Drug possession, manufacturing, and distribution are illegal in the state of California. Transporting drugs can take you to jail. Despite its reputation as a laid-back state, California has some of the strictest narcotic laws in the nation. The stakes are very high – if you are caught with large amounts of drugs in your car, the charges can easily escalate up to drug trafficking charges, which could lead to a felony on your record. If you’re involved in drug charges in California, you need an experienced San Diego drug transportation attorney.
SKILLED ATTORNEY DISCUSSES DRUG TRANSPORTATION LAWS IN CALIFORNIA
There are a number of different laws related to the illegal transportation of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, and other narcotics. California Health and Safety Code section 11352(a) HS states it is illegal to sell or transport controlled substances in the state of California. Selling or transporting a drug is defined as any of the following conditions:
Transporting controlled substances from one destination to another
Importing the controlled substance from another location outside California into California
Possessing the drugs with the intent to resell to other people
Giving doses of the drugs to someone else, even if it was just a single dose
Offering the controlled substance to someone else, at no charge
Under this definition, you could be charged with drug sales and transportation if you are in possession of a small amount of drugs and you give a little bit of it to a friend at no charge. Many people are unaware that this could get them in serious trouble, so it’s important to understand these laws.
If you are found guilty of transporting controlled substances, you could face up to four years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. The court may look at your criminal record and a number of other factors during the sentencing process to determine which penalties you should receive.
IS IT ILLEGAL TO TRANSPORT MARIJUANA IN SAN DIEGO? YES, SAYS KNOWLEDGEABLE LAWYERS
California Health and Safety Code section 11360 HS states it is illegal to sell or transport for sale marijuana in the state of California. The same definition of transporting a drug applies to this law, but the penalties do differ. If you are convicted of selling or transporting marijuana, you may face up to four years in jail. However, if the amount of marijuana was less than one ounce (28.5 grams), it is only punishable by a $100 fine and is a misdemeanor charge. The only exception to this would be if the marijuana is in a concentrated form. In this case, you would be charged with a felony, not a misdemeanor.
CAN YOU BE CHARGED WITH A CRIME FOR TRANSPORTING METHAMPHETAMINE?
California Health and Safety Code section 11379 HS states it is illegal to sell or transport methamphetamine. This is very similar to the transporting controlled substances law, but the drugs that are covered under this safety code differ. This safety code refers to stimulants, PCP, ketamine, and ecstasy, among others. Another difference between this law and the controlled substances law is the penalties. If you are convicted of transporting methamphetamine, you will only face up to four years in jail, not the $20,000 fine.
If you have been charged with transporting controlled substances, marijuana or methamphetamine, it is essential you speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately following an arrest. You may face a variety of serious penalties depending on the type of drug crime. A drug conviction can stay on your record and affect both your personal and professional life down the road. You may have trouble finding employment or housing since many employers and landlords are hesitant to trust those who have been convicted of drug transportation crimes. Don’t put your future in the hands of a public defender. Speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and start defending your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter by phone or visit our website to fill out an online form to schedule your free consultation.
EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS IN SAN DIEGO CAN DEFEND YOU AGAINST DRUG TRANSPORTATION CHARGES
They only need to prove intent. To be found guilty of drug transportation, the prosecution does not have to prove that you actually sold narcotics, only that you intended to. That’s why the charge of narcotic transport is so serious. Intent to sell can be based on circumstantial evidence including:
The amount of drugs found
The existence of items frequently used in narcotic sales such as baggies or scales
The testimony of informants and undercover officers
A high volume of visitors to your residence or place of business
But, a charge does not always lead to a conviction. Your attorney may be able to argue the evidence used against you was illegally seized and should therefore not be submitted to the courts. A San Diego criminal defense lawyer may also be able to prove you did not have intent, meaning you were never planning on selling the drugs, and they were for your personal use only. It is possible you did not know about the drug’s presence or were not aware it was an illegal substance. The exact defense you use will depend on the circumstances of your case, but an experienced attorney can help you create a sound defense strategy. If you have been arrested, it’s best to seek representation from an attorney as soon as possible.
HOW CAN A SAN DIEGO LAW FIRM HELP THOSE WHO ARE FACING DRUG TRANSPORTATION CHARGES?
How you can fight the charges: Experienced attorney Elliott N. Kanter is familiar with legal and illegal search and seizure. We will look at reducing the charges or getting them thrown out due to illegal search or violation of your rights by law enforcement officials. Some errors in the prosecution’s case may include:
Was the search warrant improperly obtained? Police have to go to a judge to get a search warrant and supply a probable cause. Did they lie to the judge or withhold part of the story?
Are informants reliable? Police often use the testimony of informants who are themselves narcotic dealers or addicts. They may falsely collaborate in exchange for their own charges being reduced.
Were entrapment laws violated? Law enforcement officials may use taped conversations as evidence. However, your rights may be violated in the process.
Is circumstantial evidence valid evidence? An entire case’s outcome could rest on the existence of a few plastic baggies.
TOP SAN DIEGO LAW FIRMS ARE HERE TO OFFER YOU LEGAL ASSISTANCE
What can an experienced attorney do for you? There’s so much at stake when you are accused of committing a drug offense in San Diego County. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience defending clients in criminal cases. Some of our criminal law practice areas include assault and battery, theft, fraud, white-collar crimes, probation violations, domestic violence, DUI, sex crimes, drug possession, drug crimes, and juvenile offenses. We have the knowledge to fight your charges and negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. So, call the lawyers at our law firm today for legal advice and a case evaluation!