San Diego County Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney
If a person sells, imports, or transports drugs, he is engaging in drug trafficking. Are you accused of drug trafficking in San Diego County?
Being informed of the laws, consequences, penalties, punishments, and other details regarding this crime will help you as you deal with it in court. Prior to any legal proceeding, you must get a defense lawyer who you can work with during the litigation process. In San Diego County, CA, drug trafficking is not only a felony crime but also a federal crime.
Call Lee Law Group at (619) 349-1588 to get a free consultation.
Drug Trafficking Laws
The state of California honors the law under California Health and Safety Code Section 11379. According to this law, any selling, importing/exporting, transporting, etc. of illegal drugs or controlled substances shall be penalized. It typically carries a sentence of three to five (3-5) years in state prison and hefty fines, but there are a lot of factors to be considered before settling the final conviction.
Controlled substances include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamines, other illegal substances, and even prescribes medicines. If a person knowingly and intentionally sold, manufactured, dispensed, distributed, or transported these controlled substances, they may be prosecuted for drug trafficking. Moreover, if a person possessed or handled controlled substances with the willful intent to manufacture, distribute, or sell, he can still be charged with drug trafficking.
When do the federal authorities get involved in a drug trafficking case? Under some circumstances, the federal authorities join in the drug trafficking investigation. Here are some examples:
- If a person is accused of engaging in drug trafficking of methamphetamine in huge amounts;
- If a person is accused of engaging in illegal drug dealing across California state borders or national borders of the United States;
- If a person is accused of engaging in drug distribution in HIDTA or high-intensity drug trafficking area, HIDTA pertains to areas in the country that are paid more attention by the federal authorities due to a great volume of drug activity.
Sentencing and Penalties for Drug Trafficking
Violating HS 11379 convicts you of trafficking methamphetamine, thereby sentencing you with two (2), three (3), or four (4) years in jail, or $10,000 as a maximum fine or both.
Although, in some circumstances, the sentence of serving in jail or custody can be longer, and the fines can be larger once you become convicted of drug trafficking in California. Here are some examples of the said circumstances and additional sentences:
- A year will be added to the underlying sentence if you are convicted on the areas within a distance of 1,000 feet away from a homeless shelter, detox facility, or a drug treatment center;
- An additional sentence of up to nine (9) more years will be given to you if you are convicted of committing drug trafficking across two (2) or more California counties;
- An additional and consecutive sentence of two (2) to fifteen (15) years in prison will be given to you if the involved methamphetamine amounts to one (1) or more kilograms;
- An additional and consecutive sentence of three (3), six (6), or nine (9) years in prison will be given to you if you are convicted of drug trafficking that involves hiring, soliciting, intimidating, or inducing a minor to sell or distribute any controlled substance, or if you distributed methamphetamine to any minor.
If you are given an enhanced sentence, the underlying sentence must be served in prison as well, despite the authorization of the law for the convicted person to serve in a county jail for the underlying sentence.
Being convicted of federal felony drug trafficking charges does not equate to the same sentences mentioned above. The punishment will depend on the amount of the involved controlled substances or drugs.
If the weight of drugs amounts to at least 50 grams of pure meth, or if it is a mixture containing at least 500 grams of pure meth, you will need to look onto 1) 10 years to a lifetime of imprisonment for a first offense and a fine of up to $10 million; 2) 20 years to a lifetime of imprisonment for a second offense and a fine of up to $20 million; 3) life imprisonment without parole and a fine of up to $20 million if you were convicted of federal drug felony more than twice; 4) 20 years to a lifetime of imprisonment if the use of substance resulted in either death or serious bodily injury.
However, if the weight of drugs amounts to at least five (5) grams of pure meth or if the drug is a mixture containing at least 50 grams of pure meth, you will be punished by 1) first offense: five (5) to forty (40) years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5 million; 2) second offense: 10 years to a lifetime of imprisonment and a fine of up to $8 million; 3) 20 years to a lifetime of imprisonment if the use of substance resulted in either death or serious bodily injury.
Apart from the jail sentences and hefty fines that are given to any person convicted of drug trafficking, other consequences of the unlawful act are as follows:
- Your name will be registered in local authorities as a drug offender;
- You will be deported from the United States if you are not a US citizen who violated the drug trafficking law, even if you are a visa holder, a green card holder or an immigrant whose status is LPR or Legal Permanent Resident;
- Your professional state license will be suspended or revoked due to disciplinary proceedings;
- You will be disqualified from being a recipient of state or federal public benefits, scholarships, or any educational grants.
Furthermore, drug trafficking is often associated with charges of using deadly weapons. If someone is convicted of drug trafficking with the use of any weapon such as a gun, he will be sentenced with additional penalties and punishments. Typically, lifetime imprisonment without parole is the punishment of that person.
Call a Defense Attorney Now
Defense attorneys represent people who are accused of any crime. They work on behalf of their clients at court. If you are accused, call a drug trafficking defense attorney now. Lee Law Group offers legal services through the best and experienced lawyers in San Diego County. Your defense lawyer will stay with you to help you eliminate the trafficking charges filed against you and live a stress-free life. Don’t hesitate!
Call Lee Law Group at (619) 349-1588 and book a free consultation with us now.