Review of Selling Fentanyl Charges under HS 11351

Right now, fentanyl is a new drug that has come on the scene, and the authorities are very concerned because of its deadly nature. California Health and Safety Code 11351 is the statute used by prosecutors to charge someone with selling fentanyl.

It can be mistaken for oxycodone, and therefore, it is being used as a substitute instead of oxycodone. Sometimes the drug dealers who are selling it can't even tell the difference between oxy and fentanyl. It's a synthetic drug, much more potent than oxy.  The problem is a lot of people overdose on it. So, you have a lot of deaths associated with it, and I think more and more:

  • the authorities are prosecuting these cases, and
  • trying to find people involved in the sales and transportation of fentanyl across the country.

So, if you or a loved one is charged with possession for sales or sales of fentanyl, you must get to an attorney right away. I've been doing this for 27 years.  I know how to handle these drug cases. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will review this topic further below.

State vs. Federal Drug Crime Charges

Defense of California Possession for Sales of Fentanyl Charges
California Health and Safety Code 11351 makes it a crime to possess fentanyl with intent to sell.

Also, what is interesting about these fentanyl cases is that depending on the amount of the drug you have, that will typically determine whether the case will go federal or be prosecuted at the state level. 

Also, interestingly enough, even if you have a huge amount of fentanyl or a huge amount of any drug, some state governments will prosecute the case, even though typically, the feds are the ones charging the large amounts. It seems to have to do with who ends up finding out about the sales of fentanyl who ends up arresting the people.

Confidential informants

Usually, what I see is they have confidential informants giving information, and then they do and arrest the person. That person gives information, and that information is used to either:

  • get a search warrant or follow the person or they even use the informant, and
  • a lot of times to do a hand-to-hand drug transaction that is either recorded,
  • or the authorities are there to give the drugs, get the money, and ultimately arrest the person responsible for it.

So, in these fentanyl cases, you must get an attorney because prosecutors often want to send you to either state or federal prison for a long time.

Sentencing Enhancements

You're looking at mandatory minimums at the federal level as I make this post. Even at the state level, you're looking at compulsory minimums if you have a certain amount of the drugs — a certain amount of kilos involved. However, the Los Angeles County District Attorney has decided not to pursue these heavier drug allegations and enhancements.

San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Santa Barbara County, Orange County, Ventura county are all still prosecuting these cases. They will add multiple years in prison if you're caught with multiple kilos of this particular drug, cash, weapons.  These are all things I see in these big fentanyl cases.

Criminal Defense For California Drug Crimes

What I would suggest you do, if you or a loved one is charged with sales or possession for sales of fentanyl, is pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  We'll set up something in my office to be completely private and confidential.

We'll go over everything and then get a plan together on exactly how we're going to handle your particular matter and get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.