Los Angeles Drug Transportation Defense Lawyer
In Los Angeles, it is illegal to distribute, manufacture, or possess certain drugs. If a state prosecutor can obtain a conviction against you on a drug transportation charge, a criminal court judge can easily sentence you to jail time. Contrary to what many people think, California has some of the country’s strictest drug laws on its books.
If you are currently pending a criminal drug charge in California – including one that involves drug trafficking – you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side as soon as possible. The experienced Los Angeles drug transportation defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law understand everything at stake in a criminal case involving drug charges.
Our legal team can meet with you about your charges, discuss the circumstances surrounding your arrest, and formulate a plan of action for your case. If you have a solid legal defense against your drug charge, we can raise that defense in court. Moreover, we can negotiate a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor handling your case.
Let our Los Angeles drug transportation defense attorneys achieve the best possible result in your criminal case.
Why Select Us for Your Legal Needs?
Given the severe penalties connected with a drug trafficking charge, you want the best possible team of attorneys representing you and advocating for your interests as early on in the process as possible.
The Los Angeles drug transportation defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law fully know the potential legal penalties and collateral consequences you may face upon conviction. Our team can aggressively defend you against your pending criminal charge and obtain the best possible result in your case.
Our skilled California criminal defense lawyers have represented individuals facing criminal charges for the past 65 years. In addition, many of our criminal defense attorneys were once state prosecutors and represented California's legal interests in criminal cases.
Consequently, our lawyers see every case from both sides, and we have an intimate understanding of how prosecutors obtain evidence and prove their cases in court. We then use this knowledge to successfully defend our clients against their criminal charges.
Also, unlike many defense attorneys and law firms in the area, we are not afraid to take a criminal case to a jury trial. Our team members have collectively defended over 9,000 criminal court cases and jury trials. We also foster good working relationships with local prosecutors and criminal court judges.
Some of our most recent case results have appeared in:
- The Washington Post
- NBC News
- CBS News
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- New York Daily News
- Los Angeles Times
Some of our most recent accolades include:
- Rated best criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles & Orange County by Expertise
- 10.0 Lawyer Rating on Justia
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association
- 5 Star Ratings on Google Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach
- 5 Star Rating on Lawyers.com
- 10.0 Superb Rating on AVVO
- 5 Star Rating on Findlaw
- 5 Star Peer-Reviewed on Martindale-Hubbell
Our office is at 1933 South. Broadway #1100, Los Angeles, CA 90007.
Potential Penalties for Transporting a Controlled Substance in California
As you might imagine, the potential penalties for drug trafficking in California are incredibly high. However, for a criminal court judge to assess legal penalties against you, the state prosecutor must first satisfy their legal burden of proof.
In addition, they must fully satisfy each element of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state prosecutor is unable to satisfy even a legal component of the underlying criminal charge, then your case may be subject to a complete dismissal. However, if the prosecutor does satisfy their legal burden of proof, then a judge can impose various penalties against you at your sentencing hearing.
A guilty finding or conviction for transporting a controlled substance can result in a maximum of four years of incarceration, along with a maximum of $20,000 in monetary fines. When determining the penalty or penalties to assess against you, a criminal court judge will likely review your criminal record, along with other vital factors.
It is also against the law in California for an individual to transport methamphetamines. If the state prosecutor satisfies their legal burden of proof and obtains a conviction against you on this offense, you can receive a maximum of four years of incarceration – but not the monetary fine of $20,000.
In addition to the potential legal penalties that an individual might face upon conviction, numerous collateral consequences are also likely in your case.
For example, a convicted drug offender might have difficulty finding a place to live or gaining admission to a local vocational school, college, or university. Additionally, suppose the individual is already a student at a college or university. In that case, they might risk losing their scholarship funds or financial aid if the institution uncovers the drug trafficking conviction on their record.
Convicted drug offenders may also have trouble finding or keeping their jobs. This is especially true if their current job requires operating a motor vehicle – such as a commercial truck driver. Finally, a convicted drug offender will likely suffer serious harm to their professional and personal reputation.
If you recently sustained a conviction on a drug trafficking charge in Los Angeles, you need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case.
At Chudnovsky Law, our knowledgeable team of attorneys can handle every step of the way with formulating a strong legal defense or pursuing a favorable plea deal from the prosecuting attorney. Our team will review your legal options with you to select the best choice for your case.
What Is a Drug Transportation Charge in Los Angeles?
Under Section 11379 of the California Health and Safety Code, it is illegal for an individual to transport or sell methamphetamines, including PCP, ecstasy, ketamine, and other stimulants in California.
