The victim of GHB or the date rape drug is subject to a loss of their senses, they then become semi-unconscious or semi-incapacitated. I usually see the GHB drug being used is when someone slips it into somebody's drink, after that it's typically associated with sex crimes.
The person either gets a victim at a bar, slips the GHB into their drink, and then drives them to another location; a hotel or their home, and sexually violates them. Later, victim wakes up and they're not clear about what happened. Frequently, the effects of GHB manifest as a cloudy or merged mind, after the individual is sexually assaulted.
Something about GHB that I've noticed having done a number of cases where it's alleged to have been given to an alleged victim is that it doesn't stay in the system for very long; it usually only lasts for 24 to 48 hours. Thus, if the person doesn't go and get their blood taken immediately then it's not uncommon that the drug cannot be detected in their system.
Are There Valid Medical Uses For GHB In California?
GHB was purportedly developed for some sort of a medical reason, but I really don't see it being used for medicinal purposes very often. If GHB is involved, it usually has to do with a sex crime. Thus in criminal defense, GHB means that somebody slipped someone the GHB drug so that the person would become semi-unconscious. After that there's usually a sex crime because a person loses control of their body, loses track of time, and blacks out to a degree.
Penalties For Possession Of GHB For Personal Use
In California possession of a drug for personal use means that you're carrying a drug and you don't have a prescription for that type of drug. In that instance, you might be charged with a misdemeanor and depending on why you have the drug you might be placed in a program.
If it's your first offense you might be able to avoid a conviction on your record. On the other hand, if you were suspected of committing a sex crime or of planning to use GHB in order to drug somebody and take advantage of them, then prosecutors would treat that scenario much differently.
The bottom line is if you have GHB you better have a good reason for it; if you do then your attorney could talk to the prosecutors and law enforcement about that. However, you don't usually see people with GHB unless they're planning on giving it to somebody and committing a crime against that person.
Charged With Being Under The Influence With GHB In Blood
Yes, the police can charge you with being under the influence if you are found with GHB in your system. If the police can determine that you're under the influence, for example if you're driving erratically and get pulled over.
Beyond that, it seems unlikely that someone be would walking around with GHB in their system because they'd probably end up passing out somewhere. However, if you're under the influence, out in public, and you took it recreationally, or if you had a prescription for it and then got behind the wheel of a car, then you could be charged with being under the influence of prescription medication.
If you did not have a prescription for it then you could be looking at a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail, you could also be charged with a DUI or other related offense depending on the circumstances of your case.
Defenses To A Charge Of Possession Of GHB
Possible defenses for possession of GHB will depend on the charge. Usually, you're going to be charged with possession of a controlled substance if you don't have a prescription for it.
The charges could also include a sex crime or an attempt to commit a sex crime if the police have any evidence of it. If you're caught with GHB or under the influence of GHB then the police will be looking at why you have it. The reason for this is that GHB is usually associated with date rape or other criminal activity.
Ultimately, possession under Health and Safety Code Section 11350 would be the charge and there are several different outcomes for this. You could get into a diversion program where you can get the case dismissed.
If you have a small enough amount and no criminal record then they may have you attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings, then, once you finish the meetings they can dismiss the case.
Right now, in California, the street possession of drug crimes or under the influence of drug crimes are being treated more leniently than they have in the past. This is a part of new legislature where law enforcement, and prosecutors have realized that the public is no longer interested in having people go to prison for nonviolent drug-related offenses; particularly if there are no weapons involved.
They're more interested in catching violent criminals. With this change in mentality, it's much more likely you'll get a program or be able to protect your criminal record.
Possession Of GHB Expungement In California
Charges can be expunged from your record if you end up getting convicted for a misdemeanor possession of GHB or any controlled substance in Los Angeles County.
You're put on probation, given certain terms and conditions of probation, and if you fulfill those terms and conditions of probation you can get the charges expunged.
For example, if you do everything you're supposed to and don't have any additional violations, then probation will be terminated because it's no longer viable. Probation will usually last two or three years for a straight possession of GHB or any other controlled substance charge. Once completed you would be eligible to have the matter expunged.
However, in California there is no such thing as a true expungement, meaning you won't get the conviction completely wiped off your record. It's more likely that if someone runs your criminal record after an expungement they're going to find that the matter was dismissed.
They'll see what charge you were convicted of but they will see that the case got dismissed. That's the best you can do for any misdemeanor or felony conviction in the state of California.
Eligibility For A Drug Diversion Program With a GHB Related
It is possible to be eligible for a diversion program in LA County. Typically, you'll get arrested, then the prosecutors that get the case will charge it as a possession of a controlled substance pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 11350.
This could include GHB or any other controlled drug crime. In this circumstance, you would be eligible to get the matter expunged at the end of a probation if you get convicted.
However, there is another route to go. Instead of accepting that conviction which goes on your record, you can be assigned a diversionary sentence that can manifest in a number of different ways.
A true diversion related to a drug possession case would not require you to plead guilty. The case is put over for a period of time six months or a year and you're ordered to perform certain steps. Once the prosecutor sees that you've done those steps then they dismiss the case altogether. In that scenario, you never get convicted of anything.
Another form of diversion is the deferred entry of judgment. This is when you plead guilty to the case but you're not sentenced. In this scenario, you're not convicted of anything because you're not convicted until you're sentenced.
They put the sentencing over for a period of six months to a year and at the end of that time, if you've met certain requirements; completed a drug program, remained arrest-free, or any other conditions that the court or prosecutors deem appropriate, then you have the ability to take back your no contest or guilty plea and the case will be dismissed. In that scenario, you never end up getting convicted of a crime because you never end up getting sentenced.
However, if during that six months to one year period, you pick up another case, violate your probation, or don't complete your program then the judge can sentence you. You'll end up with a misdemeanor conviction that you could still expunge.
There are all sorts of diversionary programs that can be utilized depending on the circumstances of your case and the skill of your attorney in negotiating with the prosecutors to try and get you the best possible resolution.