Possession of a Controlled Substance with a Firearm Law

Posted by Ronald D. HeddingMar 14, 2018

HS 11370.1 HS describes the crime of possession of a firearm related to a controlled substance or narcotics. Suppose someone has drugs, and they're selling them or for some other purpose, and they also have a gun. In that case, selling them or for some other purpose and having a firearm is an added enhancement that the prosecutors can file against the person. This would bring a prison sentence and serious ramifications.

In criminal law, especially in California, a lot of gun violence occurs daily if somebody is found with illegal narcotics and a weapon. They can be charged under Health and Safety Code 11370.1 HS and be given additional time in custody based on possession of the firearm and the narcotics at the same time.

Defenses to Possession of a Controlled Substance with a Firearm

I see a lot over the last twenty-five years of dealing with narcotics cases, guns cases, and both together is that sometimes the police – when they execute a search warrant on a house – and they find narcotics. They find a gun and try to manufacture that the gun and the drugs are close to each other because that's the test.

Health and Safety Code Section 11370.1

Suppose narcotics are found in one location, and a gun is found in a separate area away from narcotics. In that case, the defense argues that the weapon and the narcotics are not associated together. Therefore, this Health and Safety Code section cannot be utilized to enhance somebody's sentence.

So, if you can show that maybe it's not your gun – it's somebody else's gun – and that the gun is not with the narcotics, then really the policy behind this is to stop people who are dealing drugs from using deadly force to protect their drugs or even to steal drugs from other drug dealers or do other things that are illegal related to firearms and drugs.

So, the more effectively your criminal attorney can show that the firearms and the drugs are not being utilized together, the more effectively it can be shown that the policy behind this serious enhancement is not being fostered by sending you to prison for an extended period, the better chance you have when it comes to these cases.

Strategy for a Violation of Health and Safety Code 11370.1

What I have you do is come in. We sit down. We go over all the details of the case. I always ask that you're honest and give me all the facts so that I can assess what you're up against, what your defenses are, and what the most effective course of action is for you.

Once you give me everything, you and I will talk about it, and we'll decide what the best plan is. I'll let you know precisely what you're up against, which will help give you some peace of mind and some control of your case, and I'll also let you know what you can do to assist me in getting you the most effective resolution possible.

What we're aiming to do here is to get you out of the legal system as quickly as possible. Criminal defense and criminal justice are challenging situations because the prosecutors and the judges have so much power and the stigma associated with even being charged with a crime is significant. So, you will need somebody to guide you through this sometimes-perilous system and get you the best possible results based on the facts of your particular case.