Having the best interests of every client at hand is one of the long-term goals of Vista Criminal Attorney. The law firm stands out across Southern California for having highly-trained lawyers. The firm’s practice areas include DUI, assault/battery and drug crimes. You can also seek legal representation for charges related to sales and transportation of a controlled substance.
What is “Sales and Transportation of a Controlled Substance” Under California Laws?
Health and Safety Code 11352 states that it’s illegal to sell or transport certain controlled substances in California. Examples of prohibited substances include prescription opiates, LSD, heroin, cocaine, and peyote. HS 11352 doesn’t cover sales and transportation of methamphetamine and marijuana.
Activities such as selling drugs and transporting controlled substances for sale are illegal under HS 11352. The policy also prohibits the act of giving controlled substances away, furnishing drugs and administering drugs to other people. Before the California legislature amended this law in 2014, the word “transport” only applied to moving drugs to another location for personal use. You can now be convicted of a criminal offense if you transport drugs in California with intent to sell them.
Typical Examples of HS 11352 Violations
Highlighted below are some of the examples of how one violates HS 11352.
- A man driving prescription opiates from a local pharmacy in exchange for cash;
- A first-year student at a local university selling LSD to her classmates to make extra money; or
- A woman who is transporting cocaine in her car to a nearby town.
What are the Penalties for Violating HS 11352?
Violating Health and Safety Code 11352 is considered a felony. The penalties include felony probation, paying a fine of up to $20,000 or facing jail time of 3 to 9 months in county jail. The judge may increase your jail time or penalty when found guilty of transporting large quantities of drugs or selling drugs to children. If your sentence is 3 to 5 years, you’ll serve under California’s realignment program.
Various factors can make the judge deny you a suspended sentence or a felony probation sentence. They include selling or agreeing to sell at least 14.25g of heroin and selling/agreeing to sell methamphetamine or cocaine. The judge will also deny you the sentence if you have a prior conviction for possessing controlled substances with intent to sell them.
The judge can give more severe penalties for defendants that are guilty of violating HS 11352. Such penalties are only applicable to those found guilty of selling/transporting large heroin/cocaine quantities. They also apply to offenders trafficking drugs near homeless shelters or drug treatment facilities. Having prior convictions or selling/furnishing drugs to certain people can also make you serve enhanced sentences.
Immigrants found guilty of committing HS 11352 violations risk deportation. Violating HS 11352 when you’re an immigrant can get you charged of a deportable crime. The federal immigration law specifies that immigrant drug offenders should face deportation regardless of their immigration status.
HS 11352 deems it illegal to sell or transport controlled substances while involving persons under the age of 18. Penalties for such an offense include facing jail time of 3 to 9 years in state prison. The defendant can be sentenced to one or two more years in jail if the activity involved heroin/cocaine or the event occurred at least 1000ft from a worship center, school or areas minors like to visit. You could face up to 3 years if you were at least four years older than the kid you involved in the activity.
What to Expect from HS 11352 Violations
Understanding the arrest and court process for HS 11352 cases can help dispel any fears you have regarding your criminal charges. The criminal prosecution process begins with the arresting officer reading you the Miranda rights and placing cuffs on your hands. You’ll then be taken to the police station to be detained before your bail hearing and future trials.
Paying the Bail Money
Bail is the sum of money you’re required to pay to be released from jail. You can pay the total amount stated in your bail by yourself or enlist the help of a bail bond company. The judge will determine your bail amount in the first court hearing. You may be granted bail depending on the severity of the crime, your criminal record or history of court appearances.
Attending the Pre-Trial
The pre-trial usually begin once your case has been filed into the court system. Defenses made by your lawyer and the prosecutor will determine whether your case will move to the trial phase or be resolved at the pre-trial stage. Your lawyer and the prosecutor can also raise specific legal concerns that the court needs to hear before your case moves forward.
When Do You Need a Lawyer Regarding Your HS 11352 Case?
You have the right to a criminal lawyer when arrested for selling, furnishing or transporting controlled substances. California and all states in the US take drug trafficking charges seriously. It would be best if you had an experienced lawyer whether you have a clean criminal record or you have been recently convicted of other criminal charges.
Seek a Lawyer’s Help After the Arrest.
