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What Is Forensic Evidence and Its Use in Criminal Trials

What Is Forensic Evidence and Its Use in Criminal Trials

Since the Industrial Revolution, society has advanced from a state in which most were unaware of why food spoiled, for instance, to a state in which refrigerators speak to their owners. Similarly, criminal prosecution has advanced from law enforcement questioning everyone in the vicinity of a crime to using science to figure out what happened and who is potentially responsible. In order for a person to be found guilty of a crime, some sort of evidence needs to be shown or found that can prove their guilt. There are different kinds of evidence, and forensic evidence is one of the most important varieties. Scientific-based evidence is referred to as forensic evidence. In this guide, we’ll answer key questions on this subject, like what forensic evidence is and what forensics’ role is in criminal law.

What is Forensic Evidence?

So, what is forensics, and what do we mean from a legal, official perspective when we talk about forensic evidence? In simple terms, forensic evidence is any kind of evidence that is obtained via scientific methods, like blood tests, DNA tests, ballistics analysis, and so on. It’s the kind of evidence often shown in popular crime shows on TV, and it can be crucial in coming to a fair and justified decision in a legal case. Although television crime dramas, present the discovery of forensic evidence as a fait accompli to a conviction, in real life, such is not always the case. Forensic evidence can be challenged, and challenged successfully, and retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be crucial to having forensic evidence dismissed from a criminal matter.

what is forensics

Where Does Forensic Originate?

We’ve looked at what is forensic evidence, but what does forensic mean? Well, the word “forensic” actually comes from a Latin word, “forensis”, which refers to something that is “in open court” or “in public”. This ties into the idea of forensic testing involving public examinations and discussions regarding a legal case or criminal situation. In ancient times, forensic experts were individuals who possessed specialized knowledge and skills that could be applied in legal proceedings to help solve crimes and disputes. Over time, the field of forensics has evolved and expanded to encompass a wide range of scientific and technical disciplines that are used to investigate and analyze evidence related to criminal investigations, civil disputes, and other legal matters. Today, forensic science plays a critical role in the criminal justice system and has become an integral part of many criminal investigations around the world.

Common Types of Forensic Evidence

So, now we know what forensic means, let’s take a look at some typical examples of the sorts of evidence that forensic testing can provide. It’s important to note that forensic science is capable of finding a wide range of different types of evidence from crime scenes to help in the investigation and prosecution of criminals. The California Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) operates ten regional laboratories for assisting law enforcement agencies that do not have access to in-house crime laboratories. As part of this system, the BFS collects evidence in the following areas: :

  • Controlled Substances and Clandestine Drugs – Possession, usage, and sale of certain drugs and substances can be serious crimes. Forensic experts can make use of various forms of forensic analysis and scientific tests to check for traces of different substances either in a person’s body or on an object.
  • Physical Evidence – Forensic examiners are able to use scientific testing to search for and locate a range of different types of physical evidence, which can include bodily fluids like blood, urine, and semen, as well as ballistics, shoe prints, tire tracks, trace evidence of fire debris and gunshot residue, and much more.
  • Digital Evidence – As well as physical evidence, forensic scientists can also aid law enforcement in the discovery of digital evidence. This can include things like hidden files on computers and hard drives, recovery of damaged or broken computers and other devices, scanning of mobile telephones, and so on.
  • BPA – BPA stands for bloodstain pattern analysis, and this can be another effective form of forensic testing – just as important as DNA analysis or checking for fingerprints. It involves examining bloodstains at a crime scene in order to determine the likely actions that caused those stains to appear.
  • Fingerprint – Every human has their own unique fingerprint – even twins have been proven to have separate fingerprints, despite sharing the same DNA – and we leave fingerprint marks behind on the things we touch or hold. Forensic professionals can find fingerprints that might otherwise be invisible through procedures like dusting and fuming.
  • DNADNA evidence is one of the most common forms of forensic evidence and can be one of the most damning pieces of evidence against a defendant. DNA is essentially the unique genetic code that every human carries in their bodily cells, and it can be found in hair, saliva, blood, and more.


  • forensic testing

How Can Forensic Evidence Help?

