What is the Legal Definition of Possession for Sale?
Possession for sale refers to the illegal sale or distribution of narcotics. Possessing or purchasing certain controlled substances or narcotics with the intent to sell is illegal under California Health & Safety Code 11351 HS. Some controlled substances under this law include:
opiates and opiate derivatives
gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GBH)
certain hallucinogenic substances.
Certain prescribed drugs are also illegal for sale including:
In order to be guilty of possession for sale the following have to be true.
You possessed or purchased the drug.
You knew you did so.
You knew the drug’s nature as a controlled substance.
You possessed enough of the drug to use or sell.
You either possessed the drug with the intent to sell or purchased the drug with the intent to sell.
Penalties for Possession for Sale
Possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell is a felony. The penalties include:
Probation and up to a year in a county jail, or
Two, three, or four years in a county jail, and/or
You were searched through an illegal search and seizure
Police have to abide by California’s search and seizure laws. An illegal search and seizure can happen through an unwarranted search, searching areas that are not part of the warrant, or the police stopped you and weren’t legally entitled to.
You had no intent to sell
Possession of narcotics is a less serious offense than possession with the intent to sell. If you can prove that you didn’t have the intent to sell, then you can be acquitted of this offense.
You didn’t possess the drug
You can’t be guilty of possession for sale if you didn’t have the drugs in the first place.
You didn’t know about the drugs
The prosecutor has to prove that you had knowledge about the drug’s presence or the character of the drug. For example, if you thought that a bag of cocaine was a bag of sugar, it could be used in your defense.