Cultivation of Marijuana | California HS11358


California is undoubtedly one of the most liberal states in America when it comes to the use of marijuana. Though certain possession charges only amount to an infraction under state law, California still considers it a serious offense to cultivate marijuana. Unless a person has a legal right to do so—such as is the case with medical marijuana users—the penalties for illegally cultivating the drug can be quite serious.

Defining Cultivation

California law is pretty specific when it comes to the cultivation of marijuana: it is a felony to grow marijuana. For this crime to be proven, an individual must have planted, cultivated, dried and processed marijuana. The penalties can vary significantly when a person is charged with this crime, depending on their intended use.

An individual who is simply growing marijuana for personal use is often eligible for a diversion program. An alternative to pleading guilty, a formal diversion creates an arrangement which would include programs based upon drug treatment rather than punishments; such as Prop 36 and drug courts. Dismissing of the charges might result from the agreement by the judge and prosecutor, or in some cases from the completion of certain programs.

For those who might regularly partake in this drug, one plant is often not enough to support that habit ; luring people to have several plants for just their private use. Unfortunately, police and prosecutors will often take the existence of numerous plants as evidence that a person intended to sell the drug, and this can lead to much more severe consequences.

Corresponding Bail Amounts

The potential penalties from cultivating marijuana are set forth by the state, but California does allow its counties to set their own bail amounts; this creates quite a variance from one part of the state to another. In Orange County, for instance, an individual may face a $20,000 bail amount if arrested for growing less than 25 lbs. of marijuana. However, this amount jumps to $50,000, if anything over twenty-five pounds are harvested.

In Los Angeles County, a person also faces $50,000 if cultivating over 25 lbs. If this amount is under one pound, however, bail is set at only $10,000. In Sacramento County, though, a person’s bail will be $10,000 for harvesting up to two pounds. All of those far surpass Santa Cruz County, however, which only sets bail at $2,500. Bail Hotline provides payment plans for posting your bond, at a mere fraction of the actual bail face amount.

Penalties for Cultivating Marijuana

The penalties for cultivating marijuana are amongst the most straight forward for any crime in California. Anyone convicted of this act can face up to three years in a California state penitentiary. As mentioned, a judge may consider a diversion program, but this is only in very specific circumstances.

It’s also important to point out that a judge may grant an individual probation, but this may still have its own dire consequences. If probation is granted, a person will likely remain on it for three years and may still have to serve an entire year in a California jail. This will also likely include hefty fines paid to the court and a probation officer, and could impact your current or future employment.

It’s true that California is one of the most accepting states in the Union when it comes to marijuana. This doesn’t mean, however, that an individual can do whatever they want with the drug. Cultivating the marijuana plant is a serious felony, and since there’s no definitive amount which constitutes “personal use,” an individual can face detrimental consequences even if they were actually growing it just for themselves.

Personal Possession of Marijuana | CA HS11357


The War on Drugs has long villainized the use of any substance that is considered illegal. While legal statutes are slowly evolving which decriminalize certain uses of marijuana, it’s important to note that federally, and even in California, it is usually illegal to use the substance. In fact, it’s illegal to even possess this drug without a legal right to do so; such as for prescribed medicinal purposes, in all of California. This is why it is important to clearly understand what is meant by the crime of personal possession of marijuana.

Who can be Charged with Personal Possession?

A personal possession of marijuana charge is one of the most straightforward charges that the state can bring against a person. The state simply has to prove that a person knowingly had possession of marijuana and that they knew that it was a drug. On top of these requirements, the state must also show that the amount of the drug possessed was sufficient to actually be used as a drug.

Luckily for many individuals, a small amount of residual marijuana isn’t likely enough to meet the aforementioned element of evidence. Residual amounts of marijuana only prove that a person used the drug previously; there must be enough of the drug left for it to still be used in the manner it was intended for a conviction to be attained.

Bail Amounts after Arrest

California sets forth the punishments related to personal possession of marijuana, but each individual county is able to set forth its own bail amounts which are defined within their bail bond schedules. These schedules have bail amounts listed for just about anything that a person could be charged with. Since each locality determines their own schedule, California’s county bail amounts vary widely.

In Sacramento County, the bail amount for personal possession of marijuana is set at a hefty $3,000. In Santa Cruz County, on the other hand, this amount drops to $1,000. An individual who manages to get arrested for possession in Los Angeles County, however, will only face a $500 bail amount; and this amount drops to only $35 if the amount possessed is less than 28.5 grams.

