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Manufacturing a Controlled Substance - § 11379.6 HS

Making controlled substances in California is a crime and violates Health and Safety code Section 11379.6 HS. This includes, compounding, converting, deriving, manufacturing, directly or indirectly preparing, processing and producing a controlled substance. Any of these actions can result in your conviction, and sustaining a felony that is punishable by a minimum of 3 years, 5 years and a maximum of seven (7) years in state prison.

Examples of this include operating or running a methamphetamine laboratory, a.k.a. “meth lab;” of the mixing of preliminary or precursor chemicals utilized to manufacture, other controlled substances or narcotics; manufacturing hashish in a motel bathroom.

Overview of possible defenses

Our controlled substances manufacturing charges defense attorneys can mount the following defenses to negotiate a dismissal or reduction of your felony 11379.6 charges:

a: you merely engaged in preparatory steps that did not rise to the level of “manufacturing“.

b: police arrested you,m but only after executing an unlawful search and seizure

c: law enforcement subjected you to “entrapment”

d: you did not partake in the manufacture of the drugs

e: you were the victim of mistaken identity

f: you were not possessed of the knowledge that what you were making was and illegal or illicit substance


The manufacturer of a controlled substance is a felony offense in California (i.e., in contrast to a misdemeanor or infraction). If you’re convicted of having violated 11379.6 HS, you could be subjected to imprisonment for a minimum of three years, to five years, and a maximum of seven years, in addition to which you may be required to pay a fine of up to $50,000. It is possible in certain cases for the judge to suspend your sentence and impose formal or felony probation rather than imprisonment. However, if you violate your probation (and probationary terms are numerous), your probation can be revoked and you can be imprisoned as a result.

Our Pomona courthouse, El Monte Courthouse, West Covina Courthouse, Rancho Cucamonga Courthouse California manufacturing, a controlled substance charges defense attorneys will address the following issues in this article:

1: How is manufacturing a controlled substance defined?

2: How can Second Chances Law Group fight the criminal charges against you and win?

3: Consequences of an 11379.6 HS conviction

4: Deportation as a possible consequence

5: Can you expunge a conviction for this crime?

6: Can this conviction limit or eliminate your gun rights?

A. How is manufacturing a controlled substance defined in California?

The district attorney must prove (a) that you engaged in the manufacturing, compounding, production, or preparation of a narcotic, or that you offered to do so and (b) you had knowledge that the nature of the substance was a narcotic.

The United States Controlled Substances Act regulates, “controlled substances.” The “schedule” (I, II, III, IV, V) of the drug doesn’t matter. Cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, marijuana, methamphetamines, and PCP are all examples of controlled substances.

Regarding the element of knowledge, the district attorney must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you were aware of the fact that the substance you were making was indeed a controlled substance.

Having said that, it isn’t necessary for the prosecutor to prove that you had knowledge about which controlled substance in particular so long as you knew it was a controlled substance.

In addition, you don’t have to complete the process of having manufactured the controlled substance in order to be found guilty. You will be deemed guilty if the prosecutor is able to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you engaged in the knowing participation in producing a controlled substance, even if your actions happened at the beginning or intermediate stage of the manufacture.

Example: Seth and his cohorts are about 50% finished wit making meth in Seth’s apartment when Seth has to leave to run some errands. In his absence, the police show up and conduct a raid of the apartment and arrest his cohorts. In his criminal court case, Seth’s court-appointed lawyer, tries to argue. Seth could not be guilty because he was not physically present during the last stage of the manufacturing process. However, Seth is guilty due to the fact, he knowingly participated in the early or incipient steps of the manufacturing.

2. How can Second Chances Law Group fight and win your case?

Here are some defenses we may use:

A: “Preparatory“ nature of your actions

In order for you to be found guilty of this crime, you must actually have begun the manufactured process. While it’s not required you complete the process, the prosecutor must show you were involved at least in starting the process.

Our manufacturing a controlled substance dismissal attorneys can argue that the mere act of you having prepared the substance did not rise to the level of illegality because it was not sufficiently far enough along the chain or sequence of events to be deemed as you having “begun” the process of manufacturing the narcotics.

We can argue that your participation was, at worst, “preparatory in nature,” which is not ipso facto a criminal acts. We can back this up with evidence of eyewitness accounts, video and/or audio surveillance footage, and forensic reports authored by experts.

B: Law enforcement conducted an illegal search and seizure

Police can only search for and/or seize property by executing a lawfully-issued search warrant. In the absence of a warrant, police must avail themselves of an exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement.