In addition, according to Section 11352(a) of the California Health and Safety Code, it is against the law to transport or sell various controlled substances within the state. Those illegal substances include heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs, marijuana, and other narcotics.
According to the statute, transporting or selling a controlled substance may take many different forms, including:
- Possessing a certain amount of drugs with the specific intention of reselling the drugs to other individuals
- Transporting one or more controlled substances from one physical location to another physical location
- Offering a controlled substance to another individual – even without charging them any money
- Providing just a single dose of a controlled substance to another individual
- Importing one or more controlled substances from another jurisdiction into California
Under the statute, an individual can face criminal charges for drug transportation and sales by just possessing a small amount of a controlled substance – and by only providing a small amount of that substance to another person – even without charging them any money.
If you are currently pending a criminal drug trafficking charge in Los Angeles, you need to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest.
At Chudnovsky Law, our legal team can take the necessary steps to safeguard your constitutional and legal rights. We can also go over various legal options with you and embark on a successful course of action for your case.
Common Legal Defenses to a Drug Transportation Charge
It is essential to remember that in a criminal drug trafficking case, the prosecuting attorney does not need to show that you actually sold the narcotics at issue. Instead, they only have to prove that you had the necessary criminal intent.
The prosecutor may try and prove your intent to sell based on circumstantial evidence, including:
- Testimony from undercover police officers
- Large number of individuals who visit your business or residence at all hours
- The large amount of controlled substances found in your possession
- The presence of drug paraphernalia in your possession
However, as a legal defense to your charge, you can allege that you did not have the necessary criminal intent to sell illegal substances.
Also, as a defense to your criminal charge, you can show that a responding police officer violated your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. A police officer must have some degree of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pull the car over, such as a minor traffic violation. However, if they initiate an invalid or improper traffic stop, then any drugs found during the detention may be subject to suppression at trial. Our legal team can file a motion with the court to exclude specific evidence at your criminal court proceeding.
Additionally, you can defend that you were not aware of an illegal drug's presence, especially if police found the drug in a motor vehicle or home that you did not own.
Our legal team can carefully review the facts and circumstances of your arrest and start formulating potential legal defenses early on in the process. We will do everything possible to achieve the best possible result in your criminal case, up to and including a complete dismissal of your pending drug charge.
Negotiating a Plea Deal with the State Prosecutor Who’s Handling Your Case
In addition to raising a legal defense to your drug trafficking charge, we can negotiate a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor on your behalf.
In most plea deal arrangements, the accused individual must plead guilty to a criminal offense. In exchange, the prosecutor might be willing to reduce the pending criminal charge from a felony down to a misdemeanor that carries lighter penalties. Alternatively, the prosecutor might offer the accused individual a period of probation.
If the accused successfully completes their probation and satisfies all of the required terms, then they may not have to suffer the black mark of a criminal conviction on their record.
In some criminal cases, agreeing to a plea deal makes sense – especially if you do not have a solid legal defense to your pending criminal charge available. However, if you have a strong defense, you might want to take your case to trial. If your defense succeeds, the court may dismiss your case.
If you ultimately decide to accept a plea deal from the prosecuting attorney, you will need to appear at a court hearing and place that plea deal on the record. During that hearing, the presiding judge will confirm that you are entering into the plea deal freely and voluntarily – and that no one coerced you. At that point, the judge can accept your plea deal on the record.
Steps to Take Following an Arrest on Criminal Drug Charges
If a police officer arrests you on a criminal drug charge, invoke your right to the presence of legal counsel during any questioning. Once you invoke that right, the police officer has to cease questioning you. If the officer continues questioning you and you say something incriminating about your case, the judge may suppress those statements.
Additionally, keep track of all paperwork related to your case, including your original charging documents. If you have contact information for witnesses or others who may help your case, share that information with us.
Finally, call us as soon as possible after your arrest so that we may appear on your behalf in your criminal court case. At that point, we can begin protecting your legal rights and interests and start advocating for you.
Contact a Los Angeles Drug Transportation Defense Lawyer Today
If you face a criminal charge for drug trafficking, time is of the essence. If you wait too long to secure legal counsel in your case, your attorney may not have sufficient time to formulate a strong legal defense or prepare your case for trial. Additionally, if you show up to court without a lawyer, a judge can make you go forward without legal representation.
At Chudnovsky Law, our experienced legal team can enter an appearance on your behalf right away and begin advocating for your legal rights and interests. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Los Angeles drug crime lawyer, please call us at (213) 212-5002 or contact us online.