Los Angeles Drug Transportation Lawyer
Drug Transportation and Distribution in California
Transportation or distribution of illegal street and prescription drugs is a felony in the State of California, no matter the amount or type of drug. “Transportation” of drugs is broadly defined under California law and may include the following activities:
- Moving drugs from place to place on foot or by vehicle.
- Importing drugs from another state or country.
- Supplying drugs to someone to be sold.
If you are charged with transportation or distribution of illegal drugs, you may be facing very serious penalties. A knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles drug transportation lawyer can help you build a defense based on the unique circumstances of your case.
What Are the Penalties in California for Transporting or Distributing Drugs?
The basic penalty for transporting drugs in the State of California is up to five years in state prison. If you are arrested for transporting drugs across county lines, you could face up to nine years in state prison if you transported drugs across more than two counties. Additional penalties may apply depending on the amount and type of drug involved. For example:
- Transportation of 2.2 pounds or more of cocaine can result in a state prison sentence of three to 25 years.
- Transportation of over 14 grams of heroin may be punishable by an additional fine of $50,000.
Importing or transporting drugs across state lines is a federal offense. If you are prosecuted for federal drug crimes, penalties can be even more severe.
Defenses to Drug Transportation Charges
To convict you on drug transportation charges, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Transported, imported, or otherwise distributed an illegal or prescription drug;
- You knew the drug was a controlled substance;
- The quantity of the substance transported or distributed was sufficient for use as a drug; AND
- The drug was intended for sale.
California law requires the State to prove that you transported a drug for purposes of selling it. If the authorities do not have enough evidence to demonstrate your intent to sell (such as packaging materials or other paraphernalia typically used to prepare drugs for sale), then you are not guilty of drug transportation.
A knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles drug transportation attorney will be able to identify the full range of defenses available based on the circumstances of your case. For example, a strong defense may include arguments that:
- The evidence obtained by the police was acquired illegally (through entrapment or an illegal search and seizure);
- Your rights were violated during the arrest;
- You were not aware you were transporting a controlled substance;
- The amount of drugs you were carrying was not enough to be used as a controlled substance; OR
- You had a valid prescription for the drug.
Contact the Law Offices of Adrian M. Baca Today
A felony drug transportation charge can have life-changing impacts, including jail time and other consequences for your employment or immigration status. Our firm has over thirty years of experience defending clients against serious drug transportation charges in the State of California. If you or a loved one are charged with transportation of illegal drugs, contact us by phone or by filling out the form on our website to schedule a free initial consultation.