December 27, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

California law prohibits the possession of certain controlled substances or other illegal drugs for the purposes of sale. Such drugs include hydrocodone, PCP, cocaine, heroin, morphine, and codeine.Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11351, being in possession of drugs with the intent to sell them is a felony offense. A conviction can result in a two, three, or four-year prison sentence.A violation of HS 11351 is different from a simple possession offense (under California Health and Safety Code Section 11350) because the allegation not only includes unlawful possession but also the illegal intent to sell the drugs in possession. As a result, being in possession of drugs for the purpose of selling them is a more serious crime that is not eligible for any kind of drug rehabilitation program such as PC 1000 or Prop 36.When you are arrested for illegal possession of drugs, the intent to sell arises from an inference the police make when considering the circumstances of the arrest. You may be further accused of having the intent to sell if:

  • You were caught with a quantity of drugs that is larger than necessary for personal use,
  • The drugs were individually packaged for sale,
  • Police found a weight scale, business records, or other items associated with sale purposes,
  • There is an absence of drug paraphernalia – such as a pipe – that would indicate personal use,
  • And a number of other circumstances that would suggest an intent to sell the drugs in possession.

After you are arrested, you will be taken into custody where you will remain until your arraignment court date. However, if you can post bail, you will be released from police custody until your arraignment. It is possible to sufficiently post bail by paying up to 10% of the total bail amount, which can be done through a bail bondsman.If you are unable to post bail, you arraignment date will be scheduled within two court days after the arrest date. However, if you are released early by posting bail, your arraignment may be continued to a later date. This can afford you up to three months to find a criminal defense attorney who can help you through this matter.With an attorney on your side, you can significantly increase your chances of getting a reduced charge, a lenient sentence, or an outright acquittal. The earlier you obtain an attorney, the better your chances. For example, an attorney can negotiate with the prosecution about possibly reducing the charge to a lesser crime or dismissing your case altogether before it is even filed.If you are still required to appear at your arraignment, your attorney will also be there with you to advise you on the best plea for you to enter. Typically, the best plea to enter is “not guilty” or a request for a continuance in order to further assess the case and review the evidence. You would not have to appear at all to any court appearances if your attorney had been able to negotiate your possession charge down to a misdemeanor offense. This is a huge benefit because it means you would not have to take time away from work or school to wait at a courthouse to stand before a judge.After the arraignment, the court will normally schedule a pretrial hearing where your attorney will negotiate with the prosecution to bring about a beneficial resolution for both sides. Even if your attorney may not be able to negotiate a full acquittal, if he/she can reduce the charge to a misdemeanor possession charge, you will be eligible for a drug diversion program, which also leads to a full dismissal.To learn more about the process following an arrest, please visit us online at and click on “Criminal Process.”If you are arrested for illegally possessing drugs with the intent to sell them, it is very important that you seek the knowledge and expertise of a skilled criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have been in practice for over 30 years and can help you achieve the best possible results in your drug possession matter. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at We will be there for you when you call.

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