Codeine, a narcotic, is used to reduce excitement and irritability. It’s considered medication when a person has a valid prescription for the drug. If the person doesn’t have a valid prescription, it’s considered an illegal substance.
“Possession” can be either actual or constructive. Actual possession refers to someone having codeine in their possession. Constructive possession refers to having the codeine in a location that’s in the defendant’s control.
In addition to actual and constructive possession, there is shared possession. This means the defendant and at least one person shared possession of the codeine. So if the controlled substance is found in some place like in a shared home, roommates can be charged with possession.
In California, being under the influence of codeine is a separate offense. It’s defined as either taking codeine without a valid prescription or using more of the drug than prescribed. In those cases, to possess codeine refers to having a controlled substance.
The prosecutor must prove five things to convict a defendant of codeine possession:
A codeine possession conviction carries the punishment of a fine and jail time. It can be probation and up to one year in county jail or 16 months to three years behind bars.
Yes, contact a criminal lawyer about your codeine possession charge and possible defenses.
Last Modified: 05-20-2018 08:32 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.