term if another person is killed or injured in the course of producing or manufacturing a controlled drug substance. Typically, you will be subject to an additional one-year term in prison for each person killed or injured due to your drug manufacturing process if you are guilty of HS 11379.6 violation at trial.
Manufacturing or Producing a Controlled Drug Substance Around or in the Presence of Children
The last factor the court will consider during the sentencing hearing is whether or not a child or children were around when you were manufacturing a controlled substance. If a child under 16 years of age were around when you were manufacturing a controlled substance, you would be subject to extra two (2) years in prison.
When a child aged below 16 years suffers an injury due to your manufacturing efforts, you will be subject to an additional five (5) years in prison. As mentioned earlier, this extra sentence will run consecutively to your original sentence for HS 11379.6 violation.
Other Possible Negative Consequences of a Conviction for HS 11379.6 Violation
A conviction for a drug manufacturing charge under HS 11379.6 will also attract other detrimental consequences, including:
Loss of Gun Ownership Rights
According to Penal Code 29800, a convicted felon has no right to buy, possess or own a firearm. Since a drug manufacturing charge is punishable as a felony, a conviction will result in revocation of your gun ownership rights, which will significantly affect your life, especially if you are a hunter.
Deportation if You are a Non-Citizen
A conviction for HS 11379.6 will also attract negative immigration consequences for aliens or non-citizens. Some of these consequences include:
- Inadmissibility consequences
Typically, if the court declares you inadmissible, you cannot do any of the following:
- Legally re-enter the borders of this country after removal or deportation
- You cannot become a legal green card holder
- You cannot naturalize or become a lawful citizen of this country
Employers Will Be Reluctant to Hire You
Even after completing your sentence for HS 11379.6 violation, it could be challenging to move forward in life with this conviction on your criminal record. A conviction record for a felony drug manufacturing charge will particularly affect you when looking for employment.
A potential employer could be reluctant to hire you in their company if you have a felony conviction on your criminal record.
To have a better chance of achieving the possible outcome on the alleged drug manufacturing charge, you should retain the services of a defense attorney to represent and fight for your best interest in court.
Defenses That Your Attorney Can Argue to Counter the Alleged Drug Manufacturing Charge
There are several effective legal defenses an experienced attorney can apply to counter the alleged drug manufacturing charge for a favorable outcome, including:
You have a right to stay free from unreasonable searches in your private property or on your person. Police officers can only search your private property or residence if they have a search warrant to do so. If a police officer seized evidence in your property without a search warrant, the court will consider this evidence inadmissible and reduce or drop the alleged drug manufacturing charges.
You are a Victim of Entrapment
In most drug manufacturing cases, police arrest suspects through an undercover "sting" operation. That means a police officer can entrap or lure you into committing this offense even if you did not intend to do so using:
Entrapment would be a reasonable legal defense if your attorney can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You did commit the alleged offense
- But you only did so due to the entrapment by the arresting officers, meaning you did not intend to commit the crime
The court could accept this as a legal defense in the alleged drug manufacturing charge if your defense attorney can prove the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
- An eyewitness mistakenly identified you as a culprit in a drug manufacturing process
- The court received information from an undependable and untrustworthy informant
- Someone wants to escape criminal liability by accusing you of HS 11379.6 violation
You Did Not Take Part in the Manufacturing Process
Due to the concealed nature of drug manufacturing labs, you could reside nearby an unlawful drug manufacturing facility without knowing it. Your defense attorney will access and review your case facts to know if this defense argument will work out to your advantage for a less severe charge or dismissal of the case.
Offenses Related to Drug Manufacturing Charge Under HS 11379.6
The prosecutor presiding over your case can also charge you with any of the following closely related crimes if it is impossible to secure a conviction against you on the alleged drug manufacturing charge under HS 11379.6:
Possessing a Controlled Substance for Sale
HS 11351 is the statute that makes it a felony offense to possess a controlled drug substance with the criminal intent of selling it, including:
- Particular prescription drugs like Codeine and Vicodin
Typically, you will be guilty of HS 11351 violation if the prosecutor can prove the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You possessed or purchased a controlled substance
- You knowingly did so
- You were aware of the substance’s nature as an illegal or controlled substance
- The amount you had in possession was sufficient for sale
- You had the controlled substance in your possession with the criminal intent to sell them, or your reason for buying them was to resell them
A conviction for HS 11351 violation will attract the following penalties:
- A probation term in the county jail for a maximum of one year
- A fine not exceeding $20,000
- Two (2), three (3), or four (4) years custody in the state prison
Sale of a Controlled Drug Substance
According to HS 11352, importing, administering, furnishing, selling, and transporting particular controlled drug substances is a crime. These drugs include (but are not limited to):
Generally, possession of drugs for sale is chargeable and punishable as a felony offense. Below are the penalties you should anticipate upon conviction for 11352 violation:
- Up to $20,000
- Formal probation
- Detention in the county jail for three to five years under a Realignment Program or incarceration in the state prison for three, six, or nine years
Possessing Materials Required for the Production or Manufacturing of a Controlled Drug Substance
It is unlawful to possess particular chemicals or ingredients with the intent to manufacture a controlled drug substance. According to HS 11383, this offense is a felony, carrying the following potential penalties:
- Up to $10,000 fine
- Formal probation
- A maximum of six years in the county under the Realignment Program
Even if you did not violate HS 11379.6, the prosecutor could secure a conviction against you for HS 11383 violation as long he/she can prove the following elements of crime at the trial hearing:
- You had ingredients, equipment, or chemicals for manufacturing a controlled substance in your possession, for example, morpholine and cyclohexanone
- You had the criminal intent to manufacture or produce a controlled substance
It is worth noting the above-listed penalties will increase if you have a criminal history or past convictions for drug-related offenses. To stand a chance of attaining an appealing outcome on the alleged drug manufacturing charge, you should speak with an attorney without delay. Ensure the attorney you will hire for legal representation on your unique is:
- Available and accessible to ensure maximum time and attention on your case
- Qualified and experienced
- Credible and reputable
- Legally licensed
- Friendly and courteous
Find a Riverside Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me
Undoubtedly, a conviction for a drug manufacturing charge under HS 11379.6 can ruin your reputation and affect many aspects of your life. Having a dependable attorney on your side is the key to achieving the best possible outcome in the confusing criminal justice system.
We invite you to call Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney Law Firm at 951-946-6366 if you are under investigation or arrest on suspicion that you were manufacturing drugs. When it comes to defending our clients’ legal rights and best interests, our attorneys will stop at nothing until they achieve the best attainable outcome in your case.