Adderall is a type of amphetamine, intended for the treatment of ADHD and ADD as well as narcolepsy. It is similar to Ritalin and Daytrana in that they are all stimulants designed to enhance a person’s ability to focus on their tasks, such as work or school. Because of this, Adderall is commonly referred to as the “competition drug.” Unfortunately, this has led to abuse and unlawful possession of the drug.

Being in possession of Adderall is not necessarily a crime. It becomes an issue when the person who is in possession of the drug does not have a legal and valid prescription. Another example of how possession of Adderall can be a crime would be if a person with a prescription possesses an amount in excess. This would be reason to believe that they are selling or distributing the drug to other parties. Selling Adderall would be considered a criminal offense because Adderall is classified as a Schedule II narcotic.

In California, there is an even more specific prescription drug crime of simultaneously possessing Adderall and a firearm. To clarify, criminal possession of Adderall, combined with knowingly possessing a firearm that is loaded is a more aggravated crime that is punishable as a felony. Along with that specific crime, the possession of adderall, without a valid prescription, can also be a crime if the adderall is sold, or transported.

How Is Illegal Possession of Adderall and Firearms Defined in California?

The California Health and Safety Code, specifically 11370.1, makes it a crime in California to unlawfully possess any amount of specified drugs while armed with a loaded and operable firearm. One of the drugs specified under the Code is Adderall. As mentioned above, the crime of illegal possession of Adderall by itself is already a crime, but the crime becomes more aggravated if the drug is possessed simultaneously with an operable and loaded firearm. 

More specifically the crime of illegal possession of drugs with a loaded and operable firearm is considered a felony. As such, the crime of possession of Adderall and a firearm in California is punishable by two to four years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000.00, or a combination of both. Additionally, there are collateral penalties that come with being convicted of possessing a firearm and Aderrall simultaneously. For example, if you are convicted of the crime you may be banned from possessing a firearm in the future, you will have to disclose your felony conviction on future employment applications, and you may even lose your professional licenses. 

What Does the Prosecution Need to Show to Convict Me of Possessing a Firearm and Adderall at the Same Time?

Although it may seem obvious, in order for the prosecution to convict you of illegal possession of Adderall and a firearm at the same time, the prosecution must prove the elements of the criminal act beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecutor must prove that:

  1. You possess the controlled substance of Adderall;
  2. That your possession of Adderall was unlawful;
  3. You knew that the Adderall was present, and you knew that the substance was a controlled substance;
  4. The amount of Adderall was a useable amount; 
  5. You possessed a firearm; and 
  6. The firearm was both operable and loaded. 

Thus, if the prosecution cannot prove any of the above listed elements of the criminal act, you may not be convicted of the crime of possession of Adderall while armed with a firearm. However, it is important to note that illegal possession of Adderall by itself is a crime, and carries lesser criminal penalties. Therefore, if the prosecution is able to prove that you possessed adderall, but the firearm you carried was inoperable or unloaded, you may be charged with the lesser of the two crimes. 

How Is “Firearm” Defined in California?

Simply put, a firearm is a weapon that releases a projectile. California laws define the term “firearm” as a device that is designed to be used as a weapon, in which a projectile is expelled through a barrel by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion. As can be seen by the definition of firearm, the prosecution will only have to show that the device was designed to be used as a weapon and capable of launching a projectile. 

However, under this definition a slingshot would not meet the definition of a firearm, as the projectile in that case is not expelled by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion. 

What’s the Punishment for Possessing Adderall and a Firearm?

Once again, the crime of illegal possession of Adderall with a loaded and operable firearm is considered a felony under the California Health and Safety Code. As such, the crime of possession of Adderall and a firearm in California is punishable by two to four years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000.00, or a combination of both. 

Further, as discussed above, there are other penalties that come along with being convicted of a felony, such as loss of licenses, the inability to possess a firearm in the future, and having to disclose the conviction on future employment or professional applications. 

What Are the Possible Defenses to a Possession of Adderall and Firearm Charge?

There are numerous legal defenses available to either lessen the criminal charges being brought against you, or have the charges completely dismissed. The best way of combating the criminal charge of possession of Adderall and a firearm is to disprove one of the elements of the crime. For example, the gun found on scene was not reachable and was not loaded and operable at the time. 

Another legal defense would be to show that your possession of Adderall was lawful possession. For example, if you are charged with the crime because at the time you are unable to demonstrate you were prescribed Adderall, you can later have the charges dismissed. This is possible if you show that you had a valid prescription for Adderall at the time and the amount of Adderall you had was covered by the prescription. 

Disproving one of the elements of the crime may also reduce the charge. As noted above, illegal possession of Adderall is still a crime, but illegal possession without an operable and loaded firearm carries less criminal penalties. Similarly, possession of an operable and loaded firearm without illegal possession of a controlled substance also carries lesser criminal penalties. Therefore, it is important that any evidence that tends to disprove the elements of the crime are demonstrated to the court. 

Do I Need a Lawyer to Fight This Adderall Drug Charge?

As can be seen, the possession of Adderall and a loaded and operable firearm carries significant criminal penalties in the state of California. As such, if you are being charged with criminal possession of Adderall and a firearm, it is important to immediately contact an experienced local California drug lawyer in your area. 

An experienced local California criminal law attorney will be able to request all evidence and witness testimony in your case and conduct a proper review of all of the evidence against the elements of the crime. An attorney will then be able to assert any and all legal defenses that may be available to you to have the charges against you dismissed. 

Additionally, an attorney will also be able to conduct plea talks with the State to reduce the criminal charges being brought against you. Although under the California Health and Safety Code criminal possession of a firearm and Adderall is ineligible for the drug diversion program, probation may still be a valid option. 

Finally, an attorney will be able to represent you at any criminal hearings in front of the court, as well as continue to work with you to ensure that the charges against you are handled in the best manner.