Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is the transfer of illegal narcotics from one person or entity to another. Trafficking can also include manufacturing (preparing or producing) narcotics and distributing prescription drugs without a valid license.

Drug Trafficking Under California & Federal Laws

Under California’s Health & Safety Code §11352 , “. . . every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers [or attempts] to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away . . . any controlled substance . . . shall be punished by imprisonment.” Controlled substances include, but are not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, opium, oxycodone, and date rape drugs, e.g. Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and Ketamine.

California models its trafficking laws after federal laws. Under the federal Controlled Substance Act, it is “unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally—to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance.” 21 U.S.C. §§841, 844. A defendant may be charged with federal and state drug trafficking– including separate trials, convictions, and sentences.


If you are convicted of drug trafficking under federal or California laws, you face years of imprisonment and substantial fines. More severe penalties will be imposed for trafficking specific drugs, such as cocaine, or a larger volume of drugs; selling to a minor; selling near a school; and any prior convictions.

A drug crimes lawyer will fully inform you of the penalties for drug trafficking.

Defending Drug Trafficking Charges and the 4th Amendment

A skilled criminal attorney will launch a vigorous defense against your case. One of the most powerful defense strategies is to suppress the evidence under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Under the 4th Amendment, you have the right to be free from unreasonable, warrant-less searches and seizures by the government. If law enforcement searched you or your personal effects without a valid warrant and without an exception to the warrant requirement, then the evidence must be excluded and cannot be used against you.

Consult an experienced and knowledgeable Fresno, CA drug trafficking attorney to discuss how the 4th Amendment and other defenses may lead to an acquittal of drug trafficking. Call (559) 374-2012 today!