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Drug Trafficking

Are you facing drug trafficking charges in Los Angeles?

Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11352 drug trafficking is the sale or transportation of a controlled substance. The statue makes it a felony to sell, furnish, administer, give away or transport a controlled substance in the state of California.

Controlled substances include illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, as well as prescription drugs like Vicodin, codeine, and oxycodone.

Drug trafficking charges are very serious, and should not be fought alone. If you are facing charges for drug trafficking in Los Angeles or surrounding counties, contact experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at  424 272 1134

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of drug trafficking?

CALCRIM 2300 lays out the elements that the prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty of Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance in California. To be convicted of Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance under California Health and Safety Code Section 11352 the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Sold, furnished, administered, gave away, transported for sale or imported into California a controlled substance;
  • Knew of the drugs presence;
  • Knew that the substance was as a controlled substance; AND
  • The controlled substance was in a usable amount

Lets take a closer look at how the court defines these elements;


Controlled Substance

There are a variety of controlled substances that are unlawful to sell or transport under health and safety code section11352, including opiates and opiate derivatives, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs such as Vicodin, codeine and hydrocodone. 

Transporting

You will be deemed to have transported something if you carry it or move it from one location to another for sale, even if the distance is short. The movement, however, must for the purpose of selling the controlled substance.

Usable Amount

To be convicted you must transport or sell a usable amount of the controlled substance. A usable amount is a quantity that is enough to be used by someone. Small traces of the substance are not considered usable amounts. It should be noted however that a usable amount does not have to be enough, in either amount or strength, to affect the person using it.

Selling

For the purpose of this charge “selling” means exchanging a controlled substance for money, services, or anything else of value.

Knowledge

The prosecutor must prove that you knew you possessed the controlled substance and that you knew that the drug was in fact a controlled substance. The prosecutor does not however have to prove that you knew what kind of controlled substance it was.

How can I defend myself against charges for drug trafficking?

Being charged with drug trafficking can be overwhelming. A skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help you defend yourself, and protect your future and freedom. Some of the most common legal defenses to Health & Safety Code 11352 drug trafficking are that;

  • The drugs were for personal use;
  • You did not offer to sell or transport the drugs; and
  • The drugs were uncovered during an illegal search and seizure

Just because you have been accused of drug trafficking does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at 424 272 1134 to discuss how to best defend your case.

What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking is always a felony. Pursuant to California Health & Safety Code 11352, a drug trafficking conviction is punishable by;

  • Felony probation;
  • 3, 4 or 5 years served in county jail; or
  • 3, 6 or 9 years in jail if you transport the controlled substance across 2 or more county lines in California; and
  • A fine of up to $20,000

Note that you will not be eligible for probation or a suspended sentence if:

  • Your conviction is for selling or transporting a substance that had 14.25 or more grams of heroin; or
  • Your conviction is for selling or transporting heroin and you have one or more prior convictions for either HS 11352 or HS 11351 possession of controlled substances for sale; or
  • Your conviction is for sale selling or transporting cocaine, cocaine base or methamphetamine, and you have one or more prior convictions for selling, offering to sell or possessing for sale any drug.

Enhancements and Aggravating Factors

You will face additional custody time if any of the following are true;

Drug Trafficking Near Drug Treatment Facilities or Homeless Shelters

If you transported or sold heroin, cocaine, or a cocaine based substance, within 1000 feet of a detox or drug treatment center, or a homeless shelter you face an additional one year in jail. 

Drug Trafficking Large Quantities of Heroin or Cocaine

If you transported or sold heroin, cocaine, or a cocaine based substance and the weight was;

  • above 1 kilogram you face an additional 3 years in prison
  • above 4 kilogram you face an additional 5 years in prison
  • above 10 kilogram you face an additional 10 years in prison
  • above 20 kilogram you face an additional 15 years in prison
  • above 80 kilogram you face an additional 25 years in prison

Prior Convictions

If you have at least one prior felony conviction for a drug crime that was either for sale or transportation you face an additional 3 years in custody for each prior felony conviction.

Selling to Certain Groups

You will face the harshest statutory penalty (5 or 9 years) if you sold or transported drugs to an individual whom you knew or reasonably should have known was;

  • pregnant,
  • had a prior violent felony conviction, or
  • was being treated for a mental health disorder or a drug addiction

Having a drug trafficking conviction on your criminal record has far reaching consequence. A conviction can make it more difficult to do simple things like get housing or find a job. Since the charge will show up on any background check, potential employers and landlords may be hesitant to hire you or rent to you. Additionally, you may lose financial aid if you are a student, or have your professional license revoked if your employment requires licensure.

Contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer miles booth

Facing drug trafficking charges can be overwhelming. A drug trafficking charge, let alone conviction, can have far-reaching consequences. Penalties upon conviction are harsh and may result in substantial prison time. Your housing, future job prospects, and most importantly, immediate freedom are in jeopardy. It is unwise to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side.

As a former prosecutor, Miles Booth understands the complexities of these cases and the blueprints for beating, or substantially mitigating the charges. Miles Booth has handled thousands of cases all throughout Los Angeles County. He has substantial knowledge and experience, and will aggressively fight to get you the absolute best outcome possible.

If you are facing drug trafficking charges in Los Angeles County, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.

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