It would help if you had a friend or a family member contact a criminal lawyer on your behalf once you’re arrested of violating HS 11352. Most police officers tend to put pressure on defendants with a goal of getting incriminating evidence from them. Sharing any information with the arresting officer can make your charges more severe.
Besides getting charged for HS 11352 violations, you risk facing other repercussions. They include losing your driver’s license or having the license suspended and getting disqualified from pursuing specific employment opportunities. Some institutions may also reject your college applications or bar you from seeking housing. Having a criminal attorney by your side helps you get the charges acquitted or get fair sentencing.
Seek a Lawyer’s Help for the Bail Hearing
With the help of a lawyer, the judge can agree to set your bail to an amount you can afford. Your criminal attorney can also argue that you won’t leave the country after posting the bond. The prosecutor may challenge this legal defense by asserting that your charges are severe. Either way, your chances of being granted bail depend on the defenses your attorney makes.
Cooperate with Your Lawyer
Assuming that your attorney wasn’t present at the scene when you’re arrested, you need to explain to him/her all the events that took place. Failing to share such details with the legal expert can give the prosecutor an edge over your lawyer during the court hearing. Your lawyer will always remind you that you’re innocent until the judge gives the final ruling. In this case, you’ll have to be patient with the criminal proceedings regardless of the time and resources involved.
What are the Legal Defenses to HS 11352 Charges?
A criminal lawyer can employ certain defenses to challenge the allegations you’re facing. Consider getting a criminal lawyer experienced in cases related to the sale and transportation of controlled substances. Examples of legal defenses your attorney may use in court include:
Your criminal lawyer can argue that the police officer used excessive force to obtain evidence or a confession from you. Falsifying the probable cause of arrest and lying about the source of the controlled substance can also qualify as police misconduct. Other instances include assault and placing drugs in the defendant’s car or apartment to make an arrest.
Illegal Search and Seizure
A police officer needs to show you a valid search warrant before searching your property. The officer shouldn’t search your car or apartment if the search warrant says otherwise. Your lawyer can file a motion to weaken any evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search and seizure. The prosecutor will be forced to dismiss the evidence if a California court judge approves this motion.
Lack of Intent
Lacking intent to sell or transport controlled substances can qualify as a legal defense to HS 11352 charges. Under HS 11352, the defendant can only be guilty when there’s proof of intent to sell or transport drugs. A criminal lawyer needs to support this legal defense with facts and evidence for the judge to consider it.
Lack of Knowledge
The judge could acquit you of HS 11352 charges if you didn’t know the items you sold or transported qualified as controlled substances. You can also be set free if your lawyer proves that you didn’t realize the drugs existed in your bag or car. The approach to using this legal defense has to be strategic for it to work.
Entrapment could qualify as a legal defense if you were forced by a police officer to agree that you violated HS 11352. Your attorney should argue that the HS 11352 violations were as a result of being lured or coerced by a law enforcement officer. The judge may consider treating your case as a police misconduct case.
What Do California Prosecutors Need to Prove in Order to Prosecute You of HS 11352 Violations?
The role of a prosecutor in an HS 11352 case involves proving that the defendant was engaged in the sale or transportation of controlled substances within California. The prosecutor should show that you willingly sold, administered, supplied, imported or transported drugs. The judge can consider these allegations when evidence of the seized drugs is present to the court. Discussed below are the four elements that prosecutors use to build a case related to HS 11352 violations.
Possession of Controlled Substances
The prosecution must prove that there were traces of a controlled substance in a space you control or in your possession. You may be found guilty if the prosecutor shows that you knew the drugs were in your possession, or you didn’t have a valid prescription (for the opiates). Your case might be treated as a felony if the drugs were found in your property after a warranted search.
Quantity of the Controlled Substances
Parts 1308.11 to 1308.15 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations categorize drugs into five schedules depending on their relative abuse and addiction potential. Opiates, peyote, LSD, and heroin fall under Schedule I. They are considered as controlled substances since they aren’t approved for medical use in the US and are highly addictive. They also lack safety approvals for consumption under medical supervision.
Defendants found guilty of selling, furnishing or transporting large quantities of controlled substances usually get more severe penalties. Prosecutors use all the resources at their disposal to verify the number of drugs you were or were intending to sell, furnish or transport. Judges also use this information to give a sentencing veredict at the end of the trial.
