The sale and transportation of a controlled substance is illegal in the United States and may warrant time behind bars and fines. The quantity of controlled substance you are found with and whether there was an intent to sell will be a dominating factor when deciding the punishment for possessing and transporting. Under the California Health and Safety Code Section 11352, it is unlawful to transport, import, administer, or give away a controlled substance with the intent to sell. Individuals who are found with a controlled substance, a drug under Schedule III to Schedule V, without the permission of a doctor, dentist, or veterinarian, may be subject to up to five years behind bars.  Individuals who are found with drugs may consider speaking with a criminal law attorney. An attorney can help identify some of the legal defenses that can apply to your case which can lessen the punishments of the crime.

Being convicted for transporting and selling drugs is charged as a felony, however, the prosecuting party must be able to prove that the controlled substance was being transported with the intent to sell. This may be harder to prove if you are caught with a small amount of a drug such as cocaine, marijuana (Penal Code 11360), heroin, or meth. A simple possession of drugs may become a bigger problem when law enforcement agencies find a large quantity of a drug. For instance, individuals who are found with more than can be consumed by a single person may face charges for selling drugs. In another case, if a law enforcement agency finds a small amount of a drug and they are not able to prove that there was an intent to sell, then the offender may enter a drug diversion program instead of facing jail time.

Individuals who did not intend to sell or individuals who were caught through a sting operation may face lesser punishments which is why it is crucial to speak with an attorney before entering a courtroom. If you find yourself in the state of California, you may contact the Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer at 310-502-1314. We are ready to provide consultation so that you learn exactly how the laws apply to your case. Our attorney is capable of providing representation in a U.S courtroom and we are dedicated to helping our clients fight drug-related accusations, ensuring that you are not charged with more than is warranted.

The following section will explain the different schedules under the Controlled Substance Act, the defenses that may apply to your case, and other information pertaining to possession and transportation. If you are in the state of California, you should note that the following is not a depiction of how the laws may apply to your case. To learn how the laws apply to your specific situation, it is important to speak with a qualified law professional.

The Controlled Substance Act and the Drug Enforcement Agency

The Drug Enforcement Agency (also known as the DEA), implements the laws with respect to controlled drugs in the USA. The DEA is in charge of enforcing the laws guiding the Controlled Substance Act. Their main objective is to find individuals who are illegally distributing or selling controlled drugs within the United States. The DEA is a federal agency which means that if you are found with transporting or selling a controlled substance by a DEA agent, you may be charged with the federal laws regarding drug possession with the intent to sell.

The Controlled Substance Act categorizes drugs into five distinct classifications. The situation of a medication in a class relies upon the idea of the medication, its medicinal utilize, and the maltreatment or reliance on the medication. A drug or medication might be set in Schedule 1 to 5 with Schedule one representing the most elevated amount of maltreatment and reliance. The type of drug and its schedule will impact the seriousness of the outcomes including correctional facility time and punishments. With the implementation of the Substance Abuse and Prevention Act of 2000, those charged with possession or transportation of a controlled drug were capable of seeking a treatment program instead of jail time. The accompanying will feature how unique kinds of drugs are categorized.

Schedule one:  As per the CSA, in this classification, the following drugs have no acknowledged therapeutic utilize and are effectively mishandled. The CSA thinks about the accompanying drugs to have an abnormal state of maltreatment or have no use in the medical field:

  • Heroin: is either infused, smoked, or grunted and it is developed from morphine
  • GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric corrosive): a substance that breaks down effortlessly in fluid and causes mental trips and rapture
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD): a drug with no restorative utilize that causes mind flights and adjusted musings and observations
  • Methaqualone: also known as sopers is a drug utilized for a sleep-inducing solution and used as a party drug
  • Cannabis: is a drug that relaxes the body and mind. With the acceptance of marijuana in many states, it is easy to overlook the federal laws that treat the possession and transportation of weed as a great offense.

Schedule two: substances in this schedule are similar as those drugs said in the first schedule. The drugs here are exceedingly controlled and contain some medical applications. The maltreatment of the accompanying drugs may prompt an abnormal state of reliance:

  • Morphine: otherwise called Mister Blue or God’s Drug, is a doctor prescribed medication used to ease physical pain. When abused the drug there is a high potential for overdose
  • Cocaine: or coke has been used in the medicinal field as a numbing agent. Following the utilization of weed on a global scale, cocaine is the most manhandled controlled drug on the planet
  • Methamphetamine: this controlled substance is profoundly addictive, affecting a person’s mental, physical, and oral health.

Schedule three: the substances in this classification pose a less risk for maltreatment and have acknowledged medicinal applications.

  • Anabolic Steroids: the medication has been widely misused to build muscle development and to enhance physical strength.
  • Ibuprofen: often misused to accomplish a high, the drug is used in the medical field to treat mellow pains

Schedule four: in this category drugs have a lower risk of maltreatment than those specified previously. Drugs like alprazolam, clonazepam, and diazepam are used for medical purposes.

Schedule five: codeine and cough syrup are drugs that have medical applications but have been misused to experience highs

California Health and Safety Code Section 11352

The California Health and Safety Code Section 11352 was amended in 2014 to include that the transportation of drugs is a criminal act only if you act with the intent to sell or distribute. Before the law was amended individuals, who were transporting a drug for personal use were charged with the intent to sell which holds much higher consequences than if you were only transporting a drug for yourself. Under HS 11352, it is illegal to transport drugs if: 1) you intend to sell the substance, 2) you are giving a substance to a patient without a prescription, 3) if you are simply giving a controlled substance to someone else, 4) if you are transporting to a location with the intent to sell, 5) if you are a middleman in a transaction or perform any of the above-mentioned acts. To be charged under HS 11352, there must be the intent to sell or transport a drug. Prove can be possessing a controlled substance in a quantity that is more than can be consumed by one person or being caught in the act of exchanging a controlled substance for money or other goods.

