Drug laws are changing in California and across America. The legalization of marijuana in California, while remaining illegal by federal laws, has dramatically changed the landscape of criminal prosecutions for possession, sales, and transportation of marijuana. Any attorney handling narcotics cases must be aware of the legal consequences, applicable suppression laws, and potential punishments. At The Law Office of Jonathan D. McDougall, we offer our clients honest, upfront communication, and a proven track record.
Narcotics Trafficking and Possession
California law defines drug trafficking as selling, importing, transferring, or traveling with controlled substances and unlawfully held prescription drugs. This includes possession of small amounts of these substances for personal use and intent to distribute. Intent to distribute may be indicated by the quantity of the illegal substance and/or the presence of paraphernalia such as scales and packaging materials. Drug possession for personal use is typically treated as a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $500.
Drug Trafficking Penalties
Penalties for drug trafficking offenses vary based on the individual’s prior criminal record, the type of drug, and the specific activities involved in the crime in question. In general, a person who is convicted of drug trafficking will receive a penalty such as the following:
- Three to five years in prison for transport, import, transfer, or sale of controlled substances, or up to nine years if the crime crosses county lines.
- Up to nine years in prison for cases where drugs were sold to minors, or where minors were employed within the drug trade.
- Up to three additional years if the convicted individual is more than four years older than the minor(s) involved.
- An additional one to two years in prison for crimes that took place within 1,000 feet of a school zone.
If you’ve been accused of a drug offense, The Law Office of Jonathan D. McDougall can help you provide a solid defense. We have nearly 15 years of experience successfully litigating the suppression of police seizure of narcotics, and we bring a litigation-based approach to the representation of those charged with felonious crimes of sales or drug trafficking—in both California and federal jurisdictions. Contact us online or call (650) 594-4200 to schedule a consultation or to speak to our team about your options.