January 16, 2013 By Wallin & Klarich

If you find yourself facing criminal charges for being in possession of Methamphetamine you will need to be aware of what the prosecution must prove in order to convict you.


Since meth is classified as a controlled substance, simply having possession of a usable amount can result in criminal charges. You can be deemed to be in “possession” by having it on your person (i.e., in your pocket) or having it in a place that gives you easy access to it (i.e., your car or home).

However, keep in mind that there needs to be a “sufficient quantity” of it; meaning that you need to be in possession of enough to get yourself high. Simply having residue or traces of it is not enough to be charged.

You also need to have been aware of the fact that you had possession. You cannot be convicted of possession when you did not know that the illegal substance was near you. Sometimes our clients unwittingly come into possession of meth when a friend of theirs places drugs into their coat pockets or hides drugs in their car or home without their knowledge.

Finally, there is a requirement that you need to have known that the powdery substance in your possession was a drug with narcotic effects. If you had thought that the powdery substance was table salt, for example, then clearly you were unaware of its status as a controlled substance.

The criminal justice system can be very unfair, so you will need to have an attorney to ensure that your case is properly litigated and that all mitigating circumstances are brought to the court’s attention. Any failure to raise or prove necessary defenses can lead to severe consequences.

A violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11377 can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction can lead to one year in county jail, while a felony conviction can result in a county jail sentence of up to 3 years. You may also be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000. You will also walk away with a permanent criminal conviction on your record that will follow you for the remainder of your life, which can hinder future employment or licensing endeavors.

Drug charges are very serious and need to be handled very carefully. Our San Bernardino criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been in practice for over 30 years and know what is at stake. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at www.wklaw.com. Our attorneys are very knowledgeable and can tell you what options are available to you. We will get through this together.

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