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The Right Lawyers For Transportation of a Controlled Substance

Overview

The law regarding transportation of a controlled substance has changed significantly in 2014.  Previously, transportation of a controlled substance was treated the same as possession for sale, even if the transportation was for personal use.  That means before the law changed in 2014, transportation of a controlled substance was always a felony (except for transportation of a small amount of marijuana) and did not qualify for drug programs.   Now, the California Legislature has amended the law so that transportaton for personal use of some controlled substances is treated like simple possession.  However, this amendment does not affect all controlled substances — therefore, transportation for personal use of other controlled substances is still treated like possession for sale.

 

Penalties

Transportation of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or methamphetamine for personal use is now treated like possession for personal use.  Transportation of cocaine or heroin for sale is punishable by Health and Safety Code section 11352 which carries a penalty of three, four or five years in “county prison” pursuant to Penal Code section 1170(h).  Transportation of ecstasy or methamphetamine for for sale is punishable by Health and Safety Code section 11379 which carries a penalty of two, three or four years in “county prison” pursuant to Penal Code section 1170(h).

 

Specific Statutes

California Health and Safety Code section 11352 states:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, four, or five years.
(b) Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of subdivision (a), any person who transports any controlled substances specified in subdivision (a) within this state from one county to another noncontiguous county shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, six, or nine years.
(c) For purposes of this section, “transports” means to transport for sale.
(d) This section does not preclude or limit the prosecution of an individual for aiding and abetting the commission of, or conspiring to commit, any act prohibited by this section.

California Health and Safety Code section 11379 states:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) and in Article 7 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport any controlled substance which is (1) classified in Schedule III, IV, or V and which is not a narcotic drug, except subdivision (g) of Section 11056, (2) specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11054, except paragraphs (13), (14), (15), (20), (21), (22), and (23) of subdivision (d), (3) specified in paragraph (11) of subdivision (c) of Section 11056, (4) specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, or (5) specified in subdivision (d) or (e), except paragraph (3) of subdivision (e), or specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), of Section 11055, unless upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian, licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of two, three, or four years.
(b) Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of subdivision (a), any person who transports any controlled substances specified in subdivision (a) within this state from one county to another noncontiguous county shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, six, or nine years.
(c) For purposes of this section, “transports” means to transport for sale.
(d) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude or limit prosecution under an aiding and abetting theory or a conspiracy theory.

 

Other Consequences

Not only can a drug transportation conviction lead to criminal penalties, but it can also have drastic employment, school, licensing and immigration consequences.  Having a conviction for drug transportation can prevent a person from finding a job or lead to a person being fired from their current job.  Students can become ineligible for federal student loans with certain drug convictions.  Furthermore, many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, contractors, teachers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks.  A professional who has a transportation for sale conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place.  Perhaps the most severe impact of transportation of a controlled substance conviction involves immigration consequences.  Non-citizens who are permanent residents (green card holders) or temporary visitors, with a student visa or work visa, can be denied admission, denied naturalization or even deported, with any type of drug-related conviction on their record.   In fact, drug-related convictions are considered one of the worst convictions for immigration consequences.

The Right Lawyers

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing drug-related charges.  Many people who face possession for sale are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment.  There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of possession for sale of a controlled substance, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence.  You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively.  You need an attorney from the Law Offices of Fred Thiagarajah.

As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah and his team have the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for his clients.  As a prosecutor, Fred Thiagarajah handled thousands of drug-related cases.  Our team of attorneys now use this specialized knowledge of transportation of a controlled substance to get the best possible outcomes for our clients.   For an example of our work, please see our case results and read our client testimonials.  With offices in Newport Beach, Fullerton, Long Beach, Diamond Bar, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, Murrieta and Carlsbad, our attorneys have criminal defense experience throughout Southern California.

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