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Manufacturing a Controlled Substance

Manufacturing a Controlled Substance – Health and Safety Code 11379.6

The drug crime of “manufacturing a controlled substance” is defined under California Health and Safety Code 11379.6. This law makes it a felony offense if you manufacture, produce, process, or prepare by chemical extraction using synthesis, any controlled substance.

HS 11379.6 prohibits the unlawful manufacturing of drugs or controlled substances and also makes it a crime for anyone to engage in any type of activity in the process of manufacturing an illegal controlled substance.

In California, a common example of HS 11379.6 drug manufacturing charges includes a situation when somebody is running a methamphetamine lab, or when they participate in mixing the chemicals to produce the narcotics.

By law, even in a situation when you just knowingly participate in the processing of controlled substances, you could face charges drug manufacturing charges. It should be noted that a “controlled substance” can include a wide range of substances, like opiates and narcotics listed in the Controlled Substance Act.

A conviction for manufacturing controlled substances under Health and Safety Code 11379.6 is a felony offense and carries a sentence of up to seven years in jail.

If you are convicted of manufacturing huge quantities of a controlled substance that contains PCP or methamphetamines or causes great bodily injury or death to another person, the penalties will be increased. To give more useful information about the drug manufacturing charges laws, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys are providing a detailed outline below.

Definition of HS 11379.6 Drug Manufacturing 

California Health and Safety Code 11379.6 defines the criminal offense of manufacturing a controlled substance:

Any 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

The most common controlled substances manufactured in California include methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, PCP, and LSD. It's important to make note that the chemical extraction process can be done “indirectly or directly.”

It should also be noted the it doesn't have to be proven you actually completed the manufacture or production of controlled substances, rather only that you participated in starting the process to produce the final illegal product. However, the prosecutor has to be able to prove that you knowingly contributed to the process.

It's possible to be convicted of 11379.6 for just creating a “precursor” element that is used in the latter stages for the finished controlled substance product. What this means is that you can be convicted for combing legal elements if you were aware they can aid in creating an illegal controlled substance.

What Must the Prosecutor Prove for a Conviction?

To be found guilty of California Health and Safety Code 11379.6, manufacturing controlled substances, a prosecutor must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, every element of the crime that is listed under CALCRIM 2330 Jury Instructions, that you:

  • Manufactured, converted, produced, or processed a controlled substance, directly or indirectly, using chemical extraction or synthesis, and
  • Knew it was a controlled substance; or
  • Offered to manufacture a controlled substance, and
  • Had intent to do so when it was offered

Again, you don't have to complete the manufacturing process of a controlled substance to be found in violation of HS 11379.6. This form of a California drug crime occurs the moment you knowingly participate in any steps to process a narcotic drug.

HS 11379.6 Drug Manufacturing Penalties

Manufacture of controlled substances described under California Health and Safety Code 11379.6 is a felony offense.

If you are convicted, the penalties include three, five, or seven years in a California state prison, and a $50,000 fine. If you are convicted of offering to manufacture a controlled substance, the penalties include up to 5 years in state prison. The criminal court judge could decide to impose probation and county jail time, rather than sending you to state prison.

There are some aggravating factors that could result in additional jail time. For example, if there was a child under 16 years old living in the same structure where the drug manufacturing occurred. Other aggravating factors that could result in additional jail time include manufacturing large quantities of certain narcotics, causing death or injury to someone, and having prior drug-related convictions.

Related California Offenses for HS 11379.6

Health and Safety Code 11350 – Possession of a Controlled Substance
Health and Safety Code 11351 – Drug Possession for Sales
Health and Safety Code 11352 – Transporting for Sale Controlled Substances
Health and Safety Code 11359 – Marijuana Possession for Sales
Health and Safety Code 11360 – Transportation of Marijuana
Health and Safety Code 11377 – Possession of Methamphetamine
Health and Safety Code 11364 – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Health and Safety Code 11370.9 – Money Laundering from Drug Proceeds

What are the Best Defenses? 

If you have been arrested for manufacturing controlled substances in violation of Health and Safety Code 11379.6, our criminal defense attorneys will review the details of the case in order to determine an appropriate strategy for a favorable outcome on the case. Each case is unique, but there are some common defenses we can use.

You did not reach the stage to manufacture – It may be possible to argue you did not reach the actual stage to manufacture, compound, convert, or process a controlled substance. For instance, maybe you were only in the initial stages of preparation of the manufacturing process and you didn't have the necessary chemicals to complete the process.

Lack of knowledge – In some cases, it might be possible to make an argument that you simply did not know the product was a controlled substance. Perhaps someone else told you to manufacture the substances, but you had no knowledge of what they actually were. In situations where guilt is not in doubt, or you were convicted, we might be able to pursue a drug diversion program to keep you out of jail.

Drug diversion is considered an alternative sentencing option allowing nonviolent drug offenders to get drug treatment, rather than serving time in jail. California drug diversion programs include Proposition 36, drug court, and deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) described under Penal Code 1000.

If arrested and charged with Health and Safety Code 11379.6, drug manufacturing, call our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys to examine the case and options.

Cron, Israels & Stark is a criminal defense law firm of seasoned lawyers and a record of success in all types of drug cases. We are located at 11755 Wilshire Blvd, 15th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90025. We also have an office at 401 Wilshire Blvd #1200, Santa Monica, CA 90401..

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