What are potential penalties for illegal drug sales in California?

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Illegal drug sales are a major law enforcement priority. Cracking down on those distributing drugs can limit the supply on the unregulated market and can provide financial resources in the form of civil asset forfeiture.

California state laws and federal laws include prohibitions on numerous substances and regulations controlling numerous others. Most people arrested for drug crimes in California will face state charges. Those accused of the sale of a drug will face more serious criminal charges and potential penalties than those arrested for possession.

What are the possible consequences for the sale of illegal drugs in California?

The kind of drug affects the penalties possible

There are multiple California state laws that regulate drugs. As you can probably guess, offenses related to the sale of marijuana without proper state licensing are typically less serious than those for selling methamphetamine or other controlled substances.

Most people accused of the unlawful transfer of marijuana will face misdemeanor charges that could mean six months in jail and up to $500 in fines. If someone faces felony charges for selling marijuana, the penalties could be as high as four years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

For most other controlled substances, any kind of sale or transfer will lead to state felony charges. The penalties could include up to nine years in prison and as much as $20,000 in fines. In addition to these penalties, people can lose personal property ranging from their homes to their vehicles as a result of drug-related charges.

How can someone fight back against California drug charges?

If the police caught you in a questionable situation or they found something you can’t explain in your vehicle, office or house, they may have arrested you and charged you with a crime before you had a chance to make sense of things. You probably feel frightened about the possible consequences of those charges.

Some people plead guilty because they think that is the best way to minimize the penalties they will face. Defending yourself against such charges is possible with planning and the right help. You might be able to challenge the evidence against you or undermine the state’s interpretation of the evidence with expert testimony. Reviewing the evidence against you can be a good starting point for fighting drug-related criminal charges.