Criminal Law methadone possession

Published on January 23rd, 2016 | by Daniel R. Perlman

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Methadone Possession in California

Methadone has many different street names including dollies, dolls, fizzies and methadose and has been used since the 1960s to treat heroin addiction. It is available through approved outpatient treatment programs, where it is dispensed to patients on a daily basis. Use of methadone is legal for only those individuals who are part of the appropriate treatment programs and who have the necessary prescriptions.

The federal government and the states list the various types of drugs that they consider to be “controlled,” that is, available (if at all) only through a valid prescription. Possession of a controlled substance occurs whenever a person owns or otherwise possesses a drug or other illegal substance. Because methadone falls in the opiates category under California’s Health and Safety Code, and is a Schedule II controlled substance, possessing this drug is a crime under federal as well as state laws. People found guilty of unlawfully possessing methadone can end up being sentenced to 16 months in jail or two to three years of in prison.

The legal definition of “possession” can refer to three distinct legal concepts. They are “actual” possession, “constructive” possession or “joint” possession.

It has been determined by courts that a person can have either actual or constructive possession over the drug. Actual possession means that a person physically has it on his person or otherwise in personal custody. Constructive possession means that the person has control over the drug, such as by having the drugs in a car, a purse, or hidden in the home. Possession, in general, means that a person has personal and physical control over the illegal substance.

Joint or shared possession refers to a situation where two or more people have possession of the drug. A defendant can be convicted of possessing a controlled substance if the prosecutor can show the accused had at least partial control over the drug. If you have been accused of a drug crime please call Los Angele Drug Lawyer Daniel Perlman.

Daniel R. Perlman, Esq.

Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

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