Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HSC

HSC 11366.8 – Usage or Creation of False Compartments to Conceal Drugs

HSC 11366: Usage or Creation of False Compartments to Conceal Drugs

Usage of False Compartments to Conceal Drugs – Table of Contents

HSC 11366.8: Usage or Creation of False Compartments to Conceal Drugs – Overview

What is the definition of Using False Compartments to Conceal Drugs under Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS?

Every person who possesses, uses, or controls a false compartment with the intent to store, conceal, smuggle, or transport a controlled substance within the false compartment; i or who designs, constructs, builds, alters, or fabricates a false compartment for, or installs or attaches a false compartment to, a vehicle with the intent to store, conceal, smuggle, or transport a controlled substance.

What is the mental state required for a violation of Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS?

The mental state required for a violation is knowingly. Knowingly is the purposeful intent to complete an objective. It is a conscious understanding of the circumstances required to achieve the result; with the objective acceptance of the natural and probable consequences associated in desiring the result. As applied under Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS, a person must specifically intend to create, build, fabricate or install a false compartment in a vehicle in order to transport, smuggle, store, possess, control, have access to, or use a false compartment in order to transport, smuggle or store a controlled substance: and doing so with the objective understanding of the natural and probable consequences that may result from the decision.

What is the definition of a possession and control under Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS?

Active possession refers to a personal and physical retainment. Constructive control refers to possession by authorization and direction for which possession can be assessed. Under Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS active possession is reflected by the driver of the vehicle: having an access button to activate the compartment, observed handling the compartment, placing or installing the compartment themselves. Under Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS constructive possession is reflected by the driver or an agent of the driver such as an installation company, relative, colleague or associate doing the same by payment or by authorization due to supervision of employment or association.

What is the definition of a false compartment under Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS?

A false compartment is any new box, new container, new space, or new enclosure designed; a modified or altered piece installed in the original factory equipment of a vehicle that is from the original manufacture; or a compartment, space, or box that is added to, made or created to existing parts of components to be installed to conceal, hide or prevent the discovery of a controlled substance in a vehicle.

What is the definition of a vehicle under Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS?

The term vehicle refers to cars, trucks, buses, aircrafts, boats, ships, yachts or vessels that can be utilized for either commercial or private use.

Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS – Sentencing

What are the penalties for a violation under Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS?

A violation of Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS is chargeable is either a misdemeanor or felony. If the violation concerns the possession or control of a false compartment, the violation is a misdemeanor. Punishment includes confinement not to exceeding 1 year in jail, with fines not exceeding $1000 dollars. If the violation concerns the creation, installation or design of a false compartment, the violation is a felony. Punishment includes confinement not to exceed 16 months, 2 or 3 years in prison with fines not exceeding $10,000 dollars.

What is an example of a violation of Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS?

  • Dave operated a speaking equipment, and car accessory installation store for vehicles. But at night he allowed his staff to utilize the store garage for their side business of installing custom kits in vehicles. He thought this was a great idea because a lot of his clients wanted to conceal the speaker boxes purchased from his store. Dave stayed after work to have a couple of beers with his staff in the store garage. Shortly thereafter, one of his most valued clients drove into the garage. The client stepped out of his car and threw a roll of money to him and his manager Rick. The client stated, “I need you to kit this car up.” The client opened the back seat of his car and presented an attaché case, opened it, showing 3 kilos of cocaine. Dave shrugged his shoulders, got up, and gave Rick his portion of the money received. On his way to his car, Dave told Rick, “Give this man our VIP service and build a home in his car for the case”. Rick created a concealed compartment in the client’s the center dash of on the passenger side of the vehicle, that remained concealed or presented by pressing the side of the middle console. Two days later the client was stopped on the highway for smoking a joint while driving by CHP. The officer during his search of the vehicle inadvertently pressed against a portion of the middle console, and a brief case erected from the center dash of on the passenger side of the vehicle. The officer opened the case and saw the 3 kilos of cocaine. The client was arrested, and later implicated Dave and Rick. Dave and his manager were arrested.

What kinds of drugs are listed to be associated under HSC 11366?

The references to drugs under Health and Safety Code 11364 HS are:

(1) Opium;
(2) MDMA;
(3) Mushrooms;
(4) Psilocybin;
(5) Fentanyl;
(6) Peyote;
(7) Meth;
(8) Mescaline;
(10) GHB;
(11) Opium extracts such as CO2 base, derivates like crumbles;
(12) PCP;
(13) Ketamine;
(14) Testosterone;
(15) Cocaine; and
(17) Heroin.

Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS – Defenses

What are examples of defenses to a violation of Health and Safety Code 11366.8 HS?

  • Mistake in Fact – There is a specific intent to create a false compartment but the substance it was intended to conceal was not a drug not a Schedule I, II, or III drug.
  • Mistake in Law – The false compartment was already installed in the vehicle that was purchased as used, and the driver did not have control, or access, nor knew the compartment existed.
  • Duress
  • No Probable Cause to discover the compartment.
  • Lack of Ownership

Need More?

If you are charged with a violation of Health and Safety Code 11366 HS call The Esfandi Law Group. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group.
 

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