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California Drug Distribution Lawyer

Should I Hire A Drug Distribution Attorney?

Drug distribution is a crime in California. This offense falls underneath the broader umbrella of “drug trafficking” crimes. As a result, drug distribution convictions are often punished severely. If you’ve been accused of drug distribution, it is critical that you understand the situation you’re facing and that you work with an attorney immediately to begin building the strongest possible defense on your behalf. A California drug crime lawyer at My Rights Law will do everything possible to assist you in fighting these charges.

Call us now at (888) 702-8882 or submit our secure web form to take advantage of a free confidential consultation about your legal rights and your options moving forward. When the stakes you’re facing are this high, there is no time to waste.

California Drug Distribution Laws – The Basics

Drug trafficking is an umbrella term that refers to a number of specific criminal activities involving the transport, distribution, sale, or transfer of substances that have been classified as either “illicit” or “controlled” under state or federal law. Unlike simple possession of an illicit or controlled substance, drug trafficking involves some transaction between parties.

The only crime committed in a simple possession charge may be an individual’s intent to use the substance in question. By contrast, a drug distribution charge must allege that the offender explicitly intended to distribute the drugs in their possession. This is a more complex case to make and prove. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with distribution instead of simple possession, chances are good that prosecutors have taken steps to build a fairly strong case against you. This is one of the reasons why you need strong legal counsel on your side if you’re facing drug distribution charges.

Drug Distribution Penalty Determinations

No two drug distribution cases ever play out under the exact same circumstances. As a result, you’ll want to avoid making assumptions about how the risks you’re facing stack up against anyone else’s drug distribution case with which you may be familiar. Your unique circumstances could mean that you’re risking far more severe consequences if convicted than a friend or loved one may have faced when navigating similar charges (e.g., distribution of heroin versus prescription drugs for allergies).

Many California crimes carry the risk of very specific penalties. However, drug distribution cases involve a lot of “moving pieces” and therefore may be punished more or less severely based on several factors. For example, the court will take into account the number of drugs in question and the schedule of the drugs involved [1] in your case. The court may also weigh how dangerous the drug is (heroin laced with toxins is more dangerous than cannabis, for example), to whom you were going to sell or otherwise distribute the drugs, where you were going to sell them, and any previous entries logged on your criminal record.[2]

Depending on how factors like these are assessed, you could risk a term of incarceration of six months to more than 15 years. You could also be ordered to pay fines valued anywhere between $1,000 and $250,000.[3] Additionally, the lifelong burdens associated with a felony on your criminal record could change your life and the lives of your loved ones in truly significant ways. It is partially for these reasons that it is so important to speak with an attorney at our firm for a free consultation as soon as you possibly can if you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges.

Importation Vs. Distribution – Why The Distinction Matters

It bears repeating that drug trafficking is an umbrella term that is used to describe many different kinds of transactional drug crimes. Being convicted of some of these crimes carries the risk of massive consequences, while a conviction for a lesser trafficking crime is not typically quite as consequential. If you are being accused of more than a simple distribution crime, you’ll need to speak with our firm about every charge that you’re facing so that we can build our legal strategy to meet your urgent needs. For example, given that you’ve been charged in California, you may be facing both distribution and importation charges.

Distribution charges and importation charges are related but distinct. Distribution involves selling, transferring, distributing, or otherwise trafficking illicit or controlled substances within the domestic U.S. Importation involves transporting illicit or controlled substances over the border – or into a port – from another location into the U.S. Although it is critically important to speak with an attorney no matter what criminal charges you’re facing, you need to connect with a lawyer with particular urgency if you’re facing importation charges. Distribution of controlled or illicit substances within California is generally a state crime. If you’re also facing importation charges, you could be convicted of federal drug crimes as well.

Defense Strategies For Drug Distribution Charges

It is essential to mention that an arrest, information, or indictment is merely an allegation that a particular individual engaged in criminal activity (e.g., a drug offense). An accusation alone carries no detriment, although it can be the source of tremendous anxiety and concern for the defendant. The State (or the federal government in cases brought under the United States Code) always has the burden of establishing that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused have a constitutional right to counsel and the right to defend themselves against the government’s allegations.

Defenses in criminal cases may involve:

  • The government’s infringement of the defendant’s rights concerning an arrest, search, or seizure
  • Mistaken identity
  • Entrapment
  • Simple lack of reliable evidence to support the State’s case

The fact that a defendant had a legal right to possess the drugs in question, such as a prescription medication, may also be a viable defense against criminal prosecution in some instances.

Several defenses can be utilized on your behalf, including arguing that the drugs were never intended for distribution and were strictly for personal use; this can help arrange a smaller charge and, therefore, more minor penalties.

Why You Need A California Drug Distribution Defense Attorney

Distribution of drugs can be a felony charge, so it is important to hire a drug crime lawyer to be sure. Los Angeles drug crimes are serious offenses that are punishable by a year or more in state or federal prison. The penalties for drug offenses vary based on the type of the drug and the amount of the illegal drugs. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the potential punishments. For example, illegal distribution of Schedule I controlled substances is more harshly punished than the illegal distribution of Schedule V controlled substances.

The penalties for distribution typically include a period of incarceration that ranges from one year to ten years in prison. Drug diversion programs may apply which could change this result. In addition to a jail sentence and/or drug diversion program, criminal fines may be ordered, ranging from $100 to $10,000. The penalty for drug charges may be increased if certain aggravating factors were present. A Los Angeles drug crime attorney can help you fight these punishments.

My Rights Law California Drug Distribution Lawyers

The consequences associated with a drug distribution felony conviction can transform your life and the lives of your loved ones. Don’t attempt to defend yourself against this serious charge. Allow an experienced California drug distribution lawyer from My Rights Law to build the strongest possible defense on your behalf. While our criminal defense law firm cannot guarantee the outcome of your case – because no attorney can do that – we can assure you that we’ll do our utmost to secure the most favorable outcome possible for your case. Submit our secure web form or call (888) 702-8882 to start protecting your rights.

FOOTNOTES
[1] California Health and Safety Code 11370.4 HS.
[2] California Health and Safety Code 11370.2 HS.
[3] Health and Safety Code 11377 HS.

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