California Health and Safety Code § 11379 HS prohibits the sale (or transportation for sale) of methamphetamine. A conviction is a felony punishable by up to 4 years in jail or prison, and up to $10,000.00 in fines.
Other illegal acts under HS 11379 include giving away meth or administering it to another person. You violate this law just by offering to do any of these things.
The language of the code section reads that:
11379. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) and in Article 7 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport any controlled substance which is (1) classified in Schedule III, IV, or V and which is not a narcotic drug, except subdivision (g) of Section 11056, (2) specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11054, except paragraphs (13), (14), (15), (20), (21), (22), and (23) of subdivision (d), (3) specified in paragraph (11) of subdivision (c) of Section 11056, (4) specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, or (5) specified in subdivision (d) or (e), except paragraph (3) of subdivision (e), or specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), of Section 11055, unless upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian, licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of two, three, or four years.
(b) Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of subdivision (a), any person who transports any controlled substances specified in subdivision (a) within this state from one county to another noncontiguous county shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, six, or nine years.
(c) For purposes of this section, “transports” means to transport for sale.
(d) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude or limit prosecution under an aiding and abetting theory, accessory theory, or a conspiracy theory.
- selling methamphetamine to a neighbor.
- driving with meth tablets in a trunk for the purpose of selling them to someone.
- injecting another person with meth.
Criminal defense lawyers can use a certain legal strategy to help you contest felony charges under this statute. A few common strategies include showing that:
- you transported meth but did not intend to sell it,
- you were entrapped, and/or
- law enforcement conducted an unlawful search and seizure.
The crime is punishable by:
- custody in jail or prison for up to four years, and/or
- a maximum fine of $10,000.
Our California criminal defense attorneys will discuss the following in this article:
- 1. How does California law define “the sale or transportation of methamphetamine”?
- 2. Are there legal defenses?
- 3. What are the penalties for Health & Safety Code 11379 HS?
- 4. Are there related offenses?
1. How does California law define “the sale or transportation of methamphetamine”?
HS 11379 makes it illegal to do any of the following:
- sell or exchange meth for money, services or anything else of value,
- transport methamphetamine from one location to another (regardless of distance) with the intent to sell it,
- give away or provide the controlled substance to others,
- administer meth to someone else, and/or
- offer or attempt to perform any of the foregoing acts.1
A prosecutor must prove the following to successfully convict you under this statute:
- you engaged in at least one of the specific acts mentioned above,
- you knew of the drug’s presence and nature as a controlled substance, and
- you sold or transported a “usable amount” of methamphetamine.2
As to “usable amount,” there can only be a guilty conviction if you possess enough meth so that it can be used as a controlled substance. This does not mean that you have to possess large quantities of meth so that someone can get high. Rather, there just has to be enough of the drug so that it can be used in the way someone would normally use methamphetamines (for example, smoke it, snort it, swallow it, etc.).3
Note that this code section applies to methamphetamines, but it also prohibits the sale and transportation of other stimulants and non-narcotic drugs as well.
For example, it applies to:
2. Are there legal defenses?
If you are accused of drug crimes under this statute, you can challenge the accusation with a legal defense. Three common defenses include you showing that:
- you did not intend to sell meth.
- you were entrapped.
- a police officer conducted an unlawful search and seizure.
2.1. No intent to sell
Under this criminal law, it is a crime to transport methamphetamines with an intent to sell them. You can challenge these types of allegations with the assertion that, while you may have transported meth, you did not do so with an intent to sell the drug. Perhaps, for example, you had meth for your own personal use.
Entrapment is when police use some type of overbearing conduct to trick you into committing a crime. The defense often arises when you are charged with a meth crime after an undercover sting. Entrapment is an acceptable legal defense so long as you show you only committed a HS 11379 offense because of the entrapment.
2.3. Unlawful search and seizure
This is a common defense in criminal cases involving drugs. Police must have a warrant, or a legal excuse for not having one, to lawfully conduct a search and seizure. If not, you can raise the defense that you were arrested after the authorities conducted an invalid search and seizure.4 If successful, the defense can work to reduce or dismiss a charge.
