Transporting Controlled Substances for Sale / Trafficking
In California, Health and Safety Code section 11352 prohibits selling drugs, transporting certain drugs with the intent to sell them, furnishing or administering drugs to another person, giving controlled substances away, and even merely offering to do any of these things. For purposes of this statute, “controlled substances” include cocaine, heroin, peyote, LSD, as well as some common prescription pain medications like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine. This crime is a felony and punishable by up to five years in state prison. However, there are some circumstances where the available punishment for this type of offense can be significantly greater. For example, if a controlled substance is transported for sale across two county lines, then the maximum possible exposure is nearly doubled and goes all the way up to nine years in state prison and/or a maximum possible fine of $20,000, plus court costs.
Similarly, Health and Safety Code section 11379, subdivision (a) prohibits selling methamphetamine, transporting methamphetamine with the intent to sell, giving it away or administering it to another person, and even merely offering to do any of these. This section also applies to other controlled substances including gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), ketamine (special K), and certain anabolic steroids. This crime is a felony and punishable by up to four years in state prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000, plus court costs. However, there are some circumstances where the available punishment for this type of offense can be significantly greater. For instance, if the quantity of methamphetamine involved exceeds one kilogram, you could be subject to an additional, consecutive custody term of anywhere between three and nine years in state prison. Similarly, if you enlist a person under the age of eighteen to help facilitate selling methamphetamine, you could also be subject to an additional, consecutive custody term of up to nine years in state prison.
Neither of these charges related to sales or transportation with the intent to sell controlled substances are eligible for drug diversion pursuant to Penal Code section 1000, and both are considered deportable offenses pursuant to federal immigration laws.
It is important to act quickly and hire a local, experienced lawyer who understands the court process in the jurisdiction where you are facing criminal charges. The policies, court procedures, and spectrum of potential outcomes for any case can vary widely depending upon the county and specific courtroom where your case is being handled. Remember that drug trafficking and transportation cases often rely heavily upon circumstantial evidence and the prosecution’s ability to prove the specific intent required for a conviction. With that being said, it is especially important in these types of cases to know whether the evidence being used against you was legally obtained. If evidence being used against you was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a seasoned attorney will file a motion to suppress pursuant to Penal Code section 1538.5. If the court agrees that the evidence was illegally obtained, then it is ordered “suppressed”, meaning that it can no longer be used against you by the prosecution to establish guilt. As such, if the prosecutor can no longer prove every single element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, including specific intent, then the drug trafficking charges cannot stand and it may be possible to negotiate for a less serious, simple drug possession charge. These cases require intense scrutiny by an attorney with a solid understanding of search and seizure law. As a veteran lawyer at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta for over fifteen years, Ms. Baldwin knows how to quickly spot the issues and act accordingly.
If you have already been charged, or anticipate being charged, with drug trafficking or any other drug related offense in the Murrieta area, contact the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC for your free, confidential case consultation now. Your future and your freedom deserve to be taken seriously by an experienced attorney who is committed to quality representation and compassionate advocacy, every step of the way.