All drug crimes are grave and can result in lengthy prison time and a hefty court fine, even those that seem minor. The law categorizes drug crimes according to their specifics. Manufacturing drugs includes any activity that results in the production of a controlled substance. The prosecutor can file charges for drug manufacturing against you even if you only assisted and did not participate in the actual production. The crime details, including likely penalties upon conviction, are under PC 11379.6. You can receive a sentence of up to seven years if convicted under this statute.

A conviction for manufacturing drugs is life-altering. In addition to the lengthy prison sentence, you will pay a hefty fine and deal with a damaging criminal record for a very long time, even after serving your sentence. But we can help you at Monterey Criminal Attorney if you face charges for manufacturing drugs in Monterey. We can mount up a solid defense against your charges to compel the judge to dismiss or reduce your charges.

The Legal Meaning of Manufacturing Drugs

The law takes drug crimes very seriously. This is seen in the swift manner in which the police arrest and investigate drug-related crimes. It is also seen in the penalties provided under the law for drug-related offenses. Although all drug crimes are not treated the same, most are prosecuted as felonies. This means a longer prison sentence upon conviction and a heftier fine. It also means more severe and life-altering consequences due to the damaging criminal record left after the conviction. It helps to seek the assistance and advice of a skilled criminal attorney if you face drug-related charges. A competent attorney can help you avoid the severe consequences through case dismissal or reduced charges.

Manufacturing drugs is among the most severely punished drug crimes in California. The prosecutor files charges for manufacturing drugs against anyone suspected of taking part in the production of a controlled substance. Your participation can be direct or indirect. You could also be involved in the production or be an assistant in only one production area. The jury will deliver a guilty verdict if the prosecutor has compelling evidence against you. That could result in seven years of prison time.

PC 11379.6 provides the legal definition of this offense. The law prohibits the production, manufacture, conversion, and preparation of controlled substances using chemical extractions or synthesis. For example, people who own or operate meth labs or a manufacturing facility for any other drugs are guilty under this statute. An exemption is only available for the production of marijuana, but only if it is needed for medical purposes. The prosecutor will only file charges for the production of marijuana if you do not have a valid license or produce more than your license permits.

Except for marijuana, the production of other controlled substances, even in small quantities, is illegal. You are involved in the production process when you engage in any step of the production, including providing the required materials, space, or the actual production. People who sell equipment used in the production of drugs can also face charges under this statute.

The Elements of the Offense

The legal definition of this offense contains various elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a guilty verdict. These elements are:

  • You engaged or offered to engage in the manufacturing, compounding, production, or preparation of a controlled substance
  • You knew or should have reasonably known the nature of the controlled substance

People who commit drug crimes do so in hiding because of the grave nature of these offenses. This poses a severe challenge for the police regarding evidence and conducting arrests. The challenge is transferred to the prosecutor, who must demonstrate the defendant’s intent to manufacture a controlled substance in court. Remember that the burden of proof in criminal cases lies with the prosecutor. The court can dismiss your charges if the prosecutor cannot demonstrate all these elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

Note: You can face charges under this law for offering to engage in the manufacture of a controlled substance. The police do not need to catch you in the act to arrest and charge you under PC 11379.6. Agreeing to produce or help in the production of narcotics is sufficient to cause the jury to deliver a guilty verdict.

Additionally, note that the production here is mainly for narcotics or products under HS 11054 to HS 11058. Under these statutes, a controlled substance is any product whose production, use, and possession are regulated by the government. Here are examples of controlled substances whose production can result in charges under PC 11379.6:

  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Methamphetamines

The prosecutor must also demonstrate that you knew or should have reasonably known that the substance you were producing was a controlled substance. However, the prosecutor does not need to show that you know the actual controlled substance. Additionally, the police can arrest and charge you under this statute even before you start the production process. The prosecutor must demonstrate that you knowingly took part in the production process. Your participation could have been in the initial steps or intermediate processes. Thus, you cannot argue that you did not complete the production process in your defense.

Possible Penalties if Convicted for Manufacturing Drugs

Manufacturing drugs is a straight felony in California. It means your sentence upon conviction will be harsher than you would receive for a misdemeanor conviction. The judge will consider your case’s circumstances to sentence you, including the quantity of controlled substances involved and your criminal history. The penalties you will likely receive include the following:

  • Three, five, or seven years in prison
  • Felony probation
  • Up to $50,000 in court fines

The judge can increase the sentence provided under the law in specific circumstances, including if the manufactured drugs or the drugs you intended to manufacture were in large quantities. In that case, they could increase your time in prison to up to fifteen years and the court fine.