Intent to Sell, Furnish or Transport the Controlled Substances
The prosecutor needs to prove this allegation after showing that you were in possession of a certain amount of the controlled substances. “Intent” is the mental element that leads to the commissioning of a criminal act. The judge learns about the defendant’s intent by assessing the facts and evidence presented by the investigating officers. Criminal intent in an HS 11352 can be defined as one’s determination to sell, furnish, give away or transport controlled substances.
Criminal intent can be split into three elements: specific intent, constructive intent, and general intent. Constructive intent focuses on the unexpected results on an act while specific intent focuses on a preplanned and premeditated action. General intent can be presumed from commissioning an act. Prosecutors need to provide the court with evidence to prove one or more of these instances.
The prosecutor should give records indicating that the defendant or a vehicle the defendant was operating moved drugs to a specified location. If no evidence shows you were transporting the drugs, the judge may acquit you of the HS 11352 charges. However, you may still be guilty of drug possession or intent to distribute drugs.
Criminal Offenses Related to Health and Safety Code 11352
HS 11352 lays the foundation for prosecuting individuals involved in the sale and transportation of controlled substances. However, this law doesn’t cover the guidelines for prosecuting persons found possessing marijuana and synthetic drugs in California. Discussed below are some of the crimes related to HS 11352 and their laws.
Possession for Sale (HS 11351)
HS 11351 highlights that it’s illegal to have cocaine, heroin, peyote, LSD in possession with intent to sell them in California. The offense is less severe than an HS 11352 violation since it doesn’t involve transporting drugs. As a felony, the penalties for HS 11351 violation include a jail sentence of up to 4 years.
Starting or Running a Drug House (HS 11366)
HS 11366 prohibits running or selling controlled substances in a drug house in California. The drug house can take the form of an apartment, house or an abandoned building. You may be charged for this crime along with violating HS 11352.
Laundering the Revenue Earned from Drug Sales (HS 11370.9)
Laundering the proceeds from drugs sales is considered as a felony under HS 11370.9. The policy is only applicable to financial transactions of over $20,000 conducted in a 30-day timeframe. Penalties for such a crime include a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the laundered amount. One can also face 2 to 4 years sentencing in state prison.
Selling Imitation Drugs (HS 109575 and 11355)
Health and Safety Codes 109575 and 11355 define an imitation (bunk) drug as one that’s intentionally manufactured to resemble an original controlled substance. Under HS 109575, the penalties for selling a bunk drug include a maximum fine of $1,000 or six months sentencing in a county jail. HS 11355 points out that it’s illegal to offer to sell/transport a controlled substance and deliver an imitated one instead. Penalties include one-year in county jail when charged as a misdemeanor or up to 3 years in county jail when convicted as a felony.
Selling Synthetic Drugs (HS 11357.5 and 11375.5)
California Health and Safety Codes 11357.5 and 11375.5 prohibit the sale of synthetic (designer) drugs. The laws consider synthetic stimulants such as bath salts and synthetic marijuana as designer drugs. Selling these drugs can make one guilty of a misdemeanor. The penalties include a six-month sentence in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Selling or Transporting Marijuana (HS 11360)
Marijuana is considered as a controlled substance that’s illegal to sell, furnish, give away or transport under HS 11360. One may serve 2 to 4 years in state prison when found guilty of this felony. The offense can be categorized as a misdemeanor when one is charged with selling, transporting or furnishing marijuana weighing 28.5g or less.
Selling or Transporting Methamphetamines
HS 11379 prohibits the sale or transportation of Methamphetamines, which include Ketamine, MDMA and PCP. Such a crime is also categorized as a felony with penalties being less severe than those of HS 11532 violations. The defendant may be sentenced to 2 to 4 years in state prison if found guilty of violating HS 11379.
Call a Criminal Attorney for Help on HS 11352 Violations Near Me
Consider contacting a criminal lawyer for any concerns about the sale or transportation of controlled substances in California. Our lawyers possess in-depth knowledge of the California laws and have extensive experience in criminal cases. Our mission at Vista Criminal Attorney is to be a leading provider of legal representation services across Vista, CA. Give our Vista criminal lawyer a call today at 760-691-1551 if you’re looking for an aggressive and experienced legal expert.