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bail for possession of drugs

How Much Is Bail for Possession of Drugs?

June 10, 2022

Out of misdemeanor charges in California, about 25% are for drug charges. If police charge you or someone you know with drug possession, it is important you understand the law.

Drugs refer to any illegal substance or controlled substance you didn’t obtain legally. After an arrest, the police will hold a defendant until their first court appearance. The judge will set bail at that court appearance. If bail is posted, the defendant is free to go home until their court date. Otherwise, he/she will go to the county jail until the hearing.

If you or someone you know needs help posting bail for someone arrested for possession of drugs in California, The Bail Boys offers the cheapest bail bonds throughout the state.


bail for possessing drugs - overview

Wondering how much is bail for possession of drugs? Typically, courts classify drug possession as a misdemeanor. However, if substantial amounts of the substance were found in your position, you could be charged with a felony like drug trafficking. 

In Los Angeles County, bail for misdemeanor drug possession starts at $1,000. For drug trafficking charges, bail can start at $10,000 and go even higher.

Several factors impact how a judge sets bail. If your charge classifies as a felony instead of a misdemeanor, the judge will set the bail amount considerably higher. It will also be higher if you have any prior offenses.

Your employment status and finances can either help or hurt you. If you are wealthy and can flee the country, bail could be considerably higher or not available. If you have a good reputation around the community and are known to have good character and be involved in the community, the judge may be more lenient.

The circumstances surrounding the drug crime can also determine the bail amount. If you sold marijuana on school grounds, you could see higher fines. Every charge is different, and you should contact an experienced bail bondsman for more information. 

Bail for Drug Possession in California Based On Type of Possession

bail for drug possession

When determining how much is bail for possession of drugs, we need to look at what type of possession charge you are facing. There are three types of possession.

  1. Actual Possession – The first is actual possession, in which case police found drugs on the arrested party’s person.
  2. Constructive PossessionConstructive possession is when drugs are not on the arrested party, but somewhere nearby, like in your car. You have direct control over your car but are not actively holding it on your person.
  3. Joint Possession – Lastly, there is joint possession, when multiple people have actual or constructive possession of a drug. If you share drugs with someone, the other person can also be charged for possession even if the drugs weren’t theirs.

Proving Possession

To prove possession of an illegal or controlled substance, the prosecutor must prove that you having the drug was illegal, listed on the controlled substance list in the California Health and Safety Code, and that you knew you had it. They must also prove that you knew it was a drug and that there was a usable amount of it.

When prosecutors prove usable amounts, they don’t just look at whether there was enough of a controlled substance to get high. Instead, usable amounts refers to possessing enough of a drug to use it at all.

proving possession

Possession With Intent to Distribute

There are a few standards to charge someone with the intent to distribute.

If there is evidence you are packaging drugs and have sales, you may be charged with intent to distribute. Large amounts of drugs and cash also point to the intent to distribute.

Intent to distribute often sees a worse punishment than simple possession.

Drug Trafficking Charges in California

drug trafficking charges in California

Trafficking charges are more serious than intent to distribute and can occur depending on a few factors. It can easily lead to felony drug charges.

Trafficking includes transporting, selling, or giving drugs away. Usually, moving the drugs across state lines turns an intent to distribute charge into a trafficking charge. Transporting a controlling substance is moving drugs with the intent to sell them.

Going across state lines also makes things more serious. When you import or export drugs from California, your charges will turn into federal charges. The federal courts typically deliver much more severe punishments than state courts for trafficking charges.

California Drug Laws

drug law in California

Like all states, California has specific laws related to drug possession. Let’s look at a few below.


Marijuana is legal in California for recreational use, but it is still possible to get charged for possession of marijuana.

If you are under 21 and do not have a prescription for medicinal use, it is illegal to have marijuana. There are also limitations on how much you can have at once. More than one ounce for personal use will result in illegal possession charges. Possessing over 8 grams of concentrated cannabis will also lead to charges.

It is illegal to sell marijuana without a license, but you can legally give marijuana to someone as a gift if there is no exchange of money for it. Selling to minors is illegal under any circumstance, but if someone is above 18 and can legally buy it for medicinal use, it is legal to sell to them.


Opiates are restricted drugs and therefore heavily controlled substances. While it is legal to have opiates such as painkillers with a prescription, possessing opiates without a prescription is illegal. Other forms of opiates, such as heroin, are also illegal.


Amphetamines can vary from illegal substances like methamphetamine to prescription drugs like Aderall. Possessing prescription drugs without a prescription could lead to jail time.

The Bail Boys Can Help

The punishments for possession, intent to distribute, and trafficking often include jail time and fees of varying magnitudes. If you’re still wondering how much is bail possession for drugs, remember that fines vary. 

Paying for drug crimes bail bonds can be costly and difficult. If your loved one was arrested, The Bail Boys can provide compassionate help at any time of day. Call us today at (800) 798-7366.

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