Criminal Defense

What Are Some Possible Penalties for Drug Trafficking in California?

California takes drug trafficking seriously, and if caught, you can face strict penalties and fines. A drug trafficking conviction can also negatively impact various aspects of your life, including future employment, education, and immigration status. An experienced attorney can help you protect your rights if you’ve been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking. 

Drug Trafficking Offenses That Attract Punishment Under State Law

In California, drug trafficking includes selling and transporting illegal substances. If caught with controlled substances, you risk facing severe penalties. Here are some common drug trafficking offenses in California:

  • Moving controlled drugs to California
  • Transporting drugs for sale
  • Distributing illegal substances
  • Selling drugs
  • Administering controlled drugs to another person

If the offense involves transporting a controlled substance, the prosecutor must prove the following:

  • You were aware of the presence of the controlled substance
  • You knew it was a controlled substance
  • The controlled substance was of a distributable amount

Under California statutes, drug trafficking can be classified into various categories, from large-scale to selling small amounts. You risk arrest and conviction even when selling a small amount of a controlled substance to a friend. Drug traffickers can walk around, ride bicycles, or use cars.

Types of Controlled Substances That Attract Drug Trafficking Punishments

Understanding what constitutes illegal substances in California can help determine whether you have committed a drug trafficking offense. The primary substances that the Health & Safety Code 11352 prohibits from carrying or selling include:

  • LSD
  • Peyote
  • Opiates
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • GHB

Punishment For Drug Trafficking Under California State Laws

Drug trafficking is a serious offense in California, which can attract penalties of over $20,000 or a jail term exceeding three years. The penalties can be even more severe if the prosecution highlights some aggravating factors in your case. For instance, selling controlled drugs to a child, a pregnant woman, or a mentally ill individual can attract more severe punishment. The penalties can also worsen if the drug trafficking offense happens close to a treatment facility, such as a health center.

When these factors are involved, a judge can prescribe extra penalties in addition to the ones mentioned above. These may include an additional three to five years jail term, $20,000, or probation.

Drug trafficking offenses can also attract penalties, such as suspension of professional licenses, inability to receive federal-backed funding for college, and visa application rejection.

Contact a San Diego Drug Trafficking Lawyer Today

Drug trafficking has serious consequences in California. If charged with the offense, you should hire an experienced San Diego drug trafficking lawyer to assist you. The Law Office of Elliott Kanter is committed to helping you navigate your drug trafficking case to ensure your rights are protected and you get justice. Call us at (619) 231-1883 or contact us online to book a free consultation with our lawyer, Elliott Kanter.

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