In many legal cases, situations can involve the word of one person or group against the word of another, and it can be difficult for any judge or jury to make a fair decision on which side to believe based purely on their words. This is where evidence comes in. Forensic evidence can support the argument of the defense or prosecution, and judges and juries will be much more likely to decide in favor of those who can provide compelling scientific evidence for their claims.

Challenging Forensic Evidence in a Criminal Matter

When forensic evidence is introduced, as with all allegations in the American system of justice, it is the proponent – the prosecution, in a criminal matter – that typically bears the burden to show the evidence is reliable. Establishing the reliability of forensic evidence requires demonstrating the validity and acceptance of the underlying scientific theory by the relevant scientific community. Secondly, there must be proof the technique applying the theory was also valid. Finally, the proponent must show the technique was properly applied in the specific case. Other reliability factors include the existence of literature supporting or rejecting the theory and technique, the potential rate of error of the technique, confirmation of the technique by others, and the experience and skill level of the person who applied the technique. All of these factors can provide an avenue to challenge the introduction of such evidence, and it will typically fall on the criminal defense attorney to introduce flaws in the technique in an effort to get the evidence disqualified from introduction at trial.

Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you, or a loved one, have been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, and the possibility exists that forensic evidence may be used against you, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, as soon as possible. The attorneys at our office have years of experience in criminal law, and we will do our best to ensure that any faulty bit of evidence is properly excluded from the prosecution’s case, giving you, or your loved one, the best possible chance at defending the charges asserted against you. Attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call. Contact us today for an initial consultation.


What Would Be Considered A Violent Crime In California?

What Would Be Considered A Violent Crime In California?

While any arrest would make most people worry, when the crime at issue is a violent crime, even the toughest may shudder. Unlike so-called minor or non-violent crimes, those crimes deemed to be violent typically carry with them substantial penalties, and, in most cases, substantial prison time which may include life in prison or capital punishment.

Being accused of any crime, let alone a violent crime should necessitate the retention of an experienced criminal defense attorney, especially one with experience in violent crimes, to ensure that the defendant can establish as aggressive and effective defense as possible.

But, just what is a violent crime? Unfortunately, violent crime definition is not as cut and dry as one would expect. Like the phrase assault weapon, a violent crime may mean different things to different legislatures in different States, as this article illustrates.

violent crime definition

What Are The Different Types Of Violent Crimes In California?

Pursuant to California law, the following is the list of violent crimes in this state:

  • Murder or attempted murder, or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter;
  • Mayhem, or deliberately causing a permanent disfigurement of another;
  • Rape (including spousal rape), sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration;
  • A lewd or lascivious act;
  • An act in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on another;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Robbery;
  • Arson;
  • Kidnapping or false imprisonment;
  • Assault with the intent to commit a specified felony, or assault with a deadly weapon;
  • Battery or battery on a peace officer
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child;
  • Stalking;
  • Carjacking;
  • Extortion;
  • Criminal threats; and
  • First degree burglary;

violent crime

What Are The Penalties For Violent Crimes?

Violent crimes are treated with extreme seriousness by the California criminal justice system, and any individual convicted of this kind of crime should expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Since most violent crimes are felonies, it can be expected that any prison term will be greater than one year in a California State prison. Moreover, fines, probation, and other court-mandated actions may also be assessed against the convicted individual.

Additionally, although an individual convicted of a violent crime can be expected to spend substantial time in prison, there is an even greater and more devastating consequence that will await the individual upon release from prison. Repercussions of a conviction can extend beyond the penalties themselves. By way of example, convicted individuals may face limited opportunities in both the job and housing markets. Most professional licenses will be revoked, and the ability to obtain such a license after release will be severely curtailed. Most property owners will be hesitant to rent to individuals with a violent crime on his/her criminal record. Additionally, the ability to obtain credit will also be drastically reduced. Finally, in many cases, even if the convicted individual had financial stability prior to conviction, the sheer cost of the trial will most likely deplete this stability, in addition to any fines that are assessed.

It should also be noted that California has a “Three Strikes Law.” According to this law, the conviction of a violent crime may result in an automatic 25-year sentence, with the possibility of extension to a life sentence, if the convicted individual has had prior convictions for other violent crimes.

Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney for Violent Crimes in California?

If someone you love has been arrested on suspicion of committing a violent crime, it is essential that you contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, APC as soon as possible. The attorneys at our office have years of experience in criminal defense and can give you or your loved one truly effective counsel. The attorneys there are available 24/7 to take your call. Contact our lawyers today for an initial consultation.


​​Understanding DNA Evidence in Criminal Cases

Understanding DNA Evidence in Criminal Cases

DNA evidence is a powerful tool that can be used in criminal cases to help determine the guilt or innocence of an accused individual. The problem is, that there are many factors that can influence the reliability of DNA evidence and, as a result, the outcome of a case. In this post, we’re going to discuss some of these factors, including what DNA is, how it works, and how it can be used to help determine whether or not someone is guilty.

What is DNA Evidence?

DNA evidence is the most powerful forensic tool available to law enforcement. It can be used to identify people, determine the source of biological material, and even provide information about the health of an individual.

Your DNA profile, just like your fingerprints, is unique and cannot be replicated by anyone else. This makes DNA evidence incredibly valuable when it comes to determining the identity of an individual and proving their involvement in a crime.

forensic analysis

When was DNA Evidence in Criminal Cases First Used?

Forensic DNA analysis and DNA profiling were first used in 1986 when the UK police requested suspect verification for two rape-murder cases. Dr. Alec J. Jeffreys of the University of Leicester found out, through forensic DNA evidence, that the suspect did not commit the crime. This was a game-changer in the DNA testing field, and it led to the development of using DNA evidence in criminal cases.

What Type of Evidence is DNA?

DNA is biological evidence, which is a type of physical evidence that can be used to help prove or disprove a person’s involvement in a crime. The following types of DNA evidence include:

  • Fingerprints
  • Bloodstains
  • Blood
  • Bodily fluids
  • Saliva
  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Skin cells

Gathering DNA Evidence

In order to collect DNA evidence, law enforcement must first obtain a sample of biological material from an individual. The sample is then analyzed to determine the presence of DNA. Once the DNA sample is collected, it is sent to a lab where it is analyzed and compared to DNA samples of known individuals.

Identifying DNA Evidence

The process of identifying DNA evidence is called DNA amplification. It’s accomplished by extracting the DNA from the biological sample and then amplifying it to make it easier to detect. In just a few hours, millions of copies of a specific sequence of DNA are made from the original sample, and then they are analyzed to determine if they match any of the DNA profiles in the suspect database.

dna class or individual evidence

Is DNA Class or Individual Evidence?

Class Evidence – When a piece of evidence is collected from a group of people, such as a family or a group of suspects, it is called class evidence. It helps to narrow down the pool of possible suspects, but it doesn’t prove that any one person committed the crime.

Individual Evidence – This is a type of evidence that can exactly pinpoint the identity of a suspect. Examples of individual evidence that can directly incriminate someone includes fingerprints, blood, semen, saliva, hair, skin cells, or bodily fluids.

Is DNA class or individual evidence? DNA is individual evidence because it can identify a suspect and prove that they committed a crime.

How is DNA Evidence Collected and Packaged?

When a crime is committed, the police will collect evidence from the scene of the crime. If the crime involved bodily fluids, then the police will also collect saliva, blood, urine, and other bodily fluids from the scene. They will then package the evidence in a sealed container to avoid any contamination.

The next step is to take the evidence to a laboratory. The lab will extract the DNA from the biological sample, amplify it, and then compare it to the DNA profiles of known individuals. The DNA profile of the individual whose DNA is being tested is compared to the DNA profile of the biological sample. If the DNA profile of the biological sample matches the DNA profile of the suspect, then the suspect is identified.

What are the Different Methods of DNA Testing?

Generally speaking, there are four types of DNA test analysis: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Short Tandem Repeats (STR), Y-Chromosome, and Mitochondrial DNA.