Penalties for Conviction

Due to a California law passed in early 2011, having less than one ounce of marijuana is considered an infraction and only punishable by a fine of $100. A person may face higher fines, however, and even jail time if they have possession of concentrated cannabis or they have these substances on school property during school hours.

Those convicted of having over an ounce of marijuana that is not concentrated cannabis will face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500. For those with concentrated cannabis, however, these penalties can become much more serious. A conviction of personally possessing concentrated cannabis can land a person in jail for up to a year if charged as a misdemeanor, and this term can jump up to three years if charged as a felony.

Personal possession of marijuana can lead to serious consequences for those convicted of the crime. This conviction can lead to long term repercussions from having a criminal conviction on one’s record, but it’s even possible for an individual to face serious prison time after their first conviction. This is why it is so essential for anyone charged with the crime to understand their rights and potential defenses. 

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia | CA HS11364


There aren’t likely many individuals in California who do not know that possessing drugs is a serious offense that can result in severe consequences. What many people may not know, however, is that simply possessing the items used for the consumption of certain drugs can be treated as a criminal offense. This crime is known as possession of drug paraphernalia, and if convicted, an individual may end up with a punishment viewed as excessive by many.

What is Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia involves any equipment, product, or material that is modified for making, using, or concealing drugs—typically for recreational purposes—and merely being in control of these items is a violation of California’s Health and Safety Code. The law strictly says that it’s illegal to possess drug paraphernalia, and it goes on to state that these types of items include anything used in the smoking or injecting of unlawful controlled substances. It should be noted that syringes used for medically prescribed purposes do not fall under this statute.

The prosecution must prove that a person had control over, or simply the right to control, the paraphernalia when arrested. In addition, it must be proven that the individual knew the item was drug paraphernalia and also knew that they had control over the item. Items used for marijuana use are exempted from this law and handled under other statutes.

Bail Amounts for Possessing Drug Paraphernalia

Though the State of California sets forth the punishments related to all crimes committed within its borders, it does allow individual counties to set forth their own bail amounts; each county lists these amounts in their bail schedule. Individuals who can either pay the face amount, or have Bail Hotline post the bond for a fraction of that cost, can be released from jail instead of waiting in custody for their court date.

The bail amounts for possessing drug paraphernalia can vary greatly. In Los Angeles, for instance, bail is set at $250 after a drug paraphernalia possession arrest. It’s important to note, however, that many bail schedules don’t even list a bail amount for possessing drug paraphernalia. This doesn’t mean, though, that there is no set measure. In Orange County, for instance, the bail schedule states that any misdemeanor charge that isn’t listed will have a bail amount of $500.

Punishments for Drug Paraphernalia Possession

The potential repercussions for a conviction of this magnitude are pretty straightforward. Those who are convicted are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to up to six months in jail. In addition to this, a person may also face a $1,000 fine for their possession of these particular items. Many think this is a bit excessive for merely having certain equipment, but these punishments have long been set forth by the state.

In addition, individuals with California professional licenses, such as a teaching license, may be put on automatic leave until the situation has been resolved. This means that an individual in this position could face the loss of their job in addition to the aforementioned penalties.

While the punishments for possessing drug paraphernalia may seem excessive to some, this doesn’t mean that the California criminal justice system is going to go easy on a person convicted of the crime. Anyone facing these types of charges has a few important decisions to make, and an individual who gets help from an attorney is much more likely to have a good outcome from their case.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance | California HS11550


Most people understand that they can be arrested for possessing or trying to sell drugs. What they might not recognize, however, is that California law actually prohibits an individual even using or being under the influence of drugs. These laws are not very complex, but the penalties related to a conviction can be extremely severe, considering the crime.
What is Under the Influence?

The meaning of being under the influence of controlled substances is pretty much self-explanatory, but it is important to note that marijuana is not covered under this statute. Drugs that are covered are substances such as hallucinogens, depressants, opiates, stimulants and even some prescription drugs. There are a few specific things, however, that the prosecution must prove before a conviction can take place.

Prosecutors must prove that a person was either under the influence of narcotics or currently using them. When considered under these statutes, ‘currently’ means immediate use prior to being arrested. Unfortunately for some, this determination can be unclear—in fact, proof of use within five days prior to arrest may constitute sufficient evidence.

When it comes to being under the influence of drugs, prosecutors must only prove that a person was affected by a drug in any type of detectable manner. This means that a person can be prosecuted for the crime even if they were not grossly impaired or engaged in any type of misconduct.

What are the Bail Amounts?