An example of the above mentioned are the following:

  • Tim is giving heroin to an underage person, Peter who later ends up in the hospital. Peter’s parents may press charges for giving a controlled substance to Peter.
  • Jack is not a user of cocaine, however, he is in desperate need of cash. Jack agrees to transport a bag of cocaine to the next city. If caught Jack can be charged under HS 11352.


When you engage in the transportation of a controlled substance or if you have enough of a certain drug that is more than a person can consume, you may be charged with a felony. The charges usually increase if you deal with a person under the age of 18. A violation of the provisions in HS 11352 (not involving a minor), may warrant up to 9 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

In other cases, if you are big time drug dealer the fines may extend to the millions and the prison sentence may reach of to 25 five years. The number of drugs you are found with will play a big factor in determining the penalties. If you are a Pablo Escobar kind of guy, you may want to pay attention to the following. Individuals who are found transporting (with the intent to sell) cocaine or heroin that weighs more than a kilogram may face up to three years in jail. If the substance weighs more than ten kilograms the individual or individuals involved in the transportation of the drug may face up to ten years. If the substance weighs more than 40 kilograms, the offender(s) may face up to 20 years in jail. Finally, if you and others are found with 80 or more kilograms the jail sentence can increase to up to 25 years. As mentioned earlier, transporting these quantities of drugs can result in fines that reach the millions.

The prison sentences mentioned above increase whenever there is a child used for the transportation of the substance or whenever there is a prior conviction of a drug-related offense.

California Health and Safety Code Section 11352

Like with any of the drugs mentioned above, the quantity that is found while you are transporting a controlled substance will determine the fine and jail sentence. In cases involving marijuana, under HS 11360, the amount you are found with will dictate whether you spend four years in jail or only six months. For instance, under this penal code, if you are found with less than 28.5 grams you may only be subject to a jail term of up to six months and/or a fine of up to 100 dollars. However, if you are found with pounds of weed you may face between two to four years in jail and may be charged for intending to sell. In some cases, if you are not a violator of the law and you are found with a small amount of weed and you are compliant with the enforcement officer in the state of California you may only receive a warning. The factors in each case will determine the severity of your penalties. In marijuana-related cases, you may face a misdemeanor or felony if you are found with a large quantity and you have intentions to sell.

Drug Diversion Programs

As mentioned before, the amount of drugs you are found with will play heavily onto the type of punishment you will receive. One of the best options for individuals caught with a small amount of a controlled substance is to enter a drug treatment program. Through a state-administered drug treatment program, the offender will be able to wipe their criminal record clean if they complete the program. This includes individuals found in possession of a controlled substance without permission from a doctor, dentist, or other medical professionals. Under Proposition 36, individuals have the option to avoid prison if they agree to a 12 to 18-month drug treatment program that aims to prevent future drug abuse and drug-related crimes.

If you agree to enter this program, you will be required to meet with a discussion group or therapy up to five times a week and you will not be able to abuse any type of drug with the purpose of achieving a high. The aim of the program is to get you off of drugs and to maintain a drug-free lifestyle. After the program, you will most likely be required to cooperate with an aftercare program that aims to help you stay off of drugs.

Individuals who may participate with this program are those who plead guilty to a non-violent drug crime. The following individuals may not be eligible for a drug treatment program:

  • A person that does not wish to cooperate with the drug diversion program
  • A person found with a controlled substance and at the same time found in possession of a weapon
  • A person that has served a jail or prison sentence within the past five year
  • A person who has in the past participated with a drug treatment program and who has failed to follow the regulations or a person who has attempted a program more than two times
  • A person who has been convicted of a non-drug related crime that resulted in a misdemeanor or a felony

Defense to Selling and Transportation

It is advisable to consult with a criminal law professional that focuses on the laws pertaining to controlled substances under the Controlled Substance Act. A law professional will be capable of applying the correct legal defense strategies that apply to your case. The following are strategies used by law professionals to defend individuals found with possession of a controlled substance.

You Did Not Intend to Sell

You cannot be charged under HS 11352 if you did not have the intention to sell. The prosecuting party needs to provide proof that you acted with the intent to distribute, give away, or sell a controlled substance. As mentioned above, if you are found in possession of a drug you may enter a drug diversion program in lieu of a jail term.

Police or DEA Strategies

It is a misconduct to plant a controlled substance in order to arrest someone who is believed to be transporting or selling a drug. Furthermore, it is illegal for a law enforcement agency to use excessive force in order to achieve a confession. This means that a police officer cannot use brutal force to make you confess.

Search Warrant

A lawyer may be capable of suppressing drug-related evidence (removing the evidence from a courtroom) if they find that the law enforcement agency has acquired the evidence through an illegal search and seizure procedure. For instance, if your property such as your home or vehicle were searched without a warrant, then the substance found may be suppressed. In order for a legal search and seizure, the law enforcement agent must show proof of a warrant.

Contacting a Drug Sales and Transportation Attorney Near Me

If you are in the state of California, you are encouraged to speak with a criminal law attorney about your drug-related case. The professionals at the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer are ready to guide your case through a courtroom and provide all the consultation you may require. We will fight to prove your case. To reach our office or to schedule a consultation you may reach us at 310-502-1314.