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Sales/Transportation of Controlled Substance

Garcia Law Group > Sales/Transportation of Controlled Substance

Sale and Transportation of a Controlled Substance – Violations of Code HS 11352


California Health and Safety Code 11352 is the law regulating illegal drug crimes where a person is selling, administering, importing, furnishing, or otherwise transporting illegal drugs into the state of California. It is a felony and punishable by up to 9 years in jail or prison and a fine of up to $20,000.


Many types of drugs are regulated by HS Code 11352. These drugs can be street drugs or prescription drugs including opiates, peyote, heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, codeine, oxycontin (oxycodone), hydrocodone, and GHB. For more information on drugs of abuse, please click here. Because of the seriousness of the drugs in this category, most offenders who violate HS Code 11352 are caught or identified through undercover operations, stings, or when law enforcement officers claim they saw a drug deal or transport from a hideout.


Because of the wide range of drugs that fall under this code, there are several ways in which a person can violate H&S 11352:

-supplying drugs to others by selling drugs,

-administering drugs (like injecting someone with drugs or spiking someone’s drink),

-running drug imports into the state of California, or

-giving drugs out for free.


Any of these scenarios can easily get a person convicted of violating HS Code 11352. Even if you have a prescription from your doctor for codeine and a friend said they needed some for medical reasons, and you gave them some. You could be charged with violating HS Code 11352.


A common violation of HS Code 11352 is spiking a drink. If a person is caught spiking another person’s drink (often drinks will be spiked with GHB as its nickname is the “date rape drug”) they can be charged with violating HS Code 11352. If convicted, they will be a felon and face severe penalties.


One of the main critiques of this code is that given the definition of transportation under this code, a very little bit of travel can count as a drug transportation charge, which is a felony. This means that non-violent drug offenders can get felonies on their records for something that is a comparatively small offense.


California government says that HS Code 11352 is in place to prevent larger drug transportation and lower the number of drug sales by aggressively targeting drug transportation, but it often backfires on people who may have bought an illegal drug and then gone on a road trip with no intention of selling the drug further.


Non-violent drug offenders often draw the short stick. Most drug crimes are written in such a way that there is no indication of the difference between violent drug offenders and non-violent ones. Sadly, non-violent drug offenders will often get the same penalities and felonies on their record as the violent offenders if they are convicted.


This is a symptom of the greater issue with non-violent drug crimes and violent drug crimes having the same penalties regardless of the offender’s cooperation or violence.


What are some defenses to a Health & Safety Code 11352 Violation?

If you are charged with violating HS Code 11352, there are ways you can defend yourself in court. It is important to know your rights and know the full extent of the law, which is why people charged with the sale and transportation of a controlled substance should hire a strong defense lawyer who can guide them through the legal process and help them form the best defense they can.


If arrested, it is always important to remain silent and ask for a lawyer. This does not make you look guilty, it makes you look smart because you are invoking your rights. This may be the single most important piece of advice.


Usable Amount

A violation of HS 11352 is typically larger amounts of drugs than what would be considered a “useable” dose for drugs. For example, if a defendant has a small amount of cocaine that would only be used for one person to consume, it is arguably a simple possession instead of sales or transportation of drugs case. Often times the “useable” amount is in dispute and an expert will be needed to testify as the amount being a “useable” dose.


Mistaken Identify

The first defense that is often used in the sale and transportation of a controlled substance case is mistaken identity. This defense is used when a person was charged with violating HS Code 11352 because they were present when the law enforcement agent found the narcotics, but they were not involved in the sale of the drug. Many people get charged with crimes simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Evidence for this defense will be proving the good character of the individual, using text messages to show they did not know, and other testimony given by other people who were present for the arrest or a part of the group saying that the innocent person was unaware or uninvolved with the drugs.


Illegal Search/Miranda Violation

The next defense is a bit more unique and depends on the circumstances and situational components of your arrest. This defense called unlawful police activity is a way to have evidence and charges dropped because of the way a law enforcement agent was conducting their behavior during the arrest.


Any evidence that a law enforcement agent gathers while engaging in the unlawful activity will be considered inadmissible in court, which means it cannot be used against you. Simple things, like stating your Miranda rights as they arrest you can sometimes be forgotten by law enforcement officers. This would be unlawful activity and could have a significant impact on your case.


Excessive Force

Police using too much or unnecessary force is another example of unlawful activity by a police officer. If a police officer uses unnecessary force while arresting you or others, they can be cited at a minimum. Depending on the circumstance, it may help you get evidence deemed inadmissible in court. Additionally, depending on the circumstances of the police brutality, you can press charges against the police officer, especially if it is a case of mistaken identity where you are innocent.



What are the Penalties for Sale and Transportation of a Controlled Substance?

For those who are convicted of the sale and transportation of a controlled substance, the penalties may vary. If convicted, the person will have a felony conviction on their record. The convicted person will face up to a year in county jail followed by probation, or a maximum of five years in state prison and a fine of up to twenty thousand dollars. ($20,000)


There are some additional factors of aggravation and other criteria that can make the penalties more severe. For example, if you sold illegal drugs to a minor, the sentencing court will likely see that as a factor of aggravation. Another factor of aggravation would be if you committed other crimes directly before or while you were getting arrested.


Factors of aggravation often push the sentencing court to be less lenient and more severe.


If you have prior drug convictions or have been convicted of a violent crime before, this can also change the leniency of the sentencing court.


In general, the more prior drug or violent crime convictions, more crimes committed during the arrest, and the circumstances surrounding how you violated HS Code 11352 can have a serious impact on your sentencing.


It is best to have a solid legal team behind you if you are facing a violation of HS Code 11352 to get the fair justice you deserve.


What are some related drug crimes?

HS 11351 – possession with intent to sell

HS 11379 – sale or transportation of meth

HS 11360 – sale or transportation of marijuana



Appearing in front of a judge by yourself can be an intimidating experience. Additionally, the laws are complicated. If you are facing a criminal case, Garcia Law Group is here to help you. We’ve handled hundreds of cases and represented individuals in your situation. We are here to help you get through this stressful situation.

Call now and speak to attorney Joel Garcia for a FREE CONSULTATION.

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