In 2014, Proposition 47 was passed in California. As a result, many types of crimes associated with drug possession were changed from being felonies to misdemeanors. When an individual is caught with a personal amount of drugs, it may be treated as a misdemeanor. Should someone have an amount determined to be for sale; they can still be charged with a felony. According to California Health and Safety Code Section 11378 HSC, it is a felony to have methamphetamine with the intent to sell it or transport it.
Conviction For Selling Or Transporting Methamphetamine
A conviction for selling or transporting methamphetamine will require a prosecutor to prove an individual engaged in the act of transporting, selling, or furnishing methamphetamine or a similar controlled substance. They could also be convicted if a prosecutor can prove an individual was willing to administer as well as give others methamphetamine or a similar controlled substance. It must also be established if an individual transported methamphetamine or a similar drug over county lines with the intent to sell.
In order to be found guilty of selling or transporting methamphetamine, a prosecutor must prove an individual knew of its presence and it was a controlled substance. A person can be found guilty even if they did not personally handle the methamphetamine. It is only necessary a prosecutor prove the defendant had control of it in some way. This control could be through another individual as well as personally.
Proving Sale Or Transport
A prosecutor will have to prove an individual sold or exchanged the methamphetamine for money, services or something considered valuable between the buyer and the seller. It will have to be proven a person transported methamphetamine from one location in California to another for the purpose of selling it.
Related Criminal Offenses
Should a person be charged by law enforcement for selling or transporting methamphetamine; they could also be charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance. If an individual has any type of materials within their control associated with making methamphetamine; they could also be charged with a felony of possessing materials for the manufacture of methamphetamine and more.
Should an individual be convicted of selling or transporting methamphetamine; the punishment can be severe. A person may be incarcerated for up to four years. Should a person be convicted of transporting methamphetamine over two county lines for the purpose of selling it; they could be incarcerated for up to nine years. A person convicted of selling large quantities of methamphetamine, or using a minor to help them sell or transport it, could be incarcerated for up to nine years.
Personal Use Defense
It is common for a prosecutor to charge a person with felony possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of sale. Once the facts of the case are carefully examined; the person charged may have actually only had the drugs for personal use. The defendant may not have had what the law determines to be a large quantity of methamphetamine. The drugs in their possession may not have been separated and packaged for sale. An individual may not have scales or large amounts of cash on their person. This indicates having methamphetamine ready for sale. An attorney may be able to get the felony charges down to a misdemeanor in this case. A defendant in this situation may also qualify to participate in a drug diversion program.
It’s possible for methamphetamine to be discovered in an area a person controls as the result of a warrantless search or seizure. In this case, the reason for the search may not be legally permissible if it is proven there was insufficient probable cause. An attorney with a client in this situation can file a motion to suppress the evidence. Should this motion be approved, the suppression of the evidence could result in the prosecutor dismissing the case against the defendant. If the methamphetamine, and any other evidence, are obtained when a search warrant is executed; the warrant may be invalidated. This could happen if the warrant was based on false information presented in an affidavit. This can also happen if a warrant is not properly executed according to the law.
It is common in California for law enforcement agencies to depend on their officers working undercover or using decoys to catch individuals who are selling or transporting methamphetamine. It is possible for an undercover law enforcement officer or decoy to be too aggressive when trying to get someone to commit the crime of selling or transporting methamphetamine. When this happens, a defendant’s attorney may succeed in getting charges dismissed because of entrapment.
When someone is charged with selling or transporting methamphetamine, it is a situation that will impact the rest of their life. They should immediately speak with an experienced attorney. They will know how to obtain all the facts of a case and provide the proper legal defense. An attorney will know how to protect their client’s rights and obtain the best possible result.