California is home to some of the most prominent and prolific narcotics manufacturing operations globally. Over the past few decades, clandestine laboratories have been established throughout the state, producing a vast percentage of drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, among others drugs. These operations can produce thousands of pounds of illicit drugs per month, and their sheer profitability has proven to be an attractive draw for organized gangs and other criminal enterprises. Therefore, California has stringent laws and penalties against the offense. If the court finds you liable for the offense, the judge can sentence you to three, five, or seven years in prison. However, you can present various defenses to fight the manufacturing of drug charges.

If you or your loved one is facing manufacturing drug charges in Chula Vista, you need to contact a well-established and experienced criminal attorney. At Chula Vista Criminal Attorney, we have over 20 years of experience representing clients facing manufacturing drugs charges. We are dedicated to helping you achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Contact us today and let us help you fight the charges.

Read on to understand more about manufacturing drugs charges.

Understanding The Controlled Substance Act That Makes It Illegal To Manufacture Drugs In California

It is critical to understand the charge of manufacturing a controlled substance. Various states define the offense of manufacturing drugs differently. However, each state’s laws address the issue of drug manufacturing seriously. In most cases, the law in these states considers a drug possession charge as a less serious offense compared to a drug manufacturing offense.

Under the law, manufacturing a controlled substance is a crime in all states. However, the wordings in the law for different states may slightly alter the definition of the crime. The law gives the courts in various jurisdictions the discretion to interpret the laws according to the wording of the statutes.

In California, for example, the court can find you liable for the offense of manufacturing drugs if you derive, manufacture, prepare, or process drugs. However, the charge of manufacturing drugs has some nuances that the judges have discretion in interpreting. In California, the judge considers whether possessing the ingredients to manufacture the drugs is grounds for a conviction. The law also considers the term “manufacture” to include the growing of plants, especially marijuana.

What The Prosecution Must Prove To Charge You With The Crime In California.

Elements Of The Crime

In California, the prosecution must prove certain elements of the crime before the court can find you guilty of the offense. Elements of the crime are facts the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must prove that you manufactured, prepared, or produced an illegal drug. The prosecution must also prove you knew that the substance is an illegal drug. Federal law defines a controlled substance as any drug controlled under the controlled substance act. The drug can be a schedule I, II, III, IV, or V. Some of the drugs under the act include meth, PCP, cocaine, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, and heroin.

Under the law, the prosecution must also prove you knew the drug you were manufacturing was a controlled substance. However, the law does not require the prosecution to prove you knew the type of drug you are accused of manufacturing. They only need to prove you knew you were manufacturing an illegal drug. 

The prosecution can also charge you with contravening Health and Safety Code 11379.6 even if you do not complete the production of the drug. Under the law, the prosecution can charge you with the offense even if you were in the initial stages of manufacturing the drugs. The prosecution can charge you with the offense if they prove you participated in the production process with the full knowledge you are manufacturing drugs. They can also charge you with the offense if they prove you participated at the beginning or stage of the drug production process.


You and several of your friends are producing meth in your friend’s garage. At one point, you decide to visit the store before the process is over. While at the store, the police raid your friend’s garage, where they manufacture the drugs. During questioning, your friends mention you as an accomplice, and the police subsequently arrest you. In such a case, you cannot state that you did not participate in the finalization of the manufacturing process as a defense. As the law states, participation at the beginning or any stage of drug manufacturing is a criminal offense in California.

Additionally, one of your friends also decides to defend themselves from the charges by claiming he did not know the type of drugs they were manufacturing. Your friend will also be liable for the offense since the prosecution only needs to prove they participated in producing the drugs. The law does not require the prosecution to prove your friend knew the type of controlled substance they were manufacturing. The prosecutor need only prove your friend was involved in producing an illegal drug. 

Penalties For Manufacturing Drugs In California

In California, the court always charges the crime of manufacturing drugs as a felony. If found guilty of the offense, the court can sentence you to three, five, or seven years in prison or fine you up to $50,000 or both. The judge usually sentences you to a larger prison sentence if you manufacture a high volume of drugs. The court could also sentence you to probation. The court also considers various mitigating and aggravating factors that affect the penalties. The aggravating factors increase the punishment, while the mitigating factors may reduce the sentencing.

  • Aggravating Factors That May Increase The Severity Of The Crime

According to the law, the judge can enhance the penalty for drug manufacturing charges depending on various aggravating factors. Aggravating factors are circumstances that can make the judge add more time to your prison sentence. Some of these aggravating factors include your criminal history, the location you were manufacturing the drugs, and the quantity of the drugs. The court always charges the offense as a felony in California, and the crime carries a harsh sentence that includes a long prison term and a fine of up to $50,000.

