Around 25% of drug crime cases refer to the possession of a controlled substance that was not obtained legally.
If the police in California charge you with the possession of drugs, check out our bail bond calculator to determine how much you will pay a bail bonds agent to post bond on your behalf. The total bail amount is determined by the judge in state of California, and if the total bail amount is not paid or a bond is not posted on your behalf, you will sit in jail until your court date.
But how much is bail for drug possession in California? Your total bail amount for drug possession depends on many factors. To better understand your total bail amount, it is important to understand the California Health and Safety Code, the typical penalties and more.
State of California Health and Safety Code
The California Health and Safety Code HSC §11351 prohibits you from:
- Unlawfully possession of controlled and illegal substances.
- Intentionally selling controlled and illegal substances.
- Possessing the substances in a usable amount.
- Possessing a substance that was either analog to the controlled or illegal substances in the HSC §11054 through 11058.
To prove that you are guilty of the charges, the prosecution must prove you’ve broken at least one of the rules of the Health and Safety Code in the State of California.
The code defines 6 schedules of drugs in California, each defined with the amounts and types of the drug.
- Schedule I – cocaine, opiates, mescaline.
- Schedule II – narcotics like morphine and raw opium.
- Schedule III – anabolic steroids and pentobarbital.
- Schedule IV – prescription drugs like zolpidem and diazepam.
- Schedule V – codeine.
What Are the Penalties?
How much is bail for drug possession in California? Being found guilty of the sale and possession of controlled substances is punishable by law and you might even get jail time. The possession charge can vary anywhere from up to a $20,000 fine to 4 years in state prison.
Penalties for Aggravating the HSC §11351
- If you’re convicted of possessing more than 80 kilograms of cocaine or heroin with the intention of selling it, the drug charges can be a fine of up to 8 million dollars and up to 25 years in state prison.
- If the possession of controlled substances exceeds 40 liters or 20 grams, you could be sentenced to 15 years in prison; such substances can be phencyclidine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, or their analogs.
- The Health and Security Code in California is part of the “Three Strikes” system, so if you are charged with 3 “strikes” of committing drug felonies, the punishment can be 25 years in state prison.
- Charges of constructive possession of drugs are when the drugs are found somewhere nearby you but not in your direct possession. This can include when drugs are found in a car that you are driving, but they are not on you, meaning someone else could’ve put them there.
- Joint possession is when more than one person possesses controlled substances, and all of you can be charged with a felony depending on the amount found.
The total bail amount for drug possession in California will depend on the case, the amount of drugs found, the defense attorney, and their strategy of defending you and reducing the punishment and the severity of the felony.
Once a total bail amount is determined, work with a bail bond agent to help secure your release. A California bail bond agent will post bond on your behalf in exchange for a nonrefundable fee that is equal to 10% of the total bail amount.
How does the State of California Prove Possession?
The State of California will prove possession of drugs if the prosecutor proves that the substance in your possession was on the list of controlled substances in the Health and Safety code and it was illegal. They also must prove that you were aware of the existence of a such substance in your presence and that you knew all along it was a drug in usable amounts.
When the prosecutor proves a usable amount is in your possession, and there is evidence that you were packing the drugs for distribution and sales, you will be charged under the intent to distribute. This is a more serious incrimination than simple possession.
Trafficking charges include selling, transporting, and giving away drugs with the intent to distribute them locally, regionally, or nationally. If you import and export drugs from California, the trafficking charges can turn into federal charges. The punishment for federal charges is more severe and depends on the specific laws for each drug.
Which Controlled Substances can you be Charged and Punished for?
– Possession of Opioids
Opioids are heavily controlled substances and restricted drugs. Although it’s legal to obtain painkillers at home and purchase them with a prescription, it’s not legal to possess opiates without a prescription.
Amphetamines are considered illegal if obtained without a prescription.
What Can You Do?
If you’ve been arrested for the possession of drugs, the first thing you can do is contact a bail bond agent and hire an attorney to learn about your rights and fight the charges. Some of the strategies for fighting the charges might include proving that the drugs were never under your control, you were not aware of their presence, or you had a valid prescription.
If you have been arrested for possession and the judge has set a total bail amount, use our online bail bond calculator to determine how much you will need to pay a bail bond agent to post bond on your behalf. Once you know the amount you will need to pay, find a reputable bail bond agent near you to post bond for you.