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What Are the Penalties for Fentanyl Possession Charges in California?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is used to treat severe pain, primarily in hospitals. Unfortunately, it is also highly addictive and is a leading cause of death in our nation at this time. Frequently, the drug is mixed with other drugs on the street to increase its potency and profitability, which only further increases the chances of overdose and death. Because fentanyl currently poses such a significant threat to public health and safety, California has strict laws and penalties for those who are found in possession of the drug. If you have allegedly been caught with fentanyl in your possession, you have a lot on the line. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Tehama County drug crimes lawyer from Cohen Criminal Law to learn more about fentanyl possession charges in California and how we can help if you’re currently facing them. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the potential penalties for fentanyl possession charges in California?

Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11350, it is illegal to possess fentanyl for personal use without a valid prescription. This is a misdemeanor offense that carries the following penalties:

  • Up to one year in county jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Probation or drug diversion program

You should also note that if you have a prior serious or violent felony conviction, or if you have two or more prior drug possession convictions, you could potentially face felony charges instead. The penalties for felony fentanyl possession charges can include:

  • Up to three years in state prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Mandatory drug treatment program

What are the penalties for selling fentanyl in California?

It should come as no surprise that the penalties for selling fentanyl are even harsher than the penalties for simply possessing it for personal use. The penalties for the sale of fentanyl include:

  • Up to four years in state prison
  • A fine of up to $20,000
  • Asset forfeiture
  • If caught with more than one kg of fentanyl for sale, an additional three to 25 years in prison and an $8 million fine.

Further, if you’re accused of trafficking fentanyl, you will face the harshest set of penalties, which include up to five years in state prison, a potential $20,000 fine, and asset forfeiture. For trafficking more than one kg of fentanyl across two or more county lines, you will face an additional three to 25 years of incarceration and a potential $ million fine.

Rather obviously, fentanyl charges of any kind can have a lasting impact on your future, which is why if you’re facing these charges, you need an aggressive attorney in your corner who can fight them at every turn. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today so we can get started working on your case.