3. What are the penalties for Health & Safety Code 11379 HS?
A violation of this code section is a felony offense.
The crime is punishable by:
- custody in jail or prison for up to four years, and/or
- a maximum fine of $10,000.5
You are not eligible for drug diversion (drug treatment) in lieu of prison time if convicted under this code section.
Further, you can receive enhanced jail time if any of the following apply:
- you were convicted of transporting meth across two or more county lines (with intent to sell it),
- you violated the law on the grounds of a drug treatment center, a “detox” facility, or a homeless shelter,6
- you had more than one kilogram of meth in your possession,7
- you used a minor’s help to violate the statute.8
Note that if you are a legal immigrant or legal alien, a conviction under HS 11378 could lead to deportation.9
4. Are there related offenses?
There are three crimes related to the sale or transportation of methamphetamines. These are:
- possession of methamphetamine – HS 11377,
- possession of methamphetamine for sale – HS 11378,
- driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) – VC 23152f,
- being under the influence of a controlled substance – HS 11550, and
- manufacturing a controlled substance – HS 11379.6.
4.1. Possession of methamphetamine – HS 11377
Per Health & Safety Code 11377, possession of meth is unlawfully possessing methamphetamines as well as certain other narcotics.
As with violations under HS 11379, you can challenge violations of this code section with the defense that police conducted an unlawful search and seizure.
4.2. Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale – HS 11378
Per Health and Safety Code 11378, possession of methamphetamine for sale is possessing meth with the intent to sell the drug.
Like with the sale or transportation of meth, you can contest a charge of this offense with the defense that you did not act with an intent to sell a drug.
4.3. Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) – VC 23152f
Under Vehicle Code 23152f HS, DUID is driving while under the influence of drugs.
Prosecutors can charge this crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This is not true with HS 11379, which is always charged as a felony.
4.4. Being under the influence of a controlled substance – HS 11550
Under Health & Safety Code 11550 HS, being under the influence of a controlled substance is being under the influence of a controlled substance or a narcotic drug that is not lawfully prescribed.
This is a less severe offense than selling or transporting meth. A violation of this law is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year.
4.5. Manufacturing a controlled substance – HS 11379.6
Per Health and Safety Code 11379.6 HS, manufacturing a controlled substance is making a controlled substance, like methamphetamines, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, and opiates.
Note that if you make meth, and then transport the drug to sell it, prosecutors can charge you under both:
- HS 11379.6, and
- HS 11379.
For additional help…
For additional guidance or to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer, we invite you to contact our law firm/law offices at the Shouse Law Group. Our attorneys provide both consultations and legal advice you can trust.
Our lawyers also represent clients throughout California State, including those in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, San Diego, Newport Beach, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino, and Ventura.
- California Health & Safety Code 11379 HS.
- Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) 2300 — Sale, Transportation for Sale, etc., of Controlled Substance. See also People v. Ormiston (2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 676; People v. LaCross (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 182; People v. Rogers (1971) 5 Cal.3d 129; People v. Jackson (1963) 59 Cal.2d 468; Valenzuela v. Superior Court (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 1445; People v. Peregrina-Larios (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 1522; People v. Murphy (2007) 154 Cal.App.4th 979; People v. Lua (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 1004; People v. Davis (2013) 57 Cal.4th 353; People v. Piper (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 248; People v. Rubacalba (1993) 6 Cal.4th 62; People v. Emmal (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1313; People v. Lazenby (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 1842; People v. Horn (1960) 187 Cal.App.2d 68; People v. Label (1974) 43 Cal.App.3d 766.
- See same.
- See, for example, People v. Zabala (2018) 19 Cal.App.5th 335.
- California Health and Safety Code 11378 HS. See also California Penal Code 1170h PC.
- California Health and Safety Code 11380.7 HS.
- California Health and Safety Code 11370.4 HS.
- California Health and Safety Code 11353 HS.
- Ruiz-Vidal v. Lynch (2015) 803 F.3d 1049.