California Drug Schedule
Explained by a Los Angeles Drug Defense Lawyer
Drug crime offenses are charged based on the California Health and Safety Code. This section
of codes details the schedules of narcotics in California, which is the
drug schedule based off of the United States Controlled Substances Act.
California law, following after federal law, has listed drugs as they
fall into the categories of Schedule I through Schedule V.
Schedule I is the most serious grouping of narcotics, as they have been
determined to have the highest potential for abuse and typically do not
serve a medicinal purpose. Schedule I drug offenses therefore carry the
most serious penalties.
You may find it helpful to think of every drug crime in two ways:
- By type of crime
- By schedule of drug
Those arrested for various types and degrees of drug offenses can speak
with a Los Angeles drug crime attorney from our firm for further explanation
and strong advocacy against these charges.
Health & Safety Code § 11053-11058
Under the California Health and Safety Code, there are five different schedules
or classes of narcotics, Schedule I to Schedule V. Listed below are some
of the most common drugs for each category:
According to § 11054, certain opiates, heroin and marijuana are Schedule
I drugs. These drugs have a high potential for abuse and have been deemed
primarily unsafe for use except with the express written consent of a
According to § 11055, cocaine, meth and morphine are Schedule II
drugs. These drugs, while they also have a high potential for abuse, have
some accepted medical uses such as the treatment of attention deficit
disorder and extreme chronic pain.
According to § 11056, benzphetamine, clortermine and certain depressants
are Schedule III drugs. While there is some potential for abuse of these
drugs, that potential is less than that of Schedule I and II drugs. Most
of these drugs have widely accepted medical uses in the U.S.
According to § 11057, barbital, chloral hydrate and methohexital
are Schedule IV drugs. These drugs have low-abuse potential, put possession
in large amounts, driving under the influence of these drugs and sale
of these drugs can be charged as drug crimes.
According to § 11058, even cough suppressants can fall under this
category of drug. Also, certain mixtures of these drugs can result in
dangerous side effects. Most of these drugs require a prescription.
Possession, Sale, Manufacturing & Trafficking
According to the California Health and Safety Code § 11350-11356.5,
it is illegal to possess, possess for sale, manufacture/cultivate and
transport/traffic illegal narcotics or prescription drugs. Listed below
are some of the penalties for these crimes according to the California
Marijuana: Although marijuana is a Schedule I drug in California, simple possession
of this narcotic is only an infraction.
Medical marijuana is also legal provided that the person in possession of the drug meets
the qualifications for medical use and only possesses 6 mature plants
or 12 immature plants.
Cocaine: Possession of this drug can be charged as either a
felony or a misdemeanor. The maximum prison sentence for possession of cocaine
is three years. For those charged with only simple possession of this
drug, they may be able to qualify for drug diversion.
Heroin: Simple possession can warrant up to three years in prison, while the
sale or trafficking of heroin can warrant enhanced penalties as detailed
in the Health and Safety Code § 11352.
Amphetamines: While possession and sale charges are similar to possession and sale
of other narcotics, manufacturing
meth or other types of amphetamines will likely carry harsher sentences. This
is a felony offense and, under § 11379.6, it can be punished by up
to seven years in state prison.
How Our Los Angeles Drug Crime Defense Attorneys Can Help You
If you have been arrested for a drug offense in California, regardless
of the schedule of drug or type of offense, you should seek to
contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from our firm. Since Martinian & Associates is located in Los Angeles,
our firm has years of experience dealing with these types of cases.
The crime rate in Los Angeles is significantly higher than the crime rate
in other cities in California and throughout the nation, which means that
the law enforcement presence is greater, thereby increasing the rates
Schedule your free case evaluation by calling our firm today.