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PRC) – PCR is a method that is used to amplify the DNA sample. This is done to increase the number of copies of DNA that are available for analysis. PCR is a highly reliable method for DNA analysis because it is accurate and reproducible.
  • Short Tandem Repeats (STR) – STR is commonly used in forensic laboratories, paternity tests, and missing persons cases. Extracted DNA is added to chemical agents and then heated, which causes the DNA to separate into two strands. The number of repeats in each strand is unique, which makes it possible to determine the identity of the person whose DNA was extracted.
  • Y-Chromosome – A Y-Chromosome DNA test is used to identify males. This is the only type of DNA test that can be used to determine the sex of a person. Y-chromosome is inherited from the father.
  • Mitochondrial DNA – Mitochondrial DNA is inherited from the mother. It is present in all human cells and is found in the mitochondria, the energy-producing parts of the cell.

dna evidence in criminal cases

What are the Limitations of DNA Evidence?

While DNA evidence is extremely reliable, there are some limitations to consider. In some cases, DNA evidence may not be conclusive. For example, if a suspect has been in a car accident and his DNA is on the steering wheel, then the DNA evidence may not be enough to identify him as the driver. This is particularly true if the car in question is being rented out or used by more than one person.

DNA evidence can also be unreliable if the biological sample is contaminated with other people’s DNA. This is especially true if the sample is taken from an area where many people are gathered, such as a crime scene.

Can DNA be Used to Prove Someone Guilty?

The criminal justice system has come a long way since the days when fingerprints were the only form of identification. Today, DNA evidence is considered the legal standard for proving someone’s guilt. It is used in almost every case where a suspect is accused of committing a crime.

DNA test results also help innocent victims of wrongful convictions and exonerate them. Not to mention that the use of DNA has led to the conviction of thousands of criminals and helped solve hundreds of cold cases.

How is DNA Used as Evidence for Crimes?

DNA evidence is used in criminal investigations to identify suspects, link suspects to crimes, and exonerate innocent suspects. DNA profiling is one of the most important tools in the criminal justice system and is used in almost every criminal investigation.

is dna class or individual evidence

What is DNA Profiling?

DNA profiling is the process of comparing DNA evidence with known DNA profiles. This allows law enforcement to identify the suspect and determine whether or not they committed the crime. When a DNA profile is obtained, it is compared to a DNA database of individuals who have been convicted of crimes.

DNA profiling is also used to match DNA samples from crime scenes. This is especially useful in cases where the victim has been killed and the perpetrator has left behind a sample of his or her DNA. If there are a group of suspects, then DNA profiling can be used to link them to the crime.

In order to use DNA evidence, investigators must obtain a DNA sample from the suspect. This can be done through a voluntary search of the suspect’s body, such as a blood sample or hair sample. If the suspect refuses to provide a DNA sample, then investigators will obtain a court order to force the suspect to give a DNA sample.

Is DNA a Reliable Source of Evidence?

Yes, DNA evidence is very reliable. In fact, it is often referred to as the “gold standard” of forensic science. It is considered the most reliable form of evidence because it is virtually impossible to fake or alters.

DNA evidence is also highly accurate. The accuracy of DNA evidence is based on the fact that DNA is a unique identifier. The DNA molecule contains a specific sequence of nucleotides that are inherited from the parents. Each individual has their own unique set of these nucleotides, and no two people have the same set. This means that DNA evidence can be used to, without a doubt, identify individuals who have been involved in a crime.

While the accuracy of DNA evidence is unquestionably accurate, it is not infallible. There are times when DNA cannot be used to prove someone’s guilt or innocence. For example, if it is contaminated with another person’s DNA, then the sample will not be able to accurately identify the suspect. This is very common when a person is being framed up for a crime, or when the crime scene has been tampered with.

“DNA planting” is a strong defense against a criminal charge, and is often used in murder trials. If you have been accused of a crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review your case and advise you about your legal options.

What are California Criminal Statutes of Limitations?

What are California Criminal Statutes of Limitations?

