Drug Trafficking Charges in California
In California, as in other states throughout the nation, drug crimes are punished severely. Trafficking is no exception. This offense, though closely associated with other drug crimes, is often prosecuted on both state and federal levels. As a felony charge and a federal offense, trafficking is one of the most serious criminal charges you can face.
What is the difference between selling and trafficking?
While drug trafficking and sales are often associated, they are actually separate crimes with different penalties. Charges associated with drug sales are generally tied to lesser offenses. These often involve small amounts of an illegal substance, intended for personal use, and, depending on the circumstances, may lead to misdemeanor or felony charges.
Trafficking, on the other hand, is associated with extensive drug activity. Sales, manufacturing, possession, and distribution could each constitute trafficking under certain circumstances. In most cases, possessing a large quantity of an illegal substance is enough to constitute trafficking. Because this crime involves substantial amounts of illegal drugs, it is always a felony offense.
What are the penalties for trafficking drugs in CA?
Penalties for trafficking illegal drugs typically include tens of thousands of dollars in fines and, at minimum, several years in prison. Because trafficking charges are based on the type, amount, and location of drug-related activity, however, it is hard to predict the penalties a person could face for the crime. If they crossed state lines while in possession of an illegal substance, an individual could the added weight of federal charges for an offense.
Other factors that could lead to enhanced charges include:
- Persuading a minor to participate in drug-related activities
- Trafficking near schools, detox facilities, or other protected areas
- Trafficking across international borders
How can I fight my trafficking charges?
If you have been accused of trafficking, you need to start building your defense immediately. At JD Law, our founding attorney is certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. With more than 30 years of legal experience, including former work as a police officer detective, Criminal Attorney James N. Dicks has the knowledge and insight to take on the toughest charges.