Charges of drug trafficking or distribution in the United States can carry some severe penalties with them, and the criminal justice system in southern California is particularly equipped for handling these cases. Charges of simple possession are often categorized as misdemeanor charges, but if you are arrested under suspicion of trafficking or distribution of scheduled drugs, the consequences can be extensive. You will need to act quickly in order to build a strong defense, and the best way to do this is to hire a criminal defense and drug trafficking lawyer in San Diego as soon as possible.
Read more below to learn about a general overview of how California treats drug trafficking and drug distribution charges, but keep in mind that this information is intended to be extremely basic. In order to start working on your specific case, contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation. During this consultation, we will be able to talk about the details of your case, your arrest, charges, and how we can work with you to develop a strong case. The team at the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC has a history of success defending drug trafficking and drug distribution charges in the California court system, and we will be happy to use this experience to your advantage.
What Is Drug Trafficking and Drug Distribution? Is There a Difference?
Charges of drug trafficking and charges of drug distribution are two separate charges, although they are often charged together. If you are charged with either or both, we will need to go through all of the available information to determine exactly what led to these charges, the events surrounding your arrest and the investigation before your arrest, and use this information to determine how we will build our defense.
Drug Trafficking Charges in California
Drug trafficking charges stem from situations where an individual is accused of distributing or transporting drugs across state lines, selling drugs in a federally-designated High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), or found transporting a significant quantity of methamphetamines. Beyond these three situations, there are a variety of other ways that the arresting officers can attempt to increase lower-level charges to felony trafficking, which we will need to investigate in order to determine if your charges are even accurate.
Drug Distribution Charges in California
Drug distribution charges often seem to come alongside trafficking charges, but they are, in fact, two separate charges. Drug distribution, under California law and the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, broadly includes the act of selling, transporting, transferring, or importing illegal substances. However, California law does allow for adults over the age of 21 to transport, possess, and gift up to 28 grams of marijuana within the state borders, meaning that distribution charges do not apply for marijuana until the amounts exceed 1 ounce, or the substance is transported across state or federal borders.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking or Distribution in California
There are a variety of penalties that you can face if you are charged with trafficking or distribution of scheduled drugs in California, depending on quantities of the substances, any possible enhancements to your charges, and more. We will go through each individual detail of your case in order to understand how each charge or circumstance ties together so that we can isolate each charge and build a custom defense for each.
On a high level, the charges of trafficking or distribution have a fairly significant range of possible jail time. If you are arrested while transporting, transferring, selling, or importing controlled substances, your initial penalties start at a possible three to five years in prison. However, if you are caught engaging in these criminal acts between non-contiguous counties in the state, you may then face jail time of up to nine years. In addition, there are a variety of enhancements such as using a minor to distribute the controlled substances, which will increase your sentence. If you are arrested within 1,000 feet of a school zone, you will again face increased penalties.
In addition to possible jail time, you will be facing substantial fines. San Diego drug law states that your penalties may be upwards of $20,000 in fines, but with each enhancement, the fines may likely also increase. Understanding how charges work together and increase the penalties that you are facing is important, as we will be able to identify the best possible outcomes depending on individual charges being either dropped or dismissed while focusing on other charges in order to reduce the total penalties that you must face.
Contact Us Now
The most important thing that you can do after being arrested for and charged with drug trafficking or drug distribution in California is to hire a drug crime defense attorney in San Diego. During your initial consultation, we will be able to give you some basic advice on how to handle the immediate days following your arrest and charges, as well as discuss how we can help you in this situation. We will be happy to discuss past clients that we have represented who have faced similar charges to your own, the outcome of their case, and the approach that we took in order to fight for this outcome.