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Manufacturing of Drugs, Narcotics or Controlled Substances- California Health and Safety Code 11379.6

California Health and Safety Code 11379.6 prohibits illegally manufacturing drugs, narcotics or controlled substances. More specifically, it prohibits engaging or offering to engage in any activity that lends itself to the process of manufacturing illegal substances.

District Attorney is Required to Prove These Elements:

In order to prove that a defendant is guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance, a prosecutor must be able to prove the following elements:

1. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance; and,

2. The defendant manufactured, compounded, converted, produced, derived, processed or prepared a controlled substance using chemical extraction or independent chemical synthesis.

Experienced drug attorneys in our Santa Rosa, Napa, San Rafael, Lakeport, Ukiah and Eureka offices can provide you with an expert analysis and implementation of defenses based on these elements.

Completion of Manufacturing is not Required:

It is not necessary that the defendant complete the manufacturing process. It is only necessary that the defendant participated in the beginning or intermediate steps to process or make a controlled substance. Thus, a defendant would be guilty if it is proven that:

1. The defendant engaged in the synthesis, processing or preparation of a chemical that is not itself a controlled substance; and,

2. The defendant knew that the chemical was going to be used in the manufacture of a controlled substance.

The crime is complete as soon as one knowingly participates in the initial or intermediate steps that are involved in processing a drug.

Health and Safety Code 11379.6 prohibits engaging in the synthesis, processing or preparation of a chemical used in the manufacturing of drugs even if the chemical is not itself a controlled substance when the defendant knows that the chemical is a logical precursor to manufacture a controlled substance.

A defendant who knowingly provided a place to manufacture drugs can be prosecuted for aiding and abetting.

Drug Lawyer Defenses to HS 11379.6:

Common legal defenses that apply to Health and Safety Code 11379.6 include:

1. The defendant was misidentified as an actual perpetrator. This process can occur when the prosecution uses snitches/informants or when a mistaken eye whiteness identification occurs.

2. The drug lab was discovered pursuant to an illegal search and seizure;

3. The defendant was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (e.g., situations involving landestine labs) and had nothing to do with the illegal activity that was taking place; and,

4. The defendant was the victim of someone lying about them and their activities.

5. The defendants acts were merely preparatory.

6. The prosecutor is unable to prove one of the required elements as set forth above.

Penalties for Violations of HS 11379.6:

HS 1379.6 cannot be charged as a misdemeanor and is always a felony. The low term for sentencing is 3 years, the midterm is 5 years and the aggravated term is 7 years, all of which can be served in county jail .

Health and Safety Code 11379.6 HS California's law against manufacturing controlled substances can also assess a maximum fine of $50,000.

If this activity is involved in any setting in which children are either present, harmed or live, the defendant is exposed to an additional 5 years. This 5 year term is specifically described in the statute as being "consecutive" which means it does not run concurrently with the primary jail sentence but rather it is added on to the primary jail sentence

Even if a defendant doesn't actually manufacture drugs but offers to manufacture drugs, that is also a felony and the defendant can be sentenced to county jail for 3 years, 4 years, or 5 years.

Defendants can be exposed to longer jail sentences if there are aggravating circumstances involved in the case. These circumstances include: having specific drug related prior offenses on your record or someone who is convicted of manufacturing PCP or meth.

If children reside in, are present in or are harmed in the location where the defendant manufactures narcotics, there can be an additional and consecutive term of up to five years.

A defendant can face even longer prison sentences under certain circumstances:

1. If the defendant is found to have manufactured large quantities of chemicals that contain PCP, GHB or methamphetamine. (They could be sentenced terms of imprisonment including an additional three years in prison if the chemical exceeded three gallons or one pound, an additional five years if the substance exceeded 10 gallons or three pounds, an additional ten years in the substance exceeded 25 gallons or 10 pounds and an additional fifteen years if the chemicals exceeded 105 gallons or 44 pounds); or,

2. If someone has some very specific drug related offenses that they were convicted of, their sentence can be substantially enhanced.

3. Enhancements in the amount of prison time can be increased if the primary activity that the defendant was engaged in initiates other related offenses.

4. A defendant can gain additional prison time if, during the manufacturing of meth or PCP, another person suffers death or great bodily injury.

5. Manufacturing large quantities of illegal substances.

Alternatives to Criminal Prosecution and Conviction:

Some defendants who suffer from PTSD or other qualifying mental conditions may qualify to participate in a Mental Health Diversion program. Participation in a Mental Health Diversion Program is an alternative to criminal prosecution. If a defendant is qualified by the Court and successfully completes the program, they may very well be eligible for a Petition to Seal which, if granted by the court, effectively eliminates any record whatsoever of the criminal charges or arrest in criminal records that are available to the public.

Criminal History/ Criminal Record Improvement:

Even if someone is convicted of a HS 11379.6, upon successful completion of probation, a defendant can file a Petition to expunge their record and dismiss the charges. This adds a very favorable entry to their criminal record and is extremely helpful when applying for employment, housing, etc.

Remember, Ronald Dinan and Associates, is a firm of experienced and aggressive drug lawyers, who can help in achieving the best outcome in your case. Many times criminal case dispositions will include reduction or outright dismissal of the number and/or severity of criminal charges, diversion programs, probation, reduced fines with installment payments, alternatives to jail, etc.

To get immediate help with your criminal matter, we invite you to call us to discuss your case. We answer all telephone calls in a polite, professional and helpful manner.

Santa Rosa – 707-571-5550

Napa – 707-252-0102

Marin – 415-491-0223

Lakeport – 707-262-0503

Ukiah – 707-462-5950

Eureka – 707-445-1348

The Actual Law Itself: California Health and Safety Code 11379.6

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who manufactures, compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance specified in Section 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058 shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, five, or seven years and by a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

(b) Except when an enhancement pursuant to Section 11379.7 is pled and proved, the fact that a person under 16 years of age resided in a structure in which a violation of this section involving methamphetamine occurred shall be considered a factor in aggravation by the sentencing court.

(c) Except when an enhancement pursuant to Section 11379.7 is pled and proved, the fact that a violation of this section involving methamphetamine occurred within 200 feet of an occupied residence or any structure where another person was present at the time the offense was committed may be considered a factor in aggravation by the sentencing court.

(d) The fact that a violation of this section involving the use of a volatile solvent to chemically extract concentrated cannabis occurred within 300 feet of an occupied residence or any structure where another person was present at the time the offense was committed may be considered a factor in aggravation by the sentencing court.

(e) Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who offers to perform an act which is punishable under subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, four, or five years.

(f) All fines collected pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be transferred to the State Treasury for deposit in the Clandestine Drug Lab Clean-up Account, as established by Section 5 of Chapter 1295 of the Statutes of 1987. The transmission to the State Treasury shall be carried out in the same manner as fines collected for the state by the county.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 141, Sec. 1. (SB 212) Effective January 1, 2016.)