Cocaine is an illegal hard drug whose possession, production and distribution without prescription is prohibited in Sacramento. Possession of crack cocaine, a free base form of cocaine that can be smoked, carries heavier penalties under federal and some state laws.
A person is said to illegally possess cocaine if he or she knowingly has cocaine in his or her person. The person can also be charged with possession if in situations in which the law interprets him or her to have legal control over the drug. This is considered “constructive possession”. Individuals have been charged for constructive possession after the drug was discovered in;
- A home, vehicle, business, or other property owned or rented by the individual.
- A social club managed by the individual.
- A hotel room in which the individual was a guest.
- A warehouse used by the individual.
- A parcel addressed to the individual.
California cocaine laws have become less stringent after voters approved Proposition 36 in 2000. These laws establish special drug courts and give non-violent drug crime defendants the option of getting treatment in exchange for supervised probation. However, according to Penal Code Section 1000, those with prior records may receive 30- to 90-day county jail sentences for possession, instead of felony charges with a likelihood of state prison time.
The defendant in a cocaine possession case has a number of possible defenses to beat the charge. These are;
- Illegal search and seizure.
- Police misconduct
- Cocaine belonged to someone else
Possession of drug can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony punishable up to 3 years in state prison and supervised probation.
Possession with the intent to sell is punishable by a jail term of 3-5 years in a state prison.
Sale of the drug to minors is punishable by a jail term of 3, 5, or 7 years in a state prison.
According to the California Penal Code, anyone who sells cocaine to a day care, preschool, or school children will be sentenced to 5, 7, or 9 years in a state prison.
An adult who sells to a minor or uses a minor in the sale process is punishable in state prison for 3, 6, or 9 yrs. However,
- If the sale happened within 1000 ft. of school, the punishment attracts an additional 3, 4, or 5 years.
- If the sale occurred upon the grounds of a child daycare, school, church, synagogue, or youth center, the punishment is automatically enhanced by one year.
- If the sale happened on a public area, the offence is punishable by state prison for 5, 7, or 9 yrs. if seller 5 yrs. older than minor.
Anyone who imports or transports cocaine will be jailed for 3-5 years. However, transport of the drug from county to noncontiguous county is punishable by a jail term of 3, 6, or 9 years.