Thousands are sent to California prisons every year as a result of law enforcement agencies aggressive crack down on drug trafficking. Undercover operations can last a year or longer before an actual arrest is made. This was true in an operation that lasted a year and ended with the arrest of 16 people in Santa Ana, on suspicion of being involved in illegal distribution of narcotics. The distribution of narcotics operation included distributing crack cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.
Often times, many of those arrested and/or convicted are innocent and many are drug addicts who are in need of treatment. Addressing a person’s drug addiction is much more effective than sending them to prison.
Transporting, importing and selling or distributing controlled substances is a felony in California. This is also known as drug trafficking.
Transportation of Narcotics: Is when an individual or group knowingly transfers the substances from one place to another. Whether the amount is small or large, transporting drugs is considered a serious offense.
Drug distribution: Is the act of selling narcotics to others.
The consequences of drug transportation and/or distribution vary depending on several factors. Some of the mitigating factors include:
1. The type of drug,
2. The location,
3. The amount, and
4. Whether or not minors are involved.
Consequences of being convicted of drug transportation or drug distribution may include the following:
1. A long prison sentence,
2. Large fines,
3. Parole or probation which may include, drug testing, rehab, counseling, and search and seizure of property,
4. Being required to register as a narcotics offender,
5. Forfeiture of assets, and
6. Deportation (if not a U.S. citizen).
If you are found guilty of importing large quantities of narcotics from another country, the penalties are much more severe.
As a criminal defense attorney who has defended many individuals for drug transportation and sales, I am aware of the many important factors associated with this crime. I pay close attention to all details but two very critical details are: the quantity of drugs and, prior criminal record, specifically prior drug convictions. The quantity will point to the question of whether or not the drugs were for personal use or distribution. Someone with a prior conviction of sales of narcotics could be facing a minimum 3-year enhancement, which is added to the time he would serve if convicted on the new drug charge.
As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I am well aware and equipped to utilize the best defenses and/or sentence alternatives to get the best result possible. For example, drug treatment would be more appropriate than jail time. Especially for non-violent individuals who may suffer with a drug problem. Depending upon the situation, there are alternatives.
In California, if you qualify, you could be eligible for Proposition 36, which would allow substance abuse treatment instead of jail time, or Diversion, is another alternative, which would allow the case to be dismissed after a period of time if all requirements were fulfilled. There is also Drug Court, which is a program that involves supervision and treatment.
There are alternatives and therefore, it is critical that anyone being charged which a seriuos drug charge needs the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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