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Orange County Bar Association

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo
Controlled Substance

Notably, while these charges usually concern “street drugs” like Cocaine and Methamphetamine they can also apply to substances commonly thought of as medications.

If you are found in actual possession of the drug or “constructive” possession of the drug you may be found guilty of the offense. Constructive possession means that the drug may not be on your person but you knowingly exercise control over or the right to control the drug, either directly or through another person or persons. In order for the prosecution to prove its case they must show that the person knew the substance was a controlled substance and that there was enough of the drug to constitute a usable amount.

In California this offense is a felony and you may face up to three years in prison. Here is a recent case result:

“I was charged with Health and Safety Code Section 11377(a)(Possession of a controlled substance HS 11377(a)a felony which carries a maximum of 3 years in prison. I had previous convictions for the same charge and I had similar charges pending. I was also charged with driving on a suspended license (Vehicle Code Section 14601.1 – VC 14601.1) and possession of paraphernalia (Health and Safety Code Section 11364 – HS 11364(a)) as misdemeanors. I hired Mr. William Bruzzo because he was recommended by another attorney and because of his familiarity with the Orange County courts and the District Attorney. The original offer prior to hiring Mr. Bruzzo was 180 days in jail and pleading guilty to a felony. Mr. Bruzzo convinced the District Attorney there was not a useable amount of the controlled substance and that my driving on a suspended license was justifiable by Necessity, even though I had priors [convictions] for [that charge] too. Mr. Bruzzo got the possession charge DISMISSED [Health and Safety Code Section 11377(a) – HS 11377(a)]and the Vehicle Code Section 14601.1 [Driving on a suspended license – VC 14601.1] DISMISSED. I pleaded guilty to one count of possession of paraphernalia as a misdemeanor [Health and Safety Code Section 11364(a) – HS 11364] and I got CAL TRANS [instead of jail]. I would enthusiastically recommend Mr. Bruzzo for any possession of a controlled substance case or any criminal matter.” ~~ CK, December 9, 2009

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