In California, the court can add more years to your prison sentence if you manufacture the drugs in large quantities. The court can also find you liable for the offense if you participate in the production of the drugs at whichever stage of the process. Other aggravating factors include having the presence of a juvenile who is sixteen years and below while manufacturing the drugs. The court can also add to your sentence if you manufacture drugs within 200 feet of an occupied structure.

  • Mitigating Factors That May Reduce The Severity Of The Punishment Upon Conviction

On the other hand, the judge can also reduce your prison sentence if certain mitigating factors are present in your circumstances. Mitigating factors are conditions that can make the judge reduce your initial prison sentence. However, you should enlist the services of a well-experienced attorney since manufacturing drugs is a severe offense in California. Your attorney may present facts to persuade the judge to reduce your sentence.

For example, your attorney can state that you were producing the drugs for personal use, not for commercial purposes. They can also state no child was present during the manufacture of the drugs. Additionally, some of the ingredients used for manufacturing drugs are easily available. Therefore, your lawyer can also state you did not intend to use these products to manufacture drugs, but you had other intentions. The attorney can request the court consider these mitigating factors when passing the judgment.

Defenses You Can Present Against Manufacturing Drugs Charges In California

Manufacturing drugs is a serious offense in California. Fortunately, you can present various charges to fight the charges. However, considering the severity of the charges, it is critical to enlist the services of a criminal lawyer. Your attorney will present various defenses in court on your behalf. Your attorney can state you only participated in the activity on a preparatory basis, but you were not active in manufacturing the drugs. Your attorney can also argue that the authorities arrested you after conducting an unlawful search and seizure operation. Finally, your attorney can argue that your arrest resulted from entrapment.

Below are the defenses you can present in court against manufacturing drugs charges in more detail.

  1. You Were Only Involved In The Preparation Of The Drugs

According to California law, you must have started preparing the drugs for the court to find you guilty of the crime. Therefore, you can state you only prepared the drug ingredients. You did not start the actual process of manufacturing the drugs. However, you cannot state you only began the manufacturing process but did not finish the manufacturing of the narcotics. According to the law, any participation in the manufacture of drugs, no matter how brief, is a criminal offense.

  1. The Authorities Arrested You After An Illegal Search And Seizure

According to the law, the police can only conduct a search and seizure operation if they have a warrant. If they do not produce the warrant, they must have a valid reason why they do not have one. Your attorney can argue the police conducted an illegal search and seizure operation. Therefore, the prosecutor should exclude any evidence gathered during the illegal search. The exclusion of the evidence could lead to a reduced sentence, or the court may dismiss the charges altogether.

  1. The Police Entrapped You

In most cases, the authorities arrest you for manufacturing drugs in a sting operation. A sting operation happens when the police have prior information about your activities and pounce on you while committing the crime. Under the law, a sting operation is legal. However, it is illegal for a police officer to lure you into committing a crime and then arrest you for the crime. Under the law, that is called entrapment, and it is illegal.  For example, a police officer cannot lure you into robbing a bank and then arrest you while committing the crime. A law enforcement officer can entrap you in different ways. They can entrap you into committing a crime through flattery, threats, pressure, fraud, or harassment, among other related ways.

You can present entrapment as a defense in California. However, your attorney needs to prove you committed the crime in court because law enforcement officers used entrapment.

Additional Consequences Of A Manufacturing Drugs Conviction

  • A Conviction Of The Crime Will Also Affect Your Immigration Status

A conviction of the crime will hurt your immigration status. Under California law, a conviction can mean you become inadmissible in the United States, or the authorities deport you back to your country if you are not a citizen. California law classifies the manufacturing of drugs as a severe felony. If you are convicted of an aggravated felony in California, the law makes it mandatory for you to be deported.

  • The Court Cannot Expunge Your Charges Under California Law

In California, the court cannot expunge the manufacturing drugs charge if you are convicted of the offense. An expungement means the court seals your crime from your criminal record. Since the crime of manufacturing drugs cannot be expunged, it will remain in your criminal record. Having a criminal record is not desirable since it makes your life complicated. For example, it becomes more difficult to find a job or a house to live in or buy, among other difficulties.

  • Your Gun Rights Will Also Be Affected If You Are Convicted Of Manufacturing Drugs

You have a right to own a gun in California. However, this right will be affected if the court convicts you of a manufacturing drugs crime. Under the law, you cannot own or purchase a gun if you are a convicted felon. If the court finds you guilty of the offense, you will become a felon since the crime is always charged as a felony. Therefore, you will have to hand over any gun you own to the authorities, and you will never own a gun again. 