If the prosecutor demonstrates that you helped or proffered to help in the manufacture of controlled substances, the judge can sentence you to three, four, or five years in prison. Remember that the jury can still find you guilty even if the production did not occur. What matters is that you helped or offered to help in the production process.

The judge can also enhance your sentence if there are aggravating circumstances in your case. Examples of factors that could result in an enhanced sentence include:

  • If your actions caused someone else’s death or injury
  • If your actions resulted in or could have resulted in the production of large amounts of a particular controlled substance,
  • You involved children in the production process. The mere presence of a child will likely result in an enhanced sentence, even if the minor is not engaged in manufacturing drugs.
  • If you have a prior conviction for a grave drug-related offense on your record,

Sentencing Enhancement for Manufacturing Drugs

The production of a large amount of methamphetamine, GHB, or PCP will likely result in an enhanced sentence. The judge will follow the following guidelines when enhancing your sentence:

  • If you are guilty of manufacturing over three gallons of liquid controlled substance or over three pounds of solid controlled substance, the judge will add three years to your underlying sentence
  • The judge will add ten years to your underlying sentence for producing over twenty-five gallons of liquid or over ten pounds of solid substance.
  • They will increase your sentence by fifteen years for producing over one hundred and five gallons of liquid or over forty-four pounds of solid substance.

If your actions caused a fatality or bodily injury to an innocent person (not your accomplice), the judge can enhance your sentence by a year. Note: This means one year for every injury or fatality your actions cause.

Remember that the judge will also enhance your sentence by two years or more for involving a minor below sixteen in the production process or having a minor on the premises where the production occurred. You will also likely receive a higher sentence for producing controlled substances within 200 feet of a school, children's playground, or inhabited residence. If your actions cause a minor under the age of sixteen to die or sustain a physical injury, the judge can increase your sentence by five years.

If the judge enhances your sentence, you must serve the additional sentence consecutively with the sentence for the underlying drug charge.

A prior conviction for a drug-related charge will also result in an enhanced sentence under this statute. Here are some of the prior convictions that could cause the judge to increase your sentence:

  • Possession for sale of a controlled substance, under HS 11351
  • Transporting controlled substances for sale under HS 11352
  • Possession of methamphetamine for sale, under HS 11378
  • The sale of methamphetamine, under HS 11379

A prior conviction for one or more of these can result in an additional three years to your sentence. That will be the case even if the prior conviction does not result in a prison sentence. Even if the judge sentenced you to drug diversion for the previous conviction, it will still trigger a sentencing enhancement.

Diversion for Drug-Related Charges

If you face charges for a non-violent drug charge, the judge can sentence you to a drug diversion program instead of prison. Drug diversion entails allowing a defendant to seek treatment and rehabilitation instead of punishment. It will enable the defendant to correct their behavior for a fresh start in life. Fortunately, you can be eligible for several drug diversion programs in California, including the pretrial diversion program under PC 100.

Not all defendants facing non-violent drug-related charges qualify for drug diversion programs. Your attorney will consider your case details to advise you on the right approach to use if you are eligible. If not, they can use other legal provisions, like Proposition 36 or California drug courts, to obtain a favorable outcome for your case.

The main advantage of drug diversion is that the judge can dismiss your charges if you complete the program. However, most defendants who benefit from these programs are those facing charges for basic possession of controlled substances.

Here are some of the strategies a skilled criminal attorney can use to compel the judge to sentence you to a drug treatment program:

  • They can table compelling evidence and use convincing statements to convince the court that you produced or intended to produce drugs for personal use, not for distribution or sale.
  • They can request that the prosecutor allow you to take a plea deal for a conviction for a lesser offense that qualifies you for drug diversion.

Legal Defense Strategies for Manufacturing Drug Charges

The stiff penalties mentioned above show how grave manufacturing drugs is in California. A conviction also leaves you with a severe criminal record that affects your life differently. For example, a damaging criminal record will affect your efforts to find a suitable job or a suitable neighborhood to live in. Fortunately, you can avoid a conviction under PC 11379.6 and all its disabling consequences by putting up a solid defense against your charges. An aggressive attorney will use the best legal defense strategies to obtain a favorable outcome for your case. Examples of these legal strategies include the following:

Illegal Search and Seizure

Recall that most drug-related activities are done in hiding. This makes it difficult for the police to arrest perpetrators and gather sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction. The police must wait to obtain a search warrant to search personal property for evidence of drug manufacturing. Sometimes, this takes time, causing them to lose evidence. Additionally, search warrants limit the search area and the evidence the police can gather in a single search.

Sometimes, officers act quickly and swiftly to avoid losing credible evidence. However, it becomes an illegal search when they conduct searches and seizures without a valid warrant. An unlawful search also happens when the officers go beyond the limitations of their search warrants. Any evidence gathered unlawfully is inadmissible in court.

