Adderall is a prescription medication used for the treatment of attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This medication is similar to Ritalin and Daytrana. It may also be prescribed for bi-polar and/or depression conditions. Adderall works using a combination of different amphetamines to assist with difficulties with focusing and lack of concentration.

Adderall stimulates the central nervous system. It also changes the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain, such as adrenaline, in order to increase attention and decrease hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder where individuals have sudden attacks of sleep and excessive sleepiness during the day.

Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Schedule II substances include drugs such as Vicodin and oxycontin. These drugs have a high potential for abuse, but less than a Schedule I drug and carry a high potential for dependence. It is illegal to possess Adderall without a valid prescription. 

Adderall is known as the “competition drug” because it may increase the ability to study and focus. Because of this, individuals such as college and graduate students have attempted to use it off-label to increase their productivity in school and/or in the workplace. It may also aid in weight loss.

This off-label usage has led to a large underground market for Adderall where individuals are utilizing the drug without a doctor’s advice, supervision, or prescription. Adderall is generally considered a safe drug but it can be a very dangerous drug, especially when abused.

Misuse and/or abuse of Adderall can lead to a serious cardiovascular event and even death. Side effects of the misuse of Adderall can include:

  • Stomachache;
  • Nervousness;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • Headaches;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Mood swings;
  • Disrupted heart rhythm;
  • Increased blood pressure; 
  • Excessive weight loss;
  • Seizure;
  • Stroke; and/or
  • Death.

It is never a good idea to use a prescription medication off-label, as an individual may have an adverse reaction to the drug. Many individuals begin using the drug with a valid prescription and continue using it in an abusive manner.

What Is the California Law on Sale and Transport of Adderall?

In California, there are several crimes involving Adderall. These include:

  • The possession of Adderall without a valid prescription;
  • The possession of Adderall with the intent to sell;
  • The sale and transportation of Adderall; and
  • The possession of Adderall while armed with a firearm.

These crimes can carry very serious punishments including lengthy sentences and hefty fines. Additional charges may also be filed against a defendant depending on the circumstances leading to their arrest.

Under California law, possession of Adderall without a valid prescription is a misdemeanor.

Possession is punishable by up to 364 days in county jail as well as a fine.

In California, possession of Adderall with the intent to sell is a felony. If convicted, an individual can face 2 to 4 year in state prison as well as fines. It is illegal to sell and/or transport the drug without authorization.

The possession of Adderall while armed with a firearm is a felony and a defendant can serve 2 to 4 years in a state prison. The sale and transportation of Adderall is discussed in the following sections.

What Does a Prosecutor Need to Prove to Convict Me of this Offense?

In order for an individual to be convicted of the sale and transport of Adderall, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The individual illegally transported or sold a controlled substance, including Adderall;
  • The individual knew of the presence of the controlled substance;
  • The individual knew the controlled substance was, in fact, Adderall;
  • The controlled substance actually was Adderall;
  • The individual possessed Adderall in a usable amount, as discussed below.

What is Considered a “Usable” Amount?

A usable amount is defined as enough of the substance to be used by an individual as a controlled substance. Debris, dustings, or traces of the substance are not enough to be a usable amount. 

The amount does not depend on the specific individual but must be enough to consume. It does not have to be enough to intoxicate the individual either in amount or strength.

What Does “Transportation” Mean?

Transportation of a controlled substance means the individual moved the substance from one location to another. It does not matter where it was moved, so long as it was moved.

How Does the Law Define Unlawful Possession of Adderall?

Unlawful possession of Adderall occurs when an individual does not have a valid prescription. It is not necessary for the individual to hold or touch the drug to possess it. If the individual has control over the drug of the right to control it, either personally or through another, that is possession. Agreeing to purchase Adderall alone does not constitute control over the substance. 

Unlawful possession of Adderall can be actual, constructive, and/or joint. An individual has actual possession of a substance if it is found on their person, such as in their pocket or handbag. 

Constructive possession is when an individual does not have the substance on their person but has access to it and/or the right to exercise control over it. If the substance is found in an individual’s bedroom, a place they have access and control over, they have constructive possession.

Joint possession extends actual and/or constructive possession. This occurs when two or more individuals share actual or constructive possession of the substance. Usually, it occurs when the substance is found in a shared space where both individuals have constructive possession.

What is Knowledge of the Presence and Nature of Adderall?

In order to be convicted, an individual must know the nature of and the presence of Adderall. The individual does not have to know the chemical components of the drug, just that it is a controlled substance. 

What is the Punishment for a Transportation and Sale of Adderall Conviction in California?

The sale and transport of Adderall is a felony in California. The penalty for selling and transporting Adderall in California can range from 3 to 5 years in state prison.

Are There Any Defenses to Adderall Possession Charge in California?

There may be defenses available to the charge of Adderall possession in California. These can include having a valid prescription. If the individual was using the Adderall pursuant to and in accordance with their valid prescription, no crime was committed. 

Another possible defense to this charge is that the individual did not know Adderall was in their possession. They may also be unaware of the nature of Adderall. 

Can a Lawyer Help Me Fight My Adderall Charge in California?

Yes, an experienced California drug lawyer can assist you in fighting an Adderall charge. An Adderall charge can have very serious and life-long consequences, especially if charged as a felony. A felony conviction can implement the three strikes law in your jurisdiction, even many years after a conviction.

An experienced attorney can review the facts of your case, advise you on what defenses may be available to you, and represent you during any court proceedings. In some cases, an attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction in charges from a felony to a misdemeanor.