Luckily for those charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance, you are allowed to post bail and be released from jail prior to your trial.  All California counties have their own bail schedules, however, so this means that the amounts may vary depending on the county in which the arrest occurred.


In Orange and San Diego counties, for instance, bail can be set at $1,000 for those charged with this crime; in Orange County, however, this amount will rise to $2,500 for those arrested for a second or subsequent offense. Los Angeles County, on the other hand, sets their bail for an initial arrest at $2,500. These variations are just a few of the many within the vast territory of California state.

Consequences and Penalties

Considering the fact that the charge is only a misdemeanor, individuals convicted of being under the influence of a controlled substance can face serious penalties. At minimum, a person will face 90 days in jail, but this punishment could go all the way up to a full year.

Additionally, an individual may be required to attend drug counseling and perform community service. On top of all of these punishments, those convicted may also end up on probation for up to five years. Because of these penalties, many people believe that the punishment for this crime far exceeds its actual harm.

Too many people think that California is lax on drug crimes simply because medical marijuana is legal, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just being under the influence of a drug, or having recently used one, is enough to constitute criminal charges in the State of California. It is important to note  that this charge is something might affect your future employment—certainly a good reason to achieve bail and obtain legal representation toward dismissing or reducing any potential conviction.

Drug Trafficking | California HS11379


Certain drug laws in many American states are becoming more relaxed. There are some drug offenses, however–including those in California–which still hold a stiff penalty, and one of the most serious a person could face is trafficking. While not many people fully understand exactly what actions constitute this crime, the word alone brings with it an air of infamy. Due to the complex nature of trafficking laws in California, it is important to understand the basics of the local statutes.

What is Drug Trafficking?

The very fact that California was the first state to allow medical marijuana might seem to indicate a lenient perspective on the exchange of drugs—but , the simplicity of any such transactions ends there, with the parameters of Proposition 215.

There are various drug offenses which could constitute trafficking. California Penal Code 11379 states that selling, transporting, furnishing, administering or even giving away drugs within the state could result in a trafficking charge. In fact, the mere offer to do any of these tasks is enough to bring about a charge. This means that any individual who is caught even attempting to sell drugs could face trafficking-related charges. Depending on the specifics of the case, though, an individual could face excessively severe penalties.

Bail for Drug Trafficking

Before a person even wonders about the penalties they face for, the first concern would be to determine whether bail can be posted. Each California county bail schedule provides its own set bail amounts for those charged with this crime, but it’s important to note that these bail amounts can be significantly different between counties. Only potential punishments are instituted statewide, but bail amounts are under local jurisdiction.

In Sacramento and Santa Cruz Counties, an individual charged with crimes falling under trafficking statutes will face a $25,000 bail amount. In Santa Cruz, though, this amount jumps to $50,000 if the trafficking occurred between different counties. Los Angeles and Orange Counties, on the other hand, have schedules as complex as the state laws related to trafficking. Depending on the specifics of a case, trafficking charges could bring up to a $5 million bail amount in Los Angeles and all the way up to $3 million in Orange county.

Penalties for Drug Trafficking

As mentioned, there are various charges that could be related to trafficking, and depending on how the prosecutor chooses to approach the case, offenders could be sentenced under various statutes. California Statute 11379, however, does list potential punishments for trafficking. One violation can result in up to a four year prison sentence. Those who commit trafficking across county lines, on the other hand, could land in jail for up to 9 years.

It should also be noted that punishments can drop all the way down to one year for some of these charges. Simply possessing a few specific drugs with the intent to sell, for instance, may only result in a year in county jail. Sadly, most people will not know what they face until they’re actually charged. As with most criminal statutes, the prosecuting attorney will decide which charges to bring against a defendant.

Drug trafficking is a serious crime, but luckily for those charged with it, trafficking is still a bailable offense. This means you can get out of jail and start working on your defense, and in the case of trafficking charges, you will definitely need a good one. Drug-related charges are always serious, but the penalties for trafficking in California are especially severe.

Possession of a Controlled Substance | California HS11377


Drug crimes are taken very seriously in California. Even though those outside of the state may think California is lenient on drug charges, due to the allowed use of medical marijuana, many individuals still end up in jail every year for drug related issues. One of the most common charges people are faced with is possession of a controlled substance. Due to the potential seriousness of this crime, anyone charged with it should fully understand the law.

What Constitutes Possession of a Controlled Substance?

Possession of a controlled substance, under California law, means exactly what it says. For prosecutors to convict a person for the crime, they must prove that an individual was in possession of a drug that is listed in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. These drugs can include anything from heroine to peyote. In fact, even possessing certain legal medications without a prescription can fall under this law.

