Ever since the early days of the drug war, California politicians have been trying to crack down on the spread of drugs within the state.
As a result, California law has stiff penalties for drug distribution. If you are convicted of sale or transportation of controlled substances — drugs like cocaine, heroin, LSD and prescription narcotics — you could face up to nine (9) years in jail.
If you or someone you know is facing controlled substances charges, the first step to protecting your freedom is speaking with a defense attorney.
What are ‘Controlled Substances’?
The term “controlled substances” simply refers to substances that are restricted by the government. The government decides who can own, sell and transport them.
“Robert Helfend is a professional. He fights for you. He knows what he’s doing and will do anything he can do to keep you out of jail! I would highly recommend his services.”
Fabian, Calabasas, CA
This list includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Oxycontin (oxycodone)
Selling or transporting controlled substances within the state is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in county jail and a fine of up to $20,000. If you are found to have transported the substances across two or more county lines, the penalty can go as high as 9 years.
As well, many controlled substances (such as ecstasy, ketamine and GHB) also carry specific penalties. It is best to speak with an attorney skilled in drug law to get an understanding of your potential jail time.
What counts as Distribution?
State law is very broad here. You can be convicted prosecutors prove that you knowingly took possession of a “usable amount” of a controlled substance and:
- Sold it, traded it or gave it away;
- Administered it to another person;
- Transported it for sale; or
- Offered to do any of the above.
Investigators typically use informants, surveillance and sting operations to collect evidence in sale or transportation of controlled substances cases.
Defenses Against Sale or Transportation of Controlled Substances Charges
By the time you have been arrested, it is likely that the government has collected substantial amounts of evidence against you. However, not all is lost.
Common defenses against distribution of controlled substances charges are:
- Illegal search and seizure. Your Fourth Amendment rights might have been violated.
- Lack of knowledge. Did you know that the drugs were actually there?
- Police misconduct. A police officer might’ve lied about a fact of the case.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can carefully review the facts of the case — comparing them against how investigators presented them — and can sometimes get evidence dismissed if police obtained it illegally. A methodical, aggressive attorney can use this method to get charges reduced or even get cases dismissed.
About Robert M. Helfend
Robert M. Helfend has served the Los Angeles community since the early days of the drug war, practicing in the city since 1983.
He specializes in drug crimes, particularly trafficking and distribution cases. Recognized as a Top 100 trial lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association and a certified Lead Counsel attorney, Mr. Helfend has successfully defended numerous drug cases over the last 30+ years.
Call today for your free case evaluation – 800-834-6434