Your attorney can cite an illegal search and seizure to compel the judge to dismiss some or all the evidence the investigating officers gathered against you. The attorney can argue that the officers searched your house, vehicle, or person without a warrant. If the judge dismisses crucial evidence, the prosecutor will not have sufficient evidence to support your charges. Thus, the judge will dismiss your charges.

You Did Not Intend to Manufacture Drugs

The prosecutor must demonstrate your intent to manufacture controlled substances for the judge to deliver a guilty verdict. Remember that intent is a challenging element to prove in criminal cases. A skilled criminal attorney can challenge the prosecutor’s arguments by stating that you did not intend to manufacture drugs.

In their argument, your attorney can argue that you only prepared for the job but did not take the necessary steps to complete it. For example, you could have planned to manufacture narcotics in the beginning and then changed your mind afterward. That could be the case if the police found you in possession of drug-manufacturing paraphernalia.

However, this does not mean that you are innocent of all drug-related charges. If you had drug manufacturing paraphernalia in your home or vehicle, you could face charges under a separate law. Your attorney can use that opportunity to bargain for a plea deal and a better outcome for your case.

You Were Only At The Wrong Place

When the police receive information about a particular drug manufacturing point, they act quickly to ensure they arrest everyone involved and obtain crucial evidence. It is possible to be detained in a place like that without being involved in drug manufacturing. If this is your situation, your attorney can use this defense strategy to compel the judge to dismiss your charges.

For example, you could have visited a friend or met someone when the police invaded the location and arrested you alongside other people. You can argue that you did not know about drug manufacturing, and so you could not have been involved. But you need more solid evidence to demonstrate your innocence. For example, your attorney can highlight your general character as an upstanding citizen. Other people arrested alongside you can also put a good word in your favor to support your defense.

You Are Mistaken For The Perpetrator

The police make mistakes all the time when arresting suspected offenders. If the police ambush a particular drug manufacturing point and some suspected offenders escape, they will likely pursue the escapees until they apprehend them. Some people have been mistakenly arrested and charged with severe crimes this way. If this is what happened to you, a skilled attorney can help you compel the judge to dismiss your charges.

When pursuing escaping offenders, the police use a general description that could result in the arrest of an innocent person. For example, if the perpetrator wore the same color as you, was of the same build and height, or entered your neighborhood or compound, you can easily be mistaken for them. While this could be a challenging case to prove by the prosecutor, your attorney must put in a good fight to convince the jury that someone else committed the crime and not you.

For example, if the police used a general description to arrest you, your attorney can argue that hundreds of people in that neighborhood fit that description. That could make it difficult for the prosecutor to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt, resulting in a case dismissal.

Your Arrest Was Illegal

An illegal arrest occurs when the arresting officer does not follow the legal guidelines provided under the law. For example, an officer must obtain an arrest warrant to arrest a suspected offender. If you were arrested without a warrant, your attorney can use that to compel the judge to dismiss your charges.

Your arrest could also have been illegal if the arresting officer violated your rights. For example, if they failed to read your Miranda rights right after the arrest. The arresting officer must also not have questioned you without granting your right to an attorney. If this happens, the judge can dismiss your charges.

The judge can dismiss evidence obtained against you following an illegal arrest. For example, if the arresting officer violated your rights, the evidence gathered against you after that violation is inadmissible in court.

You Are a Victim of Police Entrapment

Police entrapment is commonly used in drug-related cases because of the secret nature in which these crimes are committed. Sometimes, the police need to use a few tricks or entrapment to catch a perpetrator in the act of crime. For example, they can trick a suspected drug manufacturer into leading the police to their manufacturing point or into selling the police some of their manufactured narcotics. The police also use fraud or tricks to obtain crucial evidence in drug-related cases.

However, your attorney can use this to obtain a favorable outcome in your case. For example, they can argue that you only committed the crime because the police tricked you. However, you must demonstrate that you could not have otherwise committed the offense. If your argument satisfies the jury, they could deliver a not-guilty verdict.

Find a Competent Criminal Attorney Near Me

Manufacturing drugs in Monterey is a severe felony whose conviction can significantly affect your life. In addition to spending a long time in jail and paying a hefty fine, you will have a damaging criminal record. That record will affect how you socialize, find jobs, and obtain crucial services. But you can avoid these severe consequences by mounting a solid defense against your charges.

Monterey Criminal Attorney can help you fight your charges for the best possible outcome of your case. Thus, if you face charges for manufacturing drugs, you can contact us at 831-574-1791. Our attorneys have the necessary skills and experience to handle all kinds of drug crimes. We will protect your rights and help you navigate all legal processes effortlessly. We also use the best defense strategies for a satisfying outcome.