How Much Jail Time for Drug Trafficking Methamphetamine?
Years ago, people in California used to worry about getting caught with marijuana in their possession. Now that marijuana is legal, you don’t have to worry so much about that. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about other drug offenses. If you’re caught with a large amount of any drug in your possession, you can be charged with drug trafficking. And the more dangerous the drug, the more serious the offense. That’s why you should talk to a California criminal lawyer as soon as you can after your arrest.
California, like most states, takes drug trafficking quite seriously. They understand that drug dealers and traffickers are at the heart of the opioid epidemic. They also contribute to the problems this country is facing with methamphetamines. That’s why the California Health and Safety Code prohibits the trafficking of these illegal substances. If charged with this sort of crime, you need to reach out to an experienced California criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
What is Drug Trafficking Under California Law?
California Health and Safety Code Section 11379 governs the trafficking of methamphetamine as well as other drugs. Under this law, trafficking is defined as the unlawful selling, transporting or distribution of illegal drugs or prescription medications. If charged with methamphetamine trafficking under this law, you will be facing up to four (4) years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
Keep in mind. In California, these penalties will be enhanced depending on the facts of your case. For example, if you’re arrested for drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a drug rehabilitation center or homeless shelter, there will be an additional year added to your sentence. And if you employ a minor to help sell or traffic methamphetamine, your sentence will be increased by as many as nine (9) years.
The law is also very strict when it comes to transporting methamphetamine across the state. If you’re found to have traveled across counties with your drug, the court will sentence you to up to nine (9) years in prison. This is more than twice the sentence for a regular trafficking conviction.
If You’re Convicted of Federal Drug Trafficking the Penalties are Much Higher
If you’re caught trafficking methamphetamine across state lines or the national border, you can be charged with a federal crime. These charges are taken a lot more seriously than a state offense. Federal trafficking of methamphetamine carries with it sentences of up to life in prison. It can also involve fines of up to $20 million. It depends on how much methamphetamine you have on you. It also depends on whether you have prior convictions for drug trafficking.
If you have more than 50 grams of pure methamphetamine when you’re arrested, you’ll be facing anywhere from 10 years to life in prison. You’ll also be fined up to $10 million. If you get convicted of a second offense, your prison sentence will range from 20 years to life and fine will be increased to up to $20 million. Given the seriousness of these charges, you need to have a California criminal lawyer there to help fight the charges. They can look to see where the prosecutor’s case is lacking. They can also introduce evidence that you were not guilty of the offense you’ve been charged with.
Reach Out to an Experienced California Criminal Lawyer Immediately
If you’re charged with drug trafficking, you could be facing very serious consequences. It’s a lot worse than getting charged with simple possession. When the State charges you with selling and distributing illegal drugs, you’ll be facing years in prison. You’re also going to be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines. That’s why you should have an experienced California criminal lawyer by your side. They can fight the charges and try to get them dismissed. They’ll look to see what holes they can poke in the prosecutor’s case. It all depends on the facts and what the State can and cannot prove.
Given the serious penalties for drug trafficking, you should talk to a California criminal lawyer sooner rather than later. You don’t want to attend your first appearance by yourself. If your case isn’t handled properly from the start, there’s no telling what could happen. With what’s at stake, it’s in your best interest to have a legal professional by your side. Call our office right away and meet with one of our skilled California criminal lawyers today.