Sale and Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance is the unlawful sale, transportation for sale, importing into the State of California, furnishing, administering, or giving away of a wide variety of illegal drugs or prescription drugs without a prescription. Merely offering to do any of these things is also a violation of this charge and can result in criminal charges against you or a loved one.
Examples of controlled substances include cocaine, cocaine base (crack cocaine), heroin, and prescription drugs such as hydrocodone.
Elements of a Sale and Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance charge
In order to convict a defendant of selling, transporting for sale, importing into California, furnishing, administering or giving away a controlled substance (the “prohibited acts”), the prosecution must prove the following facts:
- Prohibited Act Occurred – Defendant did one of the prohibited acts
- Knowledge – Defendant knew the controlled substance was present, even if he did not know precisely which controlled substance was present
- Quantity – Defendant possessed an amount of the controlled substance that was enough to reasonably infer that it that it was to be sold or distributed for sale.
Additionally, the prosecution must prove the following facts to convict a defendant of offering to sell, import into California or transport a controlled substance:
- An Actual Offer – Defendant actually offered to do one of these prohibited acts
- Intent – Defendant intended to carry out the offer
Punishments for Sale and Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance
- Sale and Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance is a felony punishable by three, four or five years in state prison.
- Drug treatment under Penal Code section 1000 or Proposition 36 are not available alternatives to incarceration when the charge is Sale and Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance.
Defenses to a Sale and Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance Charge
Even though such charges are serious in nature, there are potential defenses to a Sale and Transportation for Sale of a Controlled Substance charge that will depend on the facts of the case, but may include:
- Lack of Knowledge – Defendant was unaware that he possessed the controlled substance: for example, another person placed the substance in Defendant’s bedroom, vehicle or locker, etc.
- Entrapment – Under California law, entrapment occurs when a “normally law abiding person” is induced to commit a crime, in this case sale and transportation for sale of a controlled substance, that he otherwise would not have committed
- Unlawful Search and Seizure – Law enforcement found the controlled substance as part of an unlawful search or seizure of Defendant’s person or premises under his control
Lack of Intent to Carry Out an Offer to Sell – Defendant’s offer to sell was made under duress, as a joke, or defendant otherwise lacked a true intent to carry out the offer