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Manufacture of Controlled Substance: What is the law and punishment?

California Health and Safety Code 11379.6(a) HS "Manufacture of Controlled Substance" is a felony.  HS 11379.6(a) has a potentially lengthy state prison sentence with no possibility of drug diversion.  In certain situations, a defendant may be eligible to serve their sentence in local county jail.

What Must Be Proven in a Manufacture of Controlled Substance Case?

HS 11379.6(a) "Manufacture of Controlled Substance" requires the following to be proven:

  1. the defendant had the intent to manufacture a controlled substance; and
  2. the defendant manufactured, by means of chemical extraction, or syntheses a controlled substance; or 
  3. the defendant offered to manufacture a controlled substance;

In the United States justice system, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  The prosecutor has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was in possession of methamphetamine.

What are the penalties for a Manufacture of Controlled Substance?

HS 11379.6(a) has a maximum fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 7 years in State Prison.

​HS 11379.6(a) requires life time registration as a drug offender for the felony offense only.

HS 11379.6(a) is PC 1170(h) eligible if the defendant is not convicted of a violent, serious, or sexual felony.

What are the defenses to Manufacture of Controlled Substance?

The police incorrectly identified the substance

The prosecution must prove the substance is methamphetamine.  This requires the police to properly obtain and store the substance to prevent contamination or degradation of the substance prior to testing.  Mistakes are often made in transporting and storage of substances that can lead to false positives in the lab.  The lab must also adhere to strict guidelines on how to perform testing on the substance to ensure that the results are accurate.  If the lab equipment is not properly maintained or calibrated, false positives are very likely. 

The defendant did not have intent to manufacture a controlled substance

The prosecution must prove the defendant had the intent to manufacture a controlled substance.  If the defendant was unaware the process or extraction would lead to the manufacture of a controlled substance, the defendant should not be found guilty of HS 11379.6(a)

The actions of the defendant were merely preparatory

The defendant must make an overt act in furtherance of manufacturing a controlled substance.  If an arrest occurs merely in the preparatory phase of the manufacturing process, a defendant should be found not guilty of HS 11379.6(a).  This can occur when a defendant is arrested prior to setting up equipment to be used to manufacture.  For example, if a defendant is arrested while leaving a store with supplies to manufacture a controlled substance, they are likely not guilty.

Bottom line, you need an experienced attorney who is willing to walk you through the entire process, evaluate your case effectively for weaknesses and exploit the issues in your case to achieve the best results.  The Law Offices of Steven McNicholl has that experience and will get you through your case in the best shape possible.

See also

HS 11351 possession for sale

HS 11352(a) Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance

HS 11352(b) Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance between Counties


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If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, call the Law Offices of Steven McNicholl at (951) 405-0990. We have the skill and experience in San Bernardino County to protect your rights and get the best results in your case.

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