Los Angeles Drug Trafficking Attorney
Contact the Hurwitz Law Group in Los Angeles today if you’ve been arrested for drug trafficking. One of our attorneys will meet you to review the charges you’re facing and any elements of your case that may work in your favor. We have a solid reputation of successful cases thanks to our tenacious dedication to protecting our clients’ rights.
Drug trafficking has been a major issue in California for decades due to the consistent influx of drugs from across the borders of Mexico and Canada as well as the many ports in the state. A drug trafficking charge can lead to imprisonment and other significant penalties, so it’s crucial for Californians to understand the definition of drug trafficking in the eyes of the law.
Different Types of Drug Trafficking Offenses
California Health and Safety Code 11352 pertains to drug trafficking and defines the practice as any activity that involves the transportation of narcotics or controlled substances into, within, or through the state of California for the purposes of sale. Trafficking any Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance will lead to a sentence of up to five years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. Transporting any such controlled substance without a legitimate prescription within the state from one noncontiguous county to another will incur a punishment of up to nine years in prison. Other violations that can lead to drug trafficking charges can include:
- Transporting drugs
- Importing illegal drugs from outside the country into California
- Selling illegal drugs
- Giving away illegal drugs for free
- Administering illegal drugs or furnishing the use of illegal drugs, such as supplying living space or paraphernalia to drug users
Drug trafficking charges are subject to state as well as federal penalties, and federal law dictates different punishments for different drugs. Larger quantities of illegal drugs will lead to more significant financial penalties and longer prison sentences. For example, even a first-time offense of trafficking between 500 and 4,999 grams of cocaine can result in up to 40 years to life imprisonment and $5 million in fines. State penalties for drug trafficking can include up to five years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines, and trafficking with intent to sell will lead to imprisonment for up to nine years and up to $20,000 in fines.
Both state and federal prosecutors will issue harsher sentences if the drug trafficking activity involved any bodily injury to anyone and will severely punish individuals who furnish illegal drugs to minors, incapacitated individuals, or anyone institutionalized for psychological treatment.
Defending Against Drug Trafficking Charges
It’s difficult to defeat a drug trafficking charge, especially if the police arrested you with a large amount of cash or other supplies related to the distribution of illegal drugs. However, some drug trafficking charges result from mistaken identity, miscommunication, or unlawful violations of Californians’ rights. When these situations occur, a person facing drug trafficking charges needs a reliable Los Angeles drug trafficking lawyer to fight for reduced or dismissed charges when possible.
In some cases, a judge may suspend a sentence for drug trafficking charges if it is a first-time offense that occurred due to ignorance. For example, marijuana is legal for personal consumption in California. A person who possesses legal marijuana plants and moves to a new home could face a wrongful arrest for drug trafficking when he or she was simply moving his or her legal personal property to a new home. Some people may need to prove they possess valid prescriptions for other controlled substances such as benzodiazepines, stimulants, or opioid-based pain medications. Depending on the details of the situation, there are many possible defenses to a drug trafficking charge.