If you have been a victim of a crime, and you are having second doubts about filing a claim against the person who committed the crime, you should know that the law requires that you file a claim within a certain time limit. If you fail to file a claim within the limitations period, the law will consider the case to be barred.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is a rule of law that governs the time in which a person can file criminal charges or civil cases against another person. This is an important rule because it protects people from having to defend themselves against lawsuits that are brought against them after years or decades have passed.

 california statute of limitations

California Civil Statute of Limitations Laws

There are two types of statutes of limitations in California – the criminal statute of limitation and the civil statute of limitation. The first type of California statute of limitations is for civil cases. This type of statute of limitations applies to civil cases that are filed in a court of law. These cases include personal injury, property damage, and other types of claims.

Criminal Statute of Limitations in California

The other type of California statute of limitations is for criminal offenses. This type of statute of limitations applies to criminal cases that are filed in a court of law. These cases include murder, manslaughter, and other types of crimes.

  • No Limitation – There is no time limit for offenses punishable by death or a life sentence, such as first-degree murder and treason.
  • Six-Year Limitation – There’s a six-year limit for offenses such as first-degree robbery, arson, and kidnapping.
  • Three-Year Limitation – Cases like theft of a firearm, grand theft, burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon have three-year statutes of limitations.
  • One-Year LimitationCode section 802(a) of the California Penal Codes state that aside from “as provided in subdivision (b), (c), (d), or (e),” if an offense isn’t punishable by death or imprisonment, the statute of limitation would be one year.

Criminal Offenses and Their Statutes of Limitations?

While the most common statutes of limitations are one, three, and six years, there are also some other criminal offenses that have different statutes of limitations.

Below is a quick overview of the statute of limitations criminal for other offenses:

  • 10 years – Charges of child pornography or failure to register as a sex offender after being convicted come with 10-year statutes of limitations.
  • 5 years – Offenses related to elder abuse or crimes against dependent adults come with 5-year statutes of limitations.
  • 4 years – Crimes including, but not limited to theft from an elder, fraud, breach of fiduciary obligation, and public official misconduct come with 4-year statutes of limitations.
  • 3 years – Crimes like theft of a firearm, burglary, and assault come with 3-year statutes of limitations.
  • 2 years – Sexual misconduct by a therapist or a physician comes with a 2-year statute of limitation.

statute of limitations criminal

What Crimes Have No Statute of Limitations in CA?

There are certain crimes that have no statute of limitations in California. This means that even though the crime was committed years or decades ago, the victim can still bring a lawsuit against the perpetrator.

Capital crimes, including murder, manslaughter, and other violent crimes have no statute of limitations in California. A capital crime is defined as a crime that carries a penalty of death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

What is an Exception to the Statute of Limitations?

Tolling refers to the reinstatement of the statute of limitations after it has expired. It is a method used to extend the period of limitations, in the event the victim is incapable of bringing a case within the time limits.

In order to toll the statute of limitations, the following conditions must be met:

  • The victim is a minor or below 18 years of age.
  • The victim was declared mentally incompetent.
  • The victim is in prison.
  • The victim is currently in military service.
  • The victim is incapacitated or in a coma.

Tolling is not automatic. You can only get the benefit of tolling if you meet the conditions listed above. The court evaluates each case on its own merit, so it’s best to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a crime. A criminal law expert can help protect your rights and better understand your legal options.

Statute of Limitations

When Does Statute of Limitations Start?

When the victim of a crime becomes aware of the injury and the identity of the person who caused the injury, the statute of limitations starts to run. This is known as the discovery rule. The discovery rule allows the victim to bring a lawsuit even if the crime occurred years or decades ago.

This is particularly beneficial for those who have been a victim of crime during their childhood. The same concept applies to elderly people who are no longer capable of speaking for themselves.

Can I Still Sue After the Statute of Limitations Passes?

Generally speaking, when the statute of limitations has passed, you can no longer sue the person who committed the crime. Unless you are eligible for tolling, you cannot sue someone after the statute of limitations has passed.

When you are a victim of a crime, you should report it to the police as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait too long. Once the statute of limitations expires, you will no longer be able to file a lawsuit. That’s why it’s important to know what your rights are and to take action immediately.

If you have been accused of a crime that has happened years or decades ago, one of the strongest possible defenses that you can use is to claim that the statute of limitations has expired. In order to prove your innocence, you need to hire a professional law group or firm that specializes in criminal law to help you prepare a strong defense and make sure that you don’t get a conviction.

