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Sell or Possess Imitation Drugs
HS 109575 & 11355

Information on the crime of making, selling or possessing imitation drugs is found at California health and safety code sections 109575 and 11355.

The Law


HS 109575: Any person who knowingly makes, distributes, or possesses an imitation controlled substance (fake medication), with the intent to distribute those controlled substances, is guilty of HS 109575 (Abbrev.).

Controlled Substances: A controlled substance is a medication that is controlled and regulated by the government. For purposes of HS 109575 crimes, most imitation controlled substances are replicas of medications that are highly addictive. Examples include: Vicodin, OxyContin (Oxy), Demerol, Percoset, Davrvocet, Ritalin, Norco, Hydrocodone, Codeine, and more.

HS 11355: It is illegal to sell, attempt to sell, manufacture, or possess an imitation illegal drug, with the intent to distribute that illegal drug (HS 11355 Abbrev.).

Common Illegal Drugs: Illegal drugs that are often imitated include Cocaine, Methamphetamine (Speed, Crank, Go Fast, Tina, etc.), PCP, Heroine, Opium, MDMA, Ecstasy, Molly, LSD, and more.

Possession Defined: Possession of an imitation can be actual or constructive . Actual possession means the defendant has the fake drugs in his or her immediate control (usually on his or her person). Constructive possession means the defendant has the ability to control the imitation drugs (such as in the defendant's home even if the defendant is not home).


HS 109575: Possession of Imitation Controlled Substance is charged as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of HS 109575, the defendant could face up to 180 days in jail.

HS 11355: Possession of Imitation Illegal Drugs is charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. If found guilty of misdemeanor HS 11355, the defendant could face up to one year in jail. If found guilty of felony HS 11355, the defendant could face up to sixteen months, two years, or three years in jail (Maximum).

Probation: A probation sentence is a period of supervision instead of jail. Probation sentences may be allowed in both HS 109575 and 11355 cases, but they are not guaranteed. Whether or not a defendant receives a probation sentence after a conviction for making, selling, possessing, or delivering imitation drugs depends on many factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the amount of drugs possessed by the defendant.

PC 1170(h) Sentence: If the defendant is not granted a probation sentence after being convicted of selling imitation illegal drugs, then he or she will serve his or her incarceration in a local county jail (as opposed to a state prison). In addition, any jail time related to a felony conviction for HS 11355 may be split (served partially out of custody on work release), or suspended.


Common defenses to HS 109575 and 11355 include: insufficient evidence, mistake off fact (believed the controlled substance was authentic), jury nullification, and more.

Note: Fleeting possession could be a defense. For example, if the defendant takes possessing of imitation drugs only for the purpose of protecting another purpose, then the defendant may be legally justified in taking that temporary possession. Also, possession of an imitation drug without the intent to distribute could be a defense. For example, if he defendant is filming a movie and using imitation drugs as part of that film, then the defendant may have a defense as he or she is not intending to distribute or sell those imitation drugs.

Note: Possession, selling, making, or delivery, of imitation drugs could be a crime involving moral turpitude as those crimes involve deceit. Crimes involving moral turpitude carry collateral consequences for no US citizens and persons who hold professional licenses , such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc.).

Other punishments can include: fines and fees, civil lawsuits, denial of entry into the military (Marines, Navy, Army, etc.), and more.

If you have been arrested or charged with manufacture, selling, possession, or delivery of, imitation controlled substance (HS 109575) or illegal drugs (HS 11355) , contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our lawyers will patiently review your defense options and we are available every day of the week to assist yo. Call today!



Quick Legal Reference​

Crime: Sell or Possess Imitation Controlled Substance (Drugs)

Code: HS 109575 (CalCrim No. 2316)

Wobbler: No. HS 109575 is not a wobbler. This means that HS 109575 is only charged as a misdemeanor.​


Incarceration: ​HS 109575 jail sentence up to 180 days.

Probation: Probation may be available in HS 109575 cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​

Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.

Strike: HS 109575 is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.​


Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)

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