Defending Drug Charges in California
Whether a person is caught with a recreational amount of drugs or with a large amount of methamphetamine, they may be facing a substantial prison sentence in a California state prison. In many instances when a person in California is charged with possession for sale of drugs in California they will also face a charge of transportation of drugs in the same criminal complaint. Although the passage of proposition 64 in this years California elections may legalize some forms of marijuana possession, the transportation of large quantities of drugs or narcotics could lead to serious criminal charges. If a person is charged with the possession for sale or transportation of drugs, they should know the law and their rights which is best understood by hiring a California criminal defense lawyer. They need a experienced criminal lawyer while defending drug charges in California.
Possession of Drugs for Sale in California
California Health and Safety Code section 11352 criminalizes the possession for sale or transportation of cocaine, heroin, LSD, prescribed opiates such as oxycontin and peyote. Specifically, in order to be convicted of violation Health and Safety Code section 11352, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The accused transported, sold, furnished, gave away or imported into California a controlled substance,
- The defendant knew of the presence of the controlled substance;
- The accused knew of the character or nature of the controlled substance; and
- The controlled substance was a type identified in section 11352.
Moreover, if a person is charged with transporting a controlled substance under Health and Safety Code section 11352, the prosecution must prove that the amount transported was a usable amount.
Health and Safety Code section 11352 is a felony and not a wobbler meaning it cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor if a person is convicted of the charge. The penalties for a violation of section 11352 can include from 3 to 9 years in state. Penalties can increase for the sale of controlled substances if there is a finding that the defendant sold to minors or was selling large quantities of controlled substances.
When dealing with the defense of a section 11352 charge when it involves transportation, there almost always is an issue with whether the search and seizure of the vehicle or person where the controlled substances were found violate the Fourth Amendment. Often times if the search or seizure was unlawful a criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the charges dismissed or at a minimum reduced.
Possession for Sale of Methamphetamine in California
The use and sale of Methamphetamine is much more prevalent in today’s society and criminal filings have increased in places like Palmdale and throughout Antelope Valley California. For that reason, law enforcement can be especially tough if a person is caught selling or transporting large amount of methamphetamine. While defending drug charges in California it is important to hire an criminal defense attorney.
California Health and Safety Code section 11379 makes it a felony to:
- Transport crystal methamphetamine with the intent to sell the drug;
- Sell or enter into an agreement to sell crystal methamphetamine for something of value including money or property;
- Administer methamphetamine to another person; or
- Give away methamphetamine to another person.
Depending on a person’s criminal record, the penalties for being convicted for possession for sale of methamphetamine can be three, six or nine years in California state prison. A defendant may be eligible for probation depending on their prior criminal record and other mitigating factors.
There first thing a person should do if arrested for the possession for sale or transportation of drugs in California is to contact criminal defense attorney who can advise you of your rights and potential defenses to what can amount to serious criminal charges with serious consequences.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a drug crime, call Leib Law for a free consultation at (661) 576-1101.