What Is a Schedule 1 Drug? 

What Is a Schedule 1 Drug? 

The federal law considers a Schedule 1 drug the one that comes with a high potential for addiction and abuse. It’s also a substance that doesn’t have an acceptable safety level to use under medical supervision or accepted medical treatment in the United States at all. Finally, you can’t get a prescription for these drugs.

In this article, we are focusing on discussing the list of Schedule 1 drugs and related Californian law implications. Here is what you should know about using these substances and potential penalties in California!

What Are Drug Classifications?

These are federal drug classifications, which relevant experts designed after serious consideration. Here is the overview of the categories:

  • Schedule 1 substances. We’ll focus on Class 1 drugs in this guide. It’s vital to mention that marijuana has a special status in California, although it belongs in this group.
  • Schedule 2 drugs. Morphine, cocaine, and methadone are in this category. They have a high addiction risk but come with accepted medical use with certain restrictions.
  • Schedule 3 drugs. Codeine, anabolic steroids, and barbiturates are in this class. The US federal law approves medical use, but it can lead to high psychological and moderate physical dependence.
  • Schedule 4 drugs. Xanax and Valium are the most famous examples of these substances, which can lead to limited dependence.
  • Schedule 5 drugs. This class has the lowest risk of abuse or addiction, such as a cough medicine that contains some codeine.

schedule 1 drug

What Is a List of Schedule 1 Drugs?

We already answered the question, “what is a Schedule 1 drug?” These substances come with a high risk of abuse and addiction. Here is a detailed overview of the drugs in this class.


This powder is a highly addictive drug coming from the opium poppy plant. It’s a couple of times more powerful than morphine. You can snort, smoke, or inject it for potential pain relief and a euphoric feeling. Unfortunately, the abusers often aren’t aware of the drug’s actual power, which might be the reason behind overdose cases.


Lysergic acid diethylamide is a full name that most users probably aren’t familiar with at all. It’s a synthetic hallucinogen, which often alters our minds in positive or negative ways. LSD affects your ability to make rational decisions, and you can experience flashbacks or anxiety after using it.


The answer to the question “is marijuana a Schedule 1 drug,” is yes. It’s because you have a high risk of getting addicted. However, Californian law approves cannabis products for both medical and recreational use. There are certain limitations, which are also mentioned in the federal law. For example, the federal regulations mention that cannabis products with a THC quantity of up to 0.3% are legal.


The other name is peyote, and this is another hallucinogen. Unlike LSD that comes from a fungus, this one is derived from a cactus plant. Visual hallucinations and euphoria are what the users experience after taking it. The side effects are vast and include psychosis, tremors, anxiety, and tachycardia.

MDMA or Ecstasy

MDMA is another synthetic drug with psychoactive properties. It’s a hallucinogen that comes with many side effects, especially with consistent use. That includes depression, losing focus, fatigue, etc. High doses of MDMA can lead to hyperthermia, which could cause organ failure.


This is an abbreviation for Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate, which you might also know as the date rape drug. It is a CNS depressant many put in alcoholic drinks. Users experience a sex drive boost and euphoria. However, that also comes with side effects like hallucinations, nausea, sweating, and even coma. GHB has been in the Schedule 1 Drug class since 2000.


If you heard about magic mushrooms, that’s what psilocybin is. This compound comes from mushrooms, and it is a hallucinogen. It can result in a bad trip, which can lead to horrifying experiences after consuming the drug. Although some clinical studies were performed, this is still a Class 1 drug.

Synthetic Marijuana and Analogs

It’s been on the US market since the 2000s. The idea is to duplicate the effect of marijuana, or THC, which causes the psychoactive effect. Synthetic cannabinoids can be harmful and cause tachycardia, hypertension, hallucinations, and anxiety. Some users even reported severe bleeding after taking these compounds.


This is another synthetic that acts as a CNS depressant. It was popular in the US before the DEA outlawed it in 1980. Also known as quaaludes, this drug induces drowsiness and acts as a sedative-hypnotic. This drug comes with a wide range of side effects, which is common for Schedule 1 substances.


