Under Health & Safety Code 11383 HS, it is a crime to possess certain chemicals with the intent to use those materials to manufacture Phencyclidine (PCP). A violation of this section is a felony offense punishable by up to six years in county jail.
The language of HS 11383 states:
“Any person who possesses at the same time any of the following combinations, a combination product thereof, or possesses any compound or mixture containing the chemicals listed in the following combinations, with the intent to manufacture phencyclidine (PCP) or any of its analogs…is guilty of a felony…:
(1) Piperidine and cyclohexanone.
(2) Pyrrolidine and cyclohexanone.
(3) Morpholine and cyclohexanone.”
Criminal defense lawyers draw upon several different legal strategies to challenge accusations under this statute. A few common ones include lawyers showing that:
- the accused did not intend to manufacture PCP,
- the defendant did not possess certain chemicals, and/or
- law enforcement conducted an unlawful search and seizure.
The crime is punishable by:
- up to six years in county jail under California’s realignment program, and/or
- a maximum fine of $10,000.
Our California criminal defense attorneys will explain the following in this article:
- 1. How does California law define “possessing materials for manufacturing PCP”?
- 2. Are there legal defenses?
- 3. What are the penalties?
- 4. Are there related offenses?
1. How does California law define “possessing materials for manufacturing PCP”?
A prosecutor must prove the following to successfully convict a person under this statute:
- the defendant possessed certain chemicals in specified combinations that can be used to manufacture PCP (or an analog of this drug), and
- when the defendant possessed those chemicals, he/she specifically intended to use them to manufacture PCP.1
The chemicals that can support a charge of possession of materials for manufacturing drugs under this code section include:
- piperidine and cyclohexanone,
- pyrrolidine and cyclohexanone, and
- morpholine and cyclohexanone.2
For purposes of this statute, “possession” includes simple possession, or where a defendant has the above chemicals on his/her person.
Note, though, that people can possess chemicals even if they never touched them or carried them. All that is required is that a defendant had control over the materials or the right to control them, either personally or through someone else.3
Note, too, that a person does not have to successfully manufacture PCP to be guilty of this crime. Further, a defendant can be guilty of this offense just for possessing the chemicals and harboring a very vague hope of using them to manufacture drugs.
2. Are there legal defenses?
People accused of a crime under this law can challenge the accusation with a legal defense. Three common ones include defendants showing that:
- they did not intend to manufacture PCP.
- they did not possess certain chemicals or materials.
- the police conducted an unlawful search and seizure.
2.1. No intent
Recall that people are only guilty of this law if they possessed the chemicals listed in the statute with the intent to make PCP. Therefore, it is always a defense for an accused to show that he/she did not want to make any illegal drugs.
2.2. No possession
Recall, too, that a defendant is only guilty of violating this statute if he/she possessed certain chemicals. Further, possession carries a very precise legal definition. A defense, then, is for a defendant to show that he/she did not possess any chemicals.
2.3. Unlawful search and seizure
This is a popular defense for many drug crimes. The State of California says that law enforcement can only conduct a search or seizure with a valid search warrant. If they do not have one, then they must have a valid excuse. If no warrant or excuse, then any evidence gathered from the unlawful search or seizure can get excluded from the case.
If a defendant can show that the police conducted an illegal search or seizure, then a judge could reduce a defendant’s charges or drop them altogether.
3. What are the penalties?
A violation of this code section is a felony.4
The crime is punishable by:
- up to six years in county jail (as opposed to state prison), and/or
- a maximum fine of $10,000.5
These penalties can increase if the accused has prior convictions or a criminal record.
Note that judge can award a defendant with felony (or formal) probation in lieu of jail time.
4. Are there related offenses?
There are three crimes related to possessing materials for making PCP. These are:
- possessing materials for manufacturing methamphetamine – HS 11383.5,
- manufacturing a controlled substance – HS 11379.6, and/or
- possession for sale of controlled substances – HS 11351.
4.1. Possessing materials for manufacturing methamphetamine – HS 11383.5
Under Health & Safety Code 11383.5 HS, possessing materials for manufacturing methamphetamine is the crime where people:
- possess certain chemicals in specified combinations that can be used to manufacture meth or N-ethyl amphetamine (or an analog of these drugs), and
- do so with the intent to manufacture meth or N-ethyl amphetamine.
As with violations of HS 11383, people can contest charges of violating this statute by showing that they did not:
- intend to make meth or N-ethyl amphetamine, or
- possess certain chemicals.
4.2. Manufacturing a controlled substance – HS 11379.6
Under Health & Safety Code 11379.6 HS, manufacturing a controlled substance is the crime where people make illegal narcotics such as PCP, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, and opiates.
Note that if a person possesses certain chemicals with the intent to make PCP, and successfully manufactures the drug, a prosecutor can charge the party with both:
- possessing materials for manufacturing PCP, and
- manufacturing a controlled substance.
4.3. Possession for sale of controlled substances – HS 11351
Per Health & Safety Code 11351 HS, possession for sale of controlled substances is the crime where people possess certain controlled substances in order to sell them.
The term “possession” under this statute carries the same definition as under HS 11383.
For additional help…
For additional guidance or to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer, we invite you to contact our law firm at the Shouse Law Group. Our attorneys provide both free consultations and legal advice you can trust.
Our lawyers also represent clients throughout California State, including those in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Sacramento.
- CALCRIM No. 2336 – Possession with Intent to Manufacture PCP. Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition). See also People v. Perez (2005) 35 Cal.4th 1219.
- California Health & Safety Code 11383a HSC.
- CALCRIM No. 2336. See also People v. Barnes (1997) 57 Cal.App.4th 552.
- California Health & Safety Code 11383a HC.
- See same. See also Penal Code 1170h PC.