Knowledgeable Attorneys Advocating for California Residents
California law penalizes the distribution, trafficking, selling, transportation, and illegal importation of drugs and controlled substances. While simple possession typically results in a lighter penalty, possibly even deferment or diversion, a conviction of drug distribution can result in harsh penalties, such as lengthy incarceration and considerable fines. This makes the assistance of a capable drug crimes attorney critical. If you or a loved one is facing prosecution, our Irvine drug distribution lawyers at the Law Office of Pilchman & Kay, A Professional Law Corporation, are available to assist you in the investigation, defense, and resolution of your case.
Give us a call at (949) 558-0042 to schedule a free consultation.
Drug Distribution Charges Under State & Federal Laws
In order to be convicted of drug distribution, the government must prove that the defendant transferred a controlled substance to another person. The transfer may be actual, such as when the defendant physically handed a package of cocaine over to another person. It also may be constructive, such as when a large quantity of drugs “packaged to sell” is found in the defendant's possession, and it is possible to infer that the defendant was engaged in the distribution of the illegal substance. The distribution does not need to actually take place and an attempted transfer can also result in a criminal conviction.
Because of the perception that people who engage in drug distribution enable others' drug usage, drug distribution crimes lead to more serious penalties than many other drug-related crimes. The exact penalties for a drug distribution conviction are very fact-dependent, but it is safe to say that the possibility exists for a prison term of over a decade, and fines can easily reach thousands of dollars or more.
Some of the factors that go into sentencing considerations include:
- The particular substance that was distributed
- The place of the distribution
- The previous criminal record of the defendant
- The amount of drugs allegedly distributed by the defendant
- Whether a minor was present during the crime
- Whether the defendant is facing state or federal charges
In addition to fines and imprisonment, a person convicted of a drug distribution offense may also face forfeiture of assets, community service, drug counseling, or probation.
Defense Strategies for Drug Distribution Charges
It is important to note that an arrest, information, or indictment is merely an allegation that a particular person engaged in criminal activity. An accusation alone carries no penalty, although it can be the source of tremendous stress and worry for the defendant. The State (or the federal government in cases brought under the United States Code) always has the burden of proving that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused has a constitutional right to counsel and the right to defend himself or herself against the government's allegations.
Defenses in criminal cases may involve:
- The government's infringement of the defendant's rights with regard to an arrest, search, or seizure
- Mistaken identity
- Simple lack of reliable evidence to support the State's case
The fact that a defendant had a legal right to possess the drugs in question, such as a prescription medication may also be a viable defense to a criminal prosecution in some instances.
Get Help from an Experienced Drug Distribution Lawyer in Irvine
If you are facing prosecution for a drug distribution offense, you do not need to go through it alone. You have the right to an attorney who can help you understand the charges you are facing and the possible consequences of a conviction. A skilled drug distribution attorney can also help you investigate your case to determine whether the authorities followed the law with regard to your arrest or the search and seizure of evidence that the State may seek to use against you. The knowledgeable Irvine criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Pilchman & Kay, A Professional Law Corporation, are here for you if you have been accused of a drug crime.
You can reach us for a free consultation through our online form or at (949) 558-0042. We represent clients throughout Orange County, CA.