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As you probably know, in the state of California, it is against the law to manufacture any illegal drug or controlled substance, and any person who engages in these activities can face serious criminal charges for drug manufacturing. But, can a Los Angeles drug crimes law firm help?

Specifically, it is a felony in California to:

  • illegally plant, harvest, or cultivate marijuana
  • manufacture illegal drugs
  • possess the chemicals that are needed to manufacture illegal drugs

CAN YOU GROW MARIJUANA LEGALLY IN CALIFORNIA?

In November 2016, California passed Proposition 64, legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults 21 years of age or older. Prop 64 was 62 pages long, with hundreds of regulations, restrictions, and exemptions regarding marijuana’s purchase, use, and cultivation in California.

Marijuana Plants

Under Proposition 64, California residents may possess and cultivate up to six living marijuana plants. Only six plants are allowed per residence at a given time.

Marijuana plants must be kept in a locked location that is not visible to the public, and any marijuana product that is produced from a plant and exceeds a weight of 28.5 grams must be stored securely within the grower’s private residence.

WHAT DRUGS ARE ILLEGAL TO MANUFACTURE?

In California, the long list of illicit and illegal substances that may not be manufactured includes but is not limited to cocaine, heroin, opium, methamphetamines, phencyclidine, PCP, and hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and DMT.

The manufacturing of any “new” drug is also against the law in California – no matter what the drug is or whether it has Food and Drug Administration approval.

As mentioned previously, illegally manufacturing drugs is a felony in this state. Convicted offenders can be sent to state prison for up to seven years and fined up to $50,000 – and that’s just for a first offense. If “aggravating factors” were involved, the penalties can be even harsher.

WHAT ARE “AGGRAVATING FACTORS” IN DRUG MANUFACTURING CASES?

What are considered aggravating factors in drug manufacturing cases in California?

  • A minor under the age of sixteen was residing in a structure where methamphetamines were being manufactured.
  • Methamphetamine manufacturing took place within two hundred feet of an occupied residence or structure where another person was present.
  • A volatile solvent was used to extract concentrated cannabis within three hundred feet of an occupied residence or structure where another person was present.

WHAT DANGERS ARE INVOLVED IN MANUFACTURING ILLEGAL DRUGS?

Manufacturing illegal drugs – particularly methamphetamines – is a quite dangerous procedure that involves toxic chemicals and the risk of fires and explosions. Just last year, for instance, a 46-year-old Stockton man suffered severe burns when the meth lab he was operating exploded.

California Jail

Because of these dangers, manufacturing meth in a structure with a child present can add two years to a prison term for manufacturing illegal drugs. If a child has been injured because illegal drugs were being manufactured, five years can be added to the sentence.

ARE THERE OTHER PENALTIES FOR MANUFACTURING ILLEGAL DRUGS?

If large quantities of illegal drugs were being produced, up to fifteen more years can be added to an offender’s sentence. Simply offering to manufacture drugs in this state, even if no drugs were ever actually manufactured, is a crime punishable upon conviction by up to five years in prison.

Manufacturing illegal drugs is typically associated with related crimes like drug distribution and sales, organized crime, gang activity, and firearms charges. Persons charged with manufacturing illegal drugs often also face multiple felony charges – and the possibility of years in prison.

California courts may impose a number of parole terms when an offender is released from prison for a drug manufacturing charge. Paroled offenders may have to meet regularly with a parole officer, avoid contact with known drug users, and submit to random searches and drug tests.

HOW CAN A DRUG CRIME CONVICTION IMPACT YOUR LIFE?

Any felony conviction in California may impact your right to own a firearm and your right to serve on a jury. A felony conviction can also make it quite tough to find a job in this state and can even make it difficult to find housing.

Gun Range

To be convicted for manufacturing illegal drugs, a defendant did not have to complete the manufacturing process. If a defendant knowingly participated at any stage in the drug manufacturing process, that defendant may be found guilty of manufacturing illegal drugs.

The key phrase here is “knowingly participated.” Many of the people who have been charged in California with manufacturing a controlled substance were innocent people who happened to be friends with the wrong person or happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

HOW CAN YOU DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST A DRUG CHARGE?

In southern California, if you are charged with manufacturing illegal drugs – or if you’re charged with any other drug crime – you must contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney immediately for the legal advice and defense representation that you will urgently need.

Judge In Court

To convict you for manufacturing illegal drugs, a California prosecutor will have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A good California defense attorney might offer one of these defenses on your behalf:

  • The drugs being manufactured were not illegal or being manufactured illegally.
  • You did not know that others were manufacturing illegal drugs at that location.
  • Law enforcement officers conducted an illegal search to gather evidence.
  • You were misidentified or mistaken for someone else.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN A DEFENSE LAW FIRM?

If you are accused of manufacturing illegal drugs or violating any other California drug law, contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney immediately. A conviction for a serious drug crime can change your life – and not in a good way – for many years to come.

If you are accused of committing a drug crime in California, you must select an attorney who:

  • has considerable criminal defense and criminal trial experience
  • understands that good people sometimes find themselves in bad situations
  • has the legal talent to discover the flaws in the state’s case against you
  • protects your rights and fights diligently for the justice you need and deserve

A good defense lawyer’s help is your right. If you are charged with a drug crime in California, you must take the first step – at once – and make the call to a reliable criminal defense attorney. Your future could depend on it.

By: Douglas Miranda

Los Angeles criminal attorney Douglas Miranda graduated with honors from California State University, Los Angeles, and earned his J.D. from Western State College of Law in Fullerton. Since his admission to practice law in California, he has received special training and certification in forensic science, jury selection, and sex crime defense. Mr. Miranda also helps clients terminate their probations early and expunge their criminal records.

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