California has some of the strictest drug trafficking laws in the United States. Drug trafficking refers to the illegal manufacturing, transportation, and distribution of illegal drugs. A San Diego drug trafficking lawyer defends defendants accused of participating in the illegal distribution and sale of controlled substances. In California, the penalties for drug trafficking depend on the type and quantity of drugs involved.

Marijuana Trafficking

California was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, and recreational marijuana in 2016. However, trafficking marijuana is still illegal outside of regulated, licensed businesses. Penalties vary based on the quantity of marijuana being trafficked:

Transporting, selling, or giving away 28.5 grams or less of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor. This can carry up to 6 months in county jail and/or a fine up to $500.

Transporting, selling, or giving away more than 28.5 grams but less than 1 kilogram of marijuana is considered a felony. This can carry 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in state prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

Transporting, selling, or giving away 1 kilogram or more, or cultivating more than 6 marijuana plants, carries 3, 4 or 5 years in state prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

Other Drug Trafficking

California divides controlled substances into 5 schedules based on their potential for abuse and medicinal purposes. When a corporation is implicated in drug trafficking allegations, hiring a California corporate attorney with expertise in both corporate law and criminal defense becomes vital to safeguard the company’s future. Penalties increase based on the schedule of the drug:

– Schedule I & II Drugs: Includes drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and opioids which have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Trafficking these drugs in smaller quantities can lead to 2-4 years in state prison. Trafficking larger quantities (generally over 4 kilograms) leads to 3-15 years in state prison and fines ranging from $100,000 to millions of dollars.

– Schedule III Drugs: Includes drugs with moderate potential for physical and psychological dependence like ketamine and anabolic steroids. Penalties range from 16 months to 9 years in prison depending on quantity.

– Schedule IV Drugs: Includes drugs with lower potential for abuse like Xanax, Valium and Ambien. Penalties range from 16 months to 7 years based on quantity trafficked.

– Schedule V Drugs: Includes drugs with the lowest potential for physical and psychological dependence. Trafficking penalties range from 16 months to 5 years in state prison depending on quantity.

Sentencing Enhancements

In addition to the standard penalties, most drug trafficking offenses also carry a number of enhancements that can substantially increase the prison sentence if certain conditions apply:

Prior drug trafficking convictions: An additional 3 years for each prior conviction.

Sale or possession for sale near schools, parks, etc.: An additional 2, 3 or 5 years if drugs are sold within 1,000 feet of a school, park, library, university, amusement park, worship center, transitional housing, treatment center, etc.

Sale or possession for sale near drug treatment centers: An additional 2 to 10 years if sales occur near an active drug treatment center or transitional housing.

Using a minor for drug trafficking: An additional 5 years for using a minor to transport drugs or solicit sales.

California has strict penalties for illegally trafficking all types of drugs within the state. Even small quantities can lead to years in prison. Those caught trafficking larger wholesale quantities or with prior convictions face decades behind bars under California law. The laws are designed to crack down hard in order to deter drug distribution operations across the state.

What Is The Penal Code For Drug Dealing In California?

California has strict laws prohibiting the manufacturing, transportation, possession, and sale of illegal drugs. Penalties vary widely based on the type and amount of drug involved, as well as the defendant’s criminal history.

For example, simple possession of heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine for personal use is typically charged as a misdemeanor. A conviction of this can lead to up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, possession of larger amounts or providing/selling illegal drugs to others are felonies carrying longer sentences.

Selling or transporting heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or PCP carries 3 to 15 years in state prison. Manufacturing these drugs can lead to 3 to 7 years. However, if various enhancing circumstances apply, such as sale to minors or near schools, these sentences are doubled to 15+ years.

Marijuana laws depend on the amount possessed. Possession of under 1 ounce is an infraction, punishable by a $100 fine with no jail time. Possession of 1 – 28.5 grams is a misdemeanor, while over 28.5 grams becomes a felony carrying prison time. Sale or transport can lead to 2 to 4 years imprisonment.

Enhancing factors can increase these sentences further, such as being armed during the crime, engaging in money laundering related to sales, or gang involvement. California’s “three strikes law” can also lead to sentences of 25 years to life for repeat offenders. The laws continue to evolve, but in general California strictly punishes the trafficking of illegal drugs.

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