When you have been arrested for selling, transporting, or distributing controlled substances in California, you need legal help fast. The penalties for such drug crimes are very severe and can include significant time behind bars. Our experienced Folsom drug trafficking lawyer will work tirelessly to fight the charges against you.

Being convicted of a drug trafficking crime will impact your life for a long time to come. Don’t wait to get skillful legal representation. Contact Walsh Law at (916) 443-1111 or online today to arrange a free consultation.

California Drug Trafficking Statute

Under California Health and Safety Code Section 11352 it is a crime to transport, import into the state, sell, furnish, or give away controlled substances. It is also a crime to attempt to do any of these things.

What Is a Controlled Substance in California?

A controlled substance is a drug that is regulated by the state (and federal government) and is on the controlled substances list. The list contains both illegal and prescription drugs. Possessors of prescription drugs must have a valid prescription. Even with a valid prescription, it is illegal to give or sell your prescription drugs to someone else.

Controlled substances are categorized into five schedules, with Schedule I drugs being the most serious to traffic. Schedule I drugs, such as heroin, have no medical use and have a high risk of abuse. By contrast, Schedule V drugs have high medicinal value and a lower risk of abuse.

The schedule of drug that you are arrested for trafficking will help determine charges and penalties.

Possible Related Charges

Related drug crimes charges are sometimes filed in trafficking cases. Additional charges could include drug possession, drug possession while armed with a weapon, and drug manufacturing. Added charges will add to your penalties if convicted.

If drugs are transported between states or countries, such as across the border from Mexico to California, charges may be elevated to the federal level. If you are arrested in a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, you could face federal charges.

Penalties for a Drug Trafficking Conviction

People convicted on state drug trafficking charges in California face from 3 to 9 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. People convicted of federal drug trafficking charges face even more severe penalties.

Influencing Factors in Drug Trafficking Sentencing

Factors that can increase the penalties you receive from those described above include the type and quantity of drug you are accused of trafficking. Schedule I drugs will have stronger penalties than trafficking Schedule III drugs, for example.  Other strong influencing factors include if you are convicted for:

  • Selling drugs to minors
  • Selling drugs near schools
  • Trafficking near drug rehab centers
  • Providing drugs to pregnant women, people with mental health disorders, and felons
  • Your criminal history

Common Defenses for Drug Trafficking Charges in Folsom

The defense your drug trafficking attorney uses will depend on your case’s facts. Common defenses against drug trafficking charges include the following:

Constitutional Rights Violations

You are protected under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution from illegal searches and seizures by police. This means that if police unlawfully searched your car during a traffic stop and you were charged with transporting drugs for sale or a similar charge, the evidence may not be admissible.


If you were pressured by a member of law enforcement to commit a drug trafficking crime and then were charged with such, you may have an entrapment defense. Entrapment is when law-abiding people who would not normally commit an offense are induced, persuaded, or threatened by police to do so. A successful entrapment defense will result in charges being dismissed.

Chain of Custody Errors

Chain of custody refers to how evidence is gathered, documented, handled, and stored from collection to trial. If police make any errors in this process, it could be argued the evidence is flawed and, thus, not admissible. Our drug trafficking attorney will examine every step that occurred in the collection and handling of evidence in your case to determine if any mistakes were made that could make it inadmissible in court.

Insufficient Evidence

Insufficient evidence is just what it sounds like. There is not enough evidence to prove that you committed the crime for which you are charged. In this circumstance, we may be able to persuade the prosecution to drop the charges against you to avoid a trial. If prosecution goes ahead, it is also possible that the judge will dismiss charges if they belief the evidence is too weak to prove the alleged offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Folsom Drug Trafficking Charge FAQs

What’s the difference between possession and trafficking?

Drug possession means you have heroin, cocaine, or another controlled substance on you, in your car, or your home. Drug trafficking is selling or distributing drugs. Generally, the quantity of drugs in a person’s possession will be a main deciding factor in whether someone is suspected of possessing drugs for their own use, or of trafficking. Having packaging material, paraphernalia used to measure drugs, and large amounts of cash can also be evidence that contributes to a trafficking charge.

Can trafficking charges be dismissed or reduced?

Trafficking charges can be dismissed or reduced if the circumstances warrant it. We may be able to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges if there is a lack of evidence or your rights were violated during arrest. If dropping charges is not a possibility, we may be able to negotiate a plea deal. In a plea deal you plead guilty to a lesser charge and receive a less severe penalty. Our lawyer for drug trafficking at Walsh Law will seek to get you the best possible outcome for your situation.

If I was arrested for trafficking but not convicted will it show on my record?

The arrest will appear on your record. However, you can petition the court to have your record cleaned if you were arrested and your charges were dropped by the prosecutor, dismissed by the judge, or you were found not guilty at trial. If your petition is granted, your record will be sealed and no longer viewable by the public. Some government agencies will still be able to see your records.

Get Help for Drug Trafficking Charges from Walsh Law

At Walsh Law, we aggressively stand up for the rights of clients accused of trafficking and related drug crimes. When you trust us to defend you at this difficult time, we will build the strongest possible defense on your behalf.

We will work determinedly to discredit the evidence against you. If the evidence doesn’t warrant a dismissal of charges, we will put our strong negotiating skills toward obtaining a plea bargain to have charges reduced. We will take whatever legal steps are required to get you the best result. Contact us today at (916) 443-1111 to arrange a time to speak with our drug trafficking attorney in a free consultation.

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