Border Patrol Agents, along with their canine team, discovered 11.9 pounds of crystal meth hidden in the bumper of a 24-year-old woman’s car at a border stop in Orange County, California. The drugs are estimated to have a street value of $214,000.00. The woman, a U.S. citizen, and the drugs have been turned over to the DEA.
Transporting, importing and selling or distributing controlled substances is a felony in California. This is also known as drug trafficking. The trasportation 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 are: 1. The type of drug, 2. the location, 3. the amount, and 4. whether or not minors are involved. Importing large quantities of narcotics from another country face the most severe penalties.
A conviction of drug transportation, drug distribution also known as drug trafficking, may include a long prison sentence, large fines, parole/probation, registration as a narcotics offender, forfeiture of assets, drug testing, rehab, counseling, search and seizure of property, deportation (if not a U.S. citizen) and more. The penalties in California however, are dependent upon the kind of drug being smuggled, the amount and the criminal history of the alleged drug trafficker.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will be familiar with the various defenses available to someone who has been arrested for or charged with drug trafficking. A good drug trafficking defense lawyer should be challenging the search and seizure tactics used by the law enforcement, as well as the validity of search and arrest warrants that are based on electronic surveillance or wiretaps.
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.
An experienced criminal defense attorney, specializing in Narcotics Distribution, Drug Transportation and/or Drug Trafficking will be 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. DEJ, 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 serious drug charge needs the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you would like to know more about Drug Trafficking, contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William M. Weinberg at his Irvine, California office at 949-474-8008 or at www.williamweinberg.com.