These are plant leaves that you can chew. They deliver euphoric and psycho-stimulant effects, which can help to deal with fatigue or as a mood booster. However, there are adverse side effects, such as constipation, CNS, metabolic, and respiratory problems.

Bath Salts

These are not the products you use in the bathroom. Instead, these are synthetic cathinones that can lead to dangerous intoxication. Users resort to them as a cheap replacement for cocaine, but they can lead to severe panic attacks, insomnia, and violent behavior. Bath salts are particularly dangerous in high doses.

Schedule 1 Drug Charge

Why Is Marijuana a Schedule 1 Drug?

If you are wondering “what class drug is a weed in,” the answer is the first. It indicates that marijuana has a high risk of addiction and abuse. However, California law has a special treatment for marijuana.

According to the local regulations, it’s legal to possess up to 28.5 grams of cannabis. That converts to about an ounce of this plant material. The limit for concentrated cannabis is eight grams.

There are some other strict regulations implemented by the Californian law:

  • If you are younger than 21, you can’t possess any amount of marijuana because they risk an infraction.
  • Those who get caught for possession near or in a school will be charged with a misdemeanor.
  • If you possess more than 28.5 grams and you are over 18 years old, that’s an infraction. If you are younger than 18, it’s an infraction.
  • You can’t possess any marijuana in an open package or container or a vehicle. That is an infraction.

What Is the Penalty for a Schedule 1 Drug in California?

Schedule 1 drug penalties are harsher than for lower categories of controlled substances. That’s because these have the highest risk of addiction and abuse. Here is an overview of different situations and potential legal consequences.


Most drug possessions in California end up as misdemeanors. Specific circumstances, such as large drug amounts, can lead to complications and charges of a felony. But how does the law determine you possess those drugs?

The first case is when you have drugs on you. That’s when you exercise direct physical control over the substance, and it’s classified as actual possession. The alternative could be constructive possession, which indicates the drugs were in a place where you can exercise control over them. Let’s say that you were driving a car, and the drugs were in the trunk. It’s somewhere you had access to, which indicates constructive possession.

The possession might not be limited to a single person. If you share it with others, that could indicate joint possession. This is method police often use when discovering who owned the drugs in the first place. If no individual takes the blame, everyone involved gets charges for joint possession.

Selling or Intending to Sell

If you possess a schedule 1 drug with the intent to sell it, the Californian Penal Code considers that a felony. The same applies to other controlled substances. The fines can go up to $20,000, and you could spend up to five years in jail. Your defense could be that the discovery was made during illegal premise searching, or the drugs weren’t yours. A reliable drug crimes attorney can help to come out with an effective defense strategy that can ensure the consequences are as mild as possible.

How do they determine if you have the intent to sell the drug? The usual indicator is you have large quantities of it. However, measurement tools, keeping the drug in small baggies, or having large cash sums can also be among indicators. The more factors implicate you intended to sell the drugs, the more complicated your case is.


The Californian law considers manufacturing drugs that are among controlled substances a felony. You could be facing anywhere from three to seven years for this crime, while the potential fine goes up to $50,000. There’s no need to handle or use drugs to face these charges.

Here is what could increase a potential penalty for manufacturing drugs:

  • A large number of drugs were manufactured.
  • There’s a person under 16 years old in the facility where the drugs were made.
  • The manufacturing process was occurring within 200 feet of a residential property or structure where people spend time.

It gets worse because manufacturing drugs also come with other charges. Those could include selling drugs, but also gang activity, weapon charges, etc. You might be facing a variety of parole requirements, such as drug testing and check-ins with the parole office. If you have an expert criminal defense lawyer in your corner, they might be able to help get the best possible outcome.

What Does the Controlled Substances Act Do?

The idea of the Controlled Substances Act is to group all substances that the federal law regulates in different categories. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has five different schedules for all substances. The placement of a particular product depends on safety, medical use, and potential for abuse.

Not all substances are a part of this schedule. It’s also possible to remove a compound from control and transfer it between categories. That requires the authorities to follow the DEA procedures for these matters.