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What is Drug Trafficking?

In the California court system, drug trafficking is treated much differently than simple possession. In the latter case, you are judged to have a controlled substance on you that you are using for your personal use. Conversely, receiving a drug trafficking charge generally means that you have been deemed to be using that illegal substance that you had on you for distribution purposes.

Transporting a Controlled Substance

There are a few important things to keep in mind in relation to what constitutes transporting a controlled substance: the distance traveled is irrelevant, the mode of transportation used is irrelevant and can solely involve walking, intent to provide the drugs to others must be proven and the amount transported must be "usable," meaning that it is not just drug residue.

Take into account that you can also be charged with a felony for overseeing the transportation of a controlled substance; you do not need to necessarily be involved with the transportation of it yourself.

Selling a Controlled Substance

First, note that having residue could still result in a felony drug trafficking charge as it relates to the selling aspect of this law. Otherwise, you can be charged with a violation of the law if you follow through on or even agree to do so without being allowed the opportunity to follow through on providing controlled substances to others. This includes the act of simply giving some away to a friend.

Penalties for Drug Trafficking

Those convicted of drug trafficking charges in California will generally receive a sentence of years of prison time and a fine that can reach five figures. You may also indirectly experience the loss of professional licenses, the denial of an immigration visa or application if you are not a U.S. citizen, and difficulty in receiving custody rights of your children.

Also take into account that factors such as dealing with an unusually large amount of controlled substances, selling across county lines, and selling to children or near schools may result in more severe penalties.

Possible Defenses Against Drug Trafficking Charges


When you consult with a Fresno criminal defense attorney, they will discuss with you a number of legal strategies that can be used to ensure that you receive a fair judgment. These can include stressing that the drugs that you had on you were 100% for your own use, you were the victim of entrapment and you did know that you were in possession of controlled substances.

If you need assistance in defending yourself against drug trafficking charges, make sure to contact Schweitzer & Davidian, a Fresno criminal defense attorney firm that will bring decades of trial experience into your case.