California Drug Laws Explained

In this article, a Fresno drug crime lawyer examines the classifications of controlled dangerous substances in California and the penalties in effect.

Six CDS Schedules

Under California law, controlled dangerous substances, or CDS, are placed into six classification schedules. The penalty for possession of Schedule I – IV or Schedule V drugs if no prescription exists is a county jail sentence of one year or less. The penalty for illegal possession of marijuana is relative to the amount. The classification schedules include the components used in the production of the drug as well as the drug itself.

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  • Drugs such as marijuana and opiates are Schedule I drugs.
  • Drugs such as morphine and raw opium are Schedule II drugs.
  • Drugs such as anabolic steroids and pentobarbital are Schedule III drugs.
  • Drugs such as zolpidem and diazepam are Schedule IV drugs.
  • Drugs such as codeine, when taken in small doses, are Schedule V drugs. When obtained via a valid prescription issued by a physician, it is legal for a patient to possess codeine.

Levels Of Drug Possession Offenses

A drug offense under California law may be a felony, a misdemeanor, an infraction or a “wobbler.” This is an offense which is classified as a felony or misdemeanor at the discretion of the judge or the prosecution.

  • Infractions are relatively minor and normally do not involve being sent to jail.
  • Misdemeanor offenses are punishable with jail terms of one year or less.
  • Felony offenses are punishable with the offender’s incarceration in the state prison for a term of least one year or longer.

Proposition 47

This California initiative reduced sentences for offenders, other than registered sex offenders, who have no history of violent, sex-related or gun-related crimes, including homicide or other specified crimes. Offenders outside of these categories face charges as shown above.

See Your Fresno Drug Crimes Attorney Today

If you are facing drug charges in California, seek the assistance of a Fresno drug crime lawyer by contacting Nicco Capozzi for a free consultation at (559) 374-2012. Don’t wait. Call now.