To the degree police sought and gathered evidence without a search warrant or a valid exception to the warrant requirement, our Pomona Courthouse, West Covina Courthouse, El Monte Courthouse, California drug possession for sales charges dismissal attorneys will file a motion to suppress evidence per Penal Code section 1538.5 arguing that the judge must administer the “exclusionary rule” so that all unlawfully acquired evidence is thrown out. If the judge grants the motion, suddenly the prosecutor may have little to no evidence to continue pursuing your conviction since no jury whatever see it because a judge suppressed it as “fruit of the poisonous tree,” i.e., evidence that would not have been acquired but for the unlawful search and seizure.

C: You were the victim of police entrapment

Many criminal cases and prosecutions are the products of undercover police stings. While some are the products of lawful police work, others derive from a practice known as “entrapment.”

Entrapment happens when police exert undue pressure, coaxing, or cajolement to get you to commit a crime you would not otherwise have committed without that pernicious police influence. Our California drug manufacturing charges dismissal lawyers comb through piles of discovery, including, but not limited, to audio recordings and bodycam footage to demonstrate that the police (through their words and actions as captured on audio and video) applied undue pressure on you so that you would not have manufactured drugs but for you having acted under duress.

D: You didn’t participate in the manufacture

Mere presence at the scene of a crime, i.e., the location where the manufacture happened, is insufficient for you to be convicted under 11379.6 HS. To substantiate this, our drug possession for sales charges, dismissal attorneys would accrue any and all evidence, including but not limited to eyewitness accounts, audio and video recordings, etc.

E: You’re the victim of mistaken identity

It’s possible a witness wrongfully identified you out of a lineup. Or the police probably confused you for the actual culprit.

Various studies have revealed that law-enforcement protocols and procedures frequently generate incorrect, outcomes. Our Pomona courthouse drug possession for sales charges attorneys can ruthlessly cross-examine the witnesses against you (who may have wrongfully singled you out as the perp) by challenging them on their visual acuity, the degree to which they may have engaged in racial profiling, whether they picked you out of some bias or motivated reasoning, etc.

F. You were unaware of what was happening

If you genuinely did not know you were making an illegal substance, then you did not violate HS 11379.6. To show that you had no knowledge you were making drugs, we would look for evidence of your intentions in your recorded communications (such as text messages and voicemails).

You could not have been guilty of having manufactured a controlled substance if you were sincerely not aware that you were producing an illicit substance. To establish you lacked awareness, we can comb through text messages and voicemails for evidence of your non-criminal intent.

If we can establish the drug you allegedly manufactured looked like a non-criminal substance you thought you were making, we can utilize this resemblance to create reasonable doubt that may persuade the prosecution to dismiss the case against you or a jury to acquit you if your case were to go to trial.

If I am convicted of violating 11379.6 HS, what can happen to me?

If you are convicted under Health and Safety Code Section 11379.6 HS, your “criminal exposure” or” criminal liability“ can include serving time in state prison anywhere from 3, 5 to 7 years, as well as having to pay a whopping $50,000.00 fine.

If the judge identifies aggravating factors, he could impel the judge to administer a sentence on the more punitive, punishing end of the spectrum,

The judge may be inclined to impose harsher punishment if he or she identifies certain “aggravating factors”, which may include:

  • voluminous amount of drugs found;
  • the presence of a minor less than sixteen years of age at the site of the manufacture.
  • you have prior criminal convictions
  • someone was severely injured or sustained death

Discretion is given to the judge to sentence you to probation and/or county jail in lieu of imprisonment.

Having said that, diversion pursuant to proposition 36 or “deferred entry of judgment” per PC 1000 is generally NOT available in 11379.6 HS cases

4: If I’m not a US citizen, can I be deported if I’m convicted of this crime?

A manufacturing of a controlled substance conviction will have negative adverse immigration consequences in that you may be deported from the United States. If you’re convicted per 11379.6 HS, you will be deemed as having a crime of moral turpitude on your record. People v. Castro, 38 Cal.3rd 301 (1985)

Despite this case pertaining to possession of a controlled substance, it’s likely a court would extend it to manufacturing drugs.

Moreover, the manufacturing of a narcotic constitutes an aggravated felony, pursuant to California law, such that if you are convicted of an aggravated felony and you are not a US citizen, your deportation is mandatory.

Furthermore, particular types of immigration relief would become unavailable to you, following your aggravated, felony conviction, including I-212 hardship waivers or authorization to re-apply for admission to the United States following deportation, asylum and Cancellation of Removal pursuant to 8 USC Section 1229b(a)(3).

5: Can a conviction for this crime be expunged?

A conviction under 11379.6 HS cannot be expunged because expungements are not accessible for offenses resulting in imprisonment.

6: Is a person convicted for this crime still allowed to buy or own a gun?

The answer is no. If, after you are convicted, you purchase or own a firearm in California, you can be prosecuted as “felon with a firearm.”

If you’re interested in legal representation heavily geared towards just “cutting a deal“ with the prosecution, we’re not for you. But if you’re interested in legal representation aimed at complete dismissal of the charges against you, give us a call.

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