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Home » Drug Crime Lawyer » Drug Trafficking Attorney

California Drug Trafficking Lawyer

Do You Need A Drug Trafficking Lawyer?

If you were arrested for drug trafficking in California, My Rights Law‘s drug crime lawyers have the education, experience, and commitment to defend you against your drug trafficking charges. Contact our offices today at (888) 702-8882 or through our web form so that we may examine the facts surrounding your case and establish a working relationship with you to ensure that you receive the best results for your drug trafficking case.

California’s no-tolerance stance on drugs stems partially from the realities of California’s geography. California not only shares a long border with Mexico but also features more than 800 miles of coastline by which virtually anyone could smuggle in illegal goods and substances. As a result, several California counties along the coast have been designated as High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) regions for decades. Both the border and these counties, in particular, are monitored at all times by federal, state, and local law enforcement, which makes these areas especially rich targets for arrests – both rightful and wrongful.

California Drug Trafficking Laws

Criminal offenses related to drugs are harshly punished under state and federal law, mainly when they involve selling or distributing drugs for commercial purposes. Offenses of drug trafficking is a grave drug crime that involves the manufacture, sale, transportation, or distribution of illegal drugs. Our law firm defends drug trafficking and sales cases in California and federal courts.

California Health And Safety Code 11352 HS

Drug trafficking under California Health & Safety Code 11352 HS is defined as the illegal commercial exchange of illicit narcotics and the equipment and products used to make and use the drugs. The severity of the drug trafficking charges filed in a particular case, along with the associated sentence (upon conviction), will vary according to:

  • The type and amount of the drug
  • Whether anyone was killed during the illegal act
  • Whether the accused has a criminal history

Serious drug trafficking charges involve:

  • Large amounts of Schedule I or II drugs (the most serious, dangerous narcotic classification includes heroin, cocaine, PCP, etc.)
  • The death of one or more people during the alleged act of trafficking a controlled substance.
  • The accused has a history of previous drug convictions and violent crime convictions.
  • Drug trafficking charges may be subject to mandatory minimum sentencing laws

If you were in possession of an operable firearm, you could be charged with possession of a controlled substance while armed under California Law. California law also covers the sale or transportation of methamphetamine and the manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Drug Trafficking Penalties in California and Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines

Federal drug trafficking cases are typically subject to mandatory minimum sentencing laws. A mandatory sentence is when the court is in a situation where judicial discretion is limited by law. If you are found guilty of a drug trafficking charge, the judge must give you a specific minimum sentence regardless of whether they think that sentence is reasonable given the nature and circumstances of that crime. When it comes to drug trafficking cases, there are many federal minimum sentencing laws in place that have been enacted by Congress.

Generally speaking, a jury is not allowed to be told whether the case they are deciding is subject to mandatory sentencing, because it may sway their opinion if they think the punishment does not fit the crime. Instead, a jury’s role is limited only to determining guilt or innocence in a mandatory sentencing case.

Mandatory minimum sentencing laws can lead to harsh penalties for people found guilty of drug trafficking. This may happen because the lack of judicial discretion means that, regardless of the unique nature of the person’s case, a standard minimum sentence must be set. As a result, people who face federal drug trafficking charges face very lofty stakes.

Some of the minimum sentences for drug trafficking are as follows if the crime involves any of the following [1]:

  • 1 kg+ heroin
  • 5 kg+ cocaine
  • 280 g+ crack
  • 100 g+ PCP (pure) or 1 kg+ PCP (mixture)
  • 10 g+ LSD
  • 1,000 kg+ marijuana or 1,000+ marijuana plants
  • 50 g+ meth (pure) or 500 g+ meth (mixture)

Then, a first-time offender who is found guilty of manufacturing, disseminating, or possessing with intent to distribute but causes no death or serious physical injury can face up to 10 years in prison. The minimum sentence is raised to 20 years in prison if death or serious bodily injury is involved. Second- and third-time offenders can face life in prison.

Drug trafficking is a very serious crime unlike simple drug possession. In many ways, one’s entire life may depend on a guilty or not guilty verdict. You want the best federal drug trafficking lawyer from My Rights Law by your side.

Drug Trafficking Convictions Result In Serious Consequences

Every kind of felony conviction risks severe consequences, as these criminal infractions – by their very definition – are punishable by more than one year in prison, at minimum. In California, drug trafficking is – depending on a defendant’s unique circumstances – potentially punishable by incarceration in prison for anywhere from three to nine years. Additional consequences of a drug trafficking conviction include fines, financial restitution, mandatory drug treatment, and the burdens of a felony record. [2]

The burdens of a felony record are not to be underestimated. All too often, individuals fully pay their debts to society only to face a lifelong struggle with securing housing, employment, credit, financing generally, and even volunteer opportunities. Additionally, there is too often a great stigma attached to felony conviction records, which can lead to frustrating social challenges.

An Experienced California Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

If you’ve been accused of drug trafficking, it is critically important to treat these charges seriously. That does not mean, however, that you need to panic. An experienced criminal defense lawyer from our firm who has extensive experience trying drug trafficking cases can evaluate your unique circumstances and begin building a strong defense on your behalf.

A solid legal defense to drug trafficking can take many forms, depending upon the unique ins and outs of the situation. For example, drug evidence may have been seized improperly. Asserting a defense of your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure could allow us to get this improperly obtained evidence excluded from consideration. As it is often difficult for prosecutors to make their case when there is no drug evidence that can be considered, this can potentially be a winning strategy.

Other strong legal defense tactics, which may or may not be appropriate for your case specifically, include:

  • Asserting that you were a bystander to the trafficking scenario in question and were innocent of knowing possession of the drugs found on your person.
  • Asserting that you obtained the drugs lawfully via a medically indicated prescription.

Once we understand your unique circumstances, we can craft a defense that takes every possible opportunity to safeguard your rights into consideration.

Contact A Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer In California

The most common defenses to Los Angeles drug crimes are unwitting possession (you didn’t know you had it on you) [3], illegal search and seizure, police abuse of power [4][5], and medical marijuana (legal use). Unwitting possession refers to a person possessing a drug with no knowledge of doing so and is therefore a defense to an alleged drug offense. Punishments for drug trafficking may include mandatory participation in a drug diversion program.

Illegal search and seizure may be utilized as a defense to drug charges if the police illegally obtained the controlled substances. The United States Constitution forbids the police from searching homes without warrants, and automobiles without probable cause.

Evidence that is illegally obtained by the police in Los Angeles drug crime proceedings (e.g., evidence of prescription drugs) may be suppressed in court. If the jury does not see the evidence, the defendant cannot be convicted of criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with a Los Angeles drug crime, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer for a free consultation.

My Rights Law California Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyers

Suppose you have been accused of drug trafficking. In that case, consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advocate aggressively on behalf of your rights and protect your freedom. At My Rights Law, we take great pride in representing the interests of those accused of criminal wrongdoing because there are few American rights more sacred than the opportunity to present a defense in the wake of accusations levied by the government.

The sooner you contact our drug trafficking attorney, the sooner we can begin constructing a strong, aggressive legal defense on your behalf. If you haven’t yet called (888) 702-8882 or contacted us through our secure form, please do so immediately. We look forward to speaking with you.

[1] Health & Safety Code 11370.4.
[2]  Health & Safety Code 11370.
[3] CALCRIM 2300.
[4] People v. West (1956) 139 Cal.App.2d Supp. 923, 924.
[5] People v. Barraza (1979) 23 Cal.3d 675, 689.

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