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Los Angeles possession of a controlled substance while armed Lawyers

Los Angeles possession of a controlled substance while armed

If you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance while armed, you were probably charged under section 11370.1 of the California Health and Safety Code. Whether or not the firearm is legally owned is irrelevant, so long as you were in possession of a controlled substance when you were searched. Section 11370.1 specifically details what a controlled substance is.

In order to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the offense of possession of a controlled substance while armed, the prosecution will be required to prove the following elements:

  • You possessed a controlled substance
  • You knew of its presence
  • You knew that it was a controlled substance
  • You knew what the controlled substance was
  • That the amount of the controlled substance was enough to use
  • You had a loaded and operable firearm in your possession for immediate use
  • You knew it was available for immediate use

If the prosecution can’t prove each and every element of this offense, the case against you fails in its entirety.

Penalties
If you’re found guilty of being in possession of a controlled substance while being armed, you can be sentenced to a prison term of up to four years with a fine not to exceed $10,000. Depending on the facts of your case and your personal history, you might be eligible for probation with a suspended sentence, but a judge may order a jail term anyway.

Constructive possession
You can be in possession of a gun or drugs without actually having physical possession of them. As long as you’re in a position to exercise control over them, the law deems you to be in possession of them. That’s the law of constructive possession. Under the law of constructive possession, two or more people can be in possession of drugs or a firearm at the same time. Notwithstanding actual possession and constructive possession, you can even be determined to be jointly in possession.

Defenses to possession of a controlled substance while armed
A wide variety of defenses are available to a charge brought under section 11370.1 of the California Health and Safety Code. Those might include:

  • The drugs or guns didn’t belong to you
  • You had no idea that they were there
  • You weren’t in the vehicle or premises long enough to have knowledge of drugs or guns
  • The gun wasn’t loaded, or it was otherwise disabled
  • The evidence was the fruit of an illegal search and seizure

Felony prosecutors take strong stances on cases involving guns and drugs. If you’ve been charged in a case involving this combination, remember that years of your life and future are at stake. They way that you respond to criminal allegations is going to influence how your case is postured from the start. Whatever you say, whatever you do, and whatever your choices are can make the difference between freedom and going to prison. Make the right choices, and don’t take any more chances. After an arrest, call us right away for a free case consultation and evaluation. As soon as we’re retained, we’ll start formulating your defense strategy. Don’t give the police a statement or a confession. You’d only be giving the prosecution evidence to help convict you. Invoke your right against incriminating yourself, and call us right away.

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