California Health and Safety Code 11350 makes it a crime to possess any amount of heroin, which is classified as a Schedule 1 prohibited drug. Heroin possession charges are therefore often aggressively prosecuted. Small amounts of heroin possession, providing there are no additional aggravated circumstances, and contingent upon a clean criminal record, will most often be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.
Misdemeanor heroin possession charges may qualify for a drug diversion program, which may allow you to avoid jail and having the criminal charge appear on your record. Penalties for felony heroin possession, however, may result in up to three years in California State Prison, probation, fines, community service, and court-ordered drug education programs. In addition, a felony conviction for heroin possession will remain on your criminal record.