Prosecutors can prove possession by either showing that an individual had actual possession of the aforementioned controlled substances (meaning on their person) or they had constructive possession, which means the drug was in a location under their control. It must also be proven that an individual knew what they were doing and had enough of the substance to be used in a controlled manner.

Bail Amounts for Possession of Controlled Substances

Bail amounts for possessing controlled substances can vary greatly depending on where a person was arrested in California, and the circumstances of their case. This crime is actually considered a “wobbler,” and this means that prosecutors can charge it as either a misdemeanor or felony. The most important difference to note, however, is the difference in bail amounts by locale.

In San Luis Obispo County, for instance, a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance will yield a bail amount of $4,500, but this same crime in San Diego County will only lead to a $1,000 bail amount. For felony counts, a person in Los Angeles County could face a $10,000 bail. If, instead, they are captured in Orange County, their bail amount will likely be set at $20,000. For a fuller understanding of the bail schedules defined in each county, contact a Bail Hotline agent who can not only post your bond at a fraction of the face bail amount, but can also assist with payment plans.

Penalties for Possessing Controlled Substances

Misdemeanor convictions will only result in a maximum jail sentence of one year, as it is across the whole country. In addition, a person could have to pay a $1,000 fine. If convicted of felony possession, on the other hand, an individual could face up to three years in a state prison facility. Now there is a chance that a person could go through a drug diversion program rather than spend time in prison, but this is up to the judge.

The penalties for possession of a controlled substance are very serious, and if the prosecutor wishes to make an example of someone, these penalties could become even worse. Because of this, an individual should find legal help immediately if arrested and charged with the crime. There are various defenses to this charge, and as long as an individual doesn’t immediately plead guilty, they still have a chance to avoid conviction.

Possession with Intent to Sell | California HS11378


Just because California allows the use of medical marijuana doesn’t mean that this state is soft on drug crimes. In fact, simply possessing certain drugs can land a person in prison for up to three years. When a person is in possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell them, however, they could face much more serious consequences. Since the penalties are so severe, anyone facing these charges would do well to fully understand the law.

What Constitutes Possession with Intent to Sell?

To prove that a person was in possession of a controlled substance and intended to sell it, California prosecutors must first prove possession. They can do this by showing that a person had a drug that’s listed in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act on their person at the time of arrest. This is known as actual possession. Additionally, possession can be proven by showing that an individual had control over an area, such as their car, where drugs were found.

Possession related to having control over the area where drugs were found is known as constructive possession. When two people have control over the same area, they can still be charged under joint possession rules.

In these cases, prosecutors must also prove that an individual had intent to sell these drugs. This can be proven by several circumstantial pieces of evidence. Evidence can include possession of scales, lots of money (particularly in smaller denominations) or large quantities of the drug. Even having the drug packaged individually in smaller containers can go towards proving intent to sell.

Bail Amounts for Possession with Intent to Sell

Anyone familiar with the California bail system knows that bail amounts for possession with intent to sell can vary widely depending on the county in which the person is arrested. In Los Angeles County, for instance, bail will be set at $30,000 for controlled substance amounts weighing up to one kilogram. This amount can rise all the way up to $5 million, however, depending on the weight of the drugs a person has in his or her control.

San Diego County, on the other hand, has their bail amount for this crime set at a flat $20,000. San Luis Obispo County’s bail is almost identical to this amount, but they set the amount a full $5,000 more at $25,000. If you are uncertain in which facility your friend or family member has been incarcerated, Bail Hotline’s Inmate Search can help provide this information.

Punishments for Possession with Intent to Sell

Those convicted of possession with intent to sell face various penalties. The crime is a felony under California law, and if convicted, an individual could face up to four years in prison for one charge alone; this is in combination with fines that can reach all the way up to $20,000.

Additionally, it is important to note that individuals can actually be charged with the crime multiple times if it can be proven that they intended on making several drug sales. Additionally, aggravating factors, such as excessive weight, can land a person an additional term of up to 25 years. This is in combination with the fact that some crimes, such as transporting drugs, can be charged in relation to possession with intent to sell.

Possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell it is a very serious crime regardless of where a person resides. As can be gathered from the bail amounts and penalties related to the crime in California, though, it’s not hard to see that the state takes an especially harsh stance on the crime. This is why anyone facing these charges should find a legal professional if they hope to avoid spending a good portion of their life behind bars.