Health and Safety Code §§ 11351, 11351.5, 11378 and 11378.5 deal with the crimes of possession of a controlled substance for sale and purchase for sale of a controlled substance. The relevant code section depends solely on the nature of the controlled substance.

Health and Safety Code § 11351 applies to heroin, cocaine, peyote, mescaline, and several other depressants and opium derivatives, as well as all other narcotic drugs that appear in Schedules III, IV or V. Health and Safety Code § 11351.5 sets out the law as it relates to cocaine base (crack), while Health and Safety Code § 11378 includes LSD, as well as any other Schedule III, IV or V substance that is not a narcotic drug. Health and Safety Code § 11378.5 governs the possession for sale of phencyclidine (PCP).

The elements of possession for sale or purchase for sale are identical to those of simple possession with two additions. First, the substance must be in an amount sufficient to be used for sale or sufficient to produce a narcotic effect.  Second, the person must have possessed and/or purchased the controlled substance with the specific intent to sell it. In contrast to simple possession cases, which require only general criminal intent, possession for sale charges necessitate specific intent.

Whether narcotics have been purchased for sale, as opposed to personal use, is a question of fact to be determined by the trier of fact.

Typically, for possession for sale, there is more than one baggie, and possibly the way it is packaged (several baggies/bindles). Often, it is accompanied by empty baggies, a digital scale, evidence of pay-owe sheets showing the person is selling drugs to others. Other evidence could be admission of intention of selling the drugs, a large amount of cash in several denominations, and text messages on cell phones indicating sales activity.

If you are under investigation or charged with sales, it is very important to have a lawyer familiar with these charges to negotiate the charge down to possession to be eligible for a program that can ultimately get dismissed. Call the Law Offices of Brett Parker Davison today!