Why The Law Is Very Stern On The Manufacture Of Various Drugs In California

Drugs have adverse effects on the people who use them. A drug addict cannot function properly without using drugs. This drug dependency leads to a myriad of problems for the user. The drugs affect the user’s health and finances. If the person is not financially stable, they might commit crimes to fund their drug addiction problem.

Manufacturing drugs like meth can also be a hazardous process. The chemicals used in the drug's manufacture are toxic and highly flammable. These characteristics make it extremely dangerous to produce meth. If you manufacture meth in a building with a child present, the court can add more years to your prison sentence. If the manufacturing process results in the child’s injury, the court may add up to five years to your prison sentence.

In most cases, the prosecution charges the crime with other related crimes. These other related crimes include the sale of drugs, weapon charges, gang activity, organized crime, among other serious crimes. If the prosecutor charges you with one or more of these crimes, the judge may sentence you to a lengthy prison term.

Apart from sentencing you to prison, charging you a fine, or both, the court can also sentence you to a prison sentence in combination with parole. Instead of completing your prison sentence, you serve the rest of your prison term on parole. However, you will have to follow the parole conditions under this arrangement. You will have to check -in constantly with your parole officer. Some conditions also require you to undergo drug testing at regular intervals, among other similar conditions.

Why Is Manufacturing Drugs, Especially Meth, Relatively Easy In California?

One of the most widely manufactured drugs in California is meth. Although large meth labs do exist, the majority of them are small. These labs are housed in garages, motel rooms, basements, and similar locations. The production of meth is hazardous as the process releases many toxic by-products into the environment. Meth is also highly addictive. The drug's production process can easily lead to explosions since the raw materials are highly flammable.

Therefore, the government is very strict on the production of drugs because of these associated risks. However, curbing the production of the drug is a challenge for the government because a person can easily manufacture the drug-using accessible chemicals. One of the ingredients used in the production of methamphetamine is pseudoephedrine. The chemical is found in many drugs used to treat colds and other ailments, making it relatively easy to obtain. Additionally, meth can be manufactured in almost any structure, including garages, barns, basements, and similar locations.

Manufacturing drugs, especially meth, is relatively easy if you have the right ingredients and facilities. The ingredients and procedures you need to produce the drugs are available online. Therefore, manufacturing the drug becomes an attractive option for most people. However, it is a felony to manufacture meth and other illicit drugs either for personal or commercial use in California.

The court will charge you with the offense of manufacturing drugs if you begin, continue, and complete the process. The law prohibits you from possessing raw material you can use to produce the drugs. If the authorities arrest you for possession of drug manufacturing equipment, the court can charge you with the offense of manufacturing drugs. Some of the ingredients especially for meth production include foil, anhydrous ammonia, lithium batteries, pseudoephedrine, among other similar ingredients.

California Health And Safety Code 11366.5 Makes It A Criminal Offense To Allow A Person To Manufacture Drugs In Your House Or Any Other Structure You Own

It is against California HS 11366.5 to allow a person to manufacture drugs in your house or any structure or building you own. It is against the law to permit an individual to produce, store, distribute or sell drugs from a building or structure under your control. It is also against the law to design the space or building where the manufacturing of the drugs takes place to prevent the authorities from accessing the drug production facility.

The court will charge you with contradicting this statute if you are producing drugs, including meth. Under the law, it is a criminal offense to operate a meth lab in California. The court can also find you liable for the offense if you cook meth, buy the necessary equipment to produce the drugs, initiate and proceed with manufacturing drugs by mixing the composite chemicals.

Call A Criminal Attorney Near Me

The prosecution will charge you with manufacturing drugs depending on the laws of the state you reside. Some states charge the crime of manufacturing and distribution of drugs as two separate crimes, with each crime having its penalties. In California, for instance, the prosecution charges manufacturing narcotics and possession of drugs as two different crimes. Drug manufacturing charges also have aggravating factors that may enhance the penalty. The court often charges the crime with other related crimes, including drug possession and distribution, also serious offenses.  In California, the court will charge you with the offense of manufacturing drugs if you produce and manufacture the illegal drugs.

It is critical to do everything possible to defend yourself against manufacturing drugs charges since it is a severe offense. Therefore, you should seek to have the court dismiss your charges or reduce the sentence if you are found guilty. However, to accomplish this, you need to employ the services of a well-experienced criminal lawyer.

At Chula Vista Criminal Attorney, we specialize in drug-related charges. We have a wealth of experience representing clients charged with manufacturing drugs offenses. Therefore, our lawyers know how to present a solid defense strategy to help you fight the charges. We present your case as it is and use different defense strategies. Therefore, if you face manufacturing drug charges in Chula Vista, do not hesitate to contact us today at 619-877-6894.