Possession of Adderall in California

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 Is Adderall Possession a Crime in California?

Adderall is a combination of two kinds of amphetamine. Both of these substances stimulate the central nervous system. Adderall is generally prescribed to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

People using Adderall beyond the prescribed amount have a higher risk of becoming addicted to it. Some people may use it to advance in personal or professional goals. It is dangerous to think that Adderall is somehow safe because doctors prescribe it. This is not true, and continued abuse of the drug can lead to adverse long-term effects.

Adderall is popular among the general public because it gives a quick boost to physical and mental performance. It is mostly used by students in high school and college. But, taking Adderall without a prescription or in any way not directed by the doctor is considered abuse. It is also illegal. Usually, Adderall is abused for the following purposes: weight loss, as an aid to academic study, athletic performance, recreation, and staying awake.

Possession of Adderall without a prescription is a crime under both federal and California state law. Under the California Health and Safety Code Section 11350 (HSC), it is illegal to possess Adderall without a valid prescription. Adderall is a controlled substance in the state of California.

Adderall is also listed as a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which regulates the manufacture and possession of a multitude of controlled substances in the U.S.

A first offense of possession of Adderall is a misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by up to 1 year in a county jail and payment of a fine of up to $1,000. It is illegal for a person to possess Adderall unless they have a valid prescription.

The CSA has categorized drugs, substances, and certain chemicals that are used to make drugs into six different schedules. The schedule on which a drug is listed depends on its medical uses and potential for abuse. All Adderall medications are listed on Schedule II under the CSA.

What Must the Prosecution Prove to Convict Me of Adderall Possession?

A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements in order to convict a perpetrator of possession of Adderall without a valid prescription.

  • The person possessed Adderall unlawfully, i.e., they did not have a valid prescription for it;
  • The person knew of the presence in their possession or under their control of Adderall;
  • The person was aware of the nature of the substance as Adderall;
  • The controlled substance was, in fact, Adderall; and
  • The person possessed a usable amount of Adderall and not just crumbs or dust.

What Does “Possession” Mean?

As noted above, the possession of Adderall is unlawful when the person who possesses it does not have a valid prescription from a doctor. It is not required for a person to actually hold or touch Adderall to possess it. Possession is shown if the person has control over Adderall or has the right to control it, either personally or through another person.

Agreeing to buy Adderall does not by itself mean that a person has control over the substance. California criminal law generally defines possession in three different ways: actual possession, constructive possession, and joint possession. Possessing Adderall in any of these ways is part of what makes it illegal.

Actual possession of Adderall means that a person has direct and immediate physical control of the substance. For example, a person can have Adderall in their pocket, their backpack, or in one of their body cavities. A person can be charged with unlawful possession if it is obvious that they possessed Adderall shortly before a police search, even if the Adderall is not physically on the person at the time they are searched by law enforcement.

For example, a person may be the driver of a car that the police have stopped. The police find Adderall on the ground next to the driver’s side of the car. It is obvious that the driver threw the Adderall out of the driver’s side window in order to avoid being found in possession of Adderall. This could qualify as actual possession of the Adderall by the driver of the car.

Moreover, the constructive possession of Adderall exists when the substance is not found on the person but is discovered in an area over which the person has control, either directly or through another person. Mere access to Adderall or being near the drug or someone who possesses the drug does not constitute constructive possession. The person must have control over the area in which the Adderall is located.

For example, the police may find a non-prescribed Adderall in a person’s desk but the person is not present in the home at the time of the search. The owner of the desk would not have actual possession of Adderall but constructive possession of the substance and could be charged with misdemeanor possession of Adderall.

What Is Shared Possession?

Joint possession of Adderall means that a person and at least one other person share either actual or constructive possession. For joint constructive possession, which is more likely, this could be where Adderall is discovered in a desk at a home that a person shares with a roommate. Furthermore, the person and their friend or roommate could have both gathered money together to obtain Adderall and use it for illicit purposes. In this case, both may be charged with joint possession.

What Is the Punishment for Adderall Possession?

As noted above, under California Health and Safety Code 11350 HS, the illegal possession of Adderall is usually charged as a misdemeanor and not a felony. Possession of Adderall without a valid prescription is punishable as a misdemeanor. If convicted, a person can face up to 364 days in county jail and a fine of not more than $1,000.

However, in some circumstances, illegal possession of a controlled substance can be prosecuted as a felony. The situations are usually limited to those in which a perpetrator has a prior conviction for a sex crime or a serious felony. Generally, if these conditions apply to a case in which an accused is arrested for illegal possession of Adderall, they may be charged with a felony.

Another crime involving Adderall that may be punished more harshly is possession of Adderall while in possession of a firearm. This crime is a felony criminal offense, and it is punishable by imprisonment for 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison.

Possession of Adderall for sale is also a felony. If a person is convicted, they may face 2 to 4 years in state prison.

The sale and transport of Adderall is another crime that is punishable as a felony. The punishment is imprisonment for 3, 4, or 5 years in state prison. Selling in this offense means exchanging Adderall for money, services, or anything of value, and transporting means simply moving Adderall from one location to another.

In California, drug diversion programs permit some people convicted of nonviolent drug possession offenses to serve their sentence in a drug treatment program instead of prison or jail. If a person is convicted of certain Adderall offenses, they may qualify for participation in a drug treatment program instead of serving a sentence in jail or prison. Once the person finishes a drug diversion program, they may qualify to have their drug charge dismissed.

Should I Contact a Lawyer for Help With My Adderall Possession Charge?

If you have been charged with possession of Adderall, you want to consult a local California drug attorney to review the facts of your case and assess your legal options. It is best to seek out a legal professional early on to avoid the worst possible consequences of conviction.

You may have a valid defense to your charge. The three common defenses to California Adderall prescription laws are possession of a valid prescription for the Adderall, lack of awareness that the drug was in the perpetrator’s possession, or that the Adderall was discovered during an illegal search.

There are negative consequences resulting from conviction other than incarceration and payment of a fine. A criminal record of the conviction could cause difficulty with many aspects of life.

For example, it can interfere with your job prospects. Additionally, a person may not be able to get a security clearance to do government work. It can also affect housing, applying for financial aid, and custody cases and may lead to deportation for certain convictions. LegalMatch can connect you to a local California attorney who can help you get a better result in your case.


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