Sale & Transportation

California Attorney for Possession of Controlled Substance for Sale


Possession of a controlled substance for sale is always a felony and drug programs are not available for this type of conviction.  Possession of a cocaine or heroin for sale, violates Health and Safety Code section 11351 and carries a sentencing range of 2 years to 4 years state prison.  Possession of methamphetamine or ecstasy (MDMA) for sale, violates Health and Safety Code section 11378 and carries a sentencing range of 16 months to 3 years state prison.  These charges are ineligible for any drug programs.

Very few defendants actually admit to selling drugs.  Law enforcement usually look for circumstantial evidence that a person is selling drugs.  Factors that police take into account include:

*  Amount of drug possessed.  Large quantities of a drug are rarely for personal use.  The more drugs the police find, the more likely that the defendant is selling drugs rather than keeping them for personal use.

*  Amount of cash.  Drug dealers tend to have large quantities of cash on them because of drug deals.

*  Ledger.  Drug dealers sometimes keep ledgers or other records regarding sales.

*  Multiple pagers or cell phones. 

*  Keeping the drugs in separate bags.  Drug dealers will often pre-package the drugs into separate baggies.  Prepackaged drugs are usually a sign of drug dealing.

*  Messages on pagers or cell phones, especially text messages.

*  Scales.

*  Prior criminal history for drugs, especially prior sales convictions.

*  Statements from buyers.  If other people state they buy drugs from the defendant, then the police will believe the defendant is selling drugs.

Sale or Transportation of a Controlled Substance

Every person who transports, imports, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away cocaine or heroin, or offers to do the same is guilty of violating Health and Safety Code section 11352(a), which carries a sentencing range of 3-5 years state prison.  If the person transports cocaine or heroin from one county to another county that doesn’t border the first county, then the sentencing range is 3-9 years state prison.

Every person who transports, imports, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away methamphetamine or ecstasy is guilty of violating Health and Safety Code section 11379, which carries a sentencing range of 2-4.  Transporting these drugs through non-contiguous counties increases the sentencing range to 3-9 years state prison.

Other Consequences

Not only can a drug sales conviction lead to criminal penalties, but it can also have drastic employment, licensing and immigration consequences.  Having a conviction for drug sales or transportation can prevent a person from finding a job or lead to a person being fired from their current job.  Furthermore, many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, contractors, teachers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks.  A professional who has a possession for sale conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place.  Perhaps the most severe impact of a possession of a controlled substance conviction involves immigration consequences.  Non-citizens who are permanent residents (green card holders) or temporary visitors, with a student visa or work visa, can be denied admission, denied naturalization or even deported, with any type of drug-related conviction on their record.   In fact, drug-related convictions are considered one of the worst convictions for immigration consequences.

The Right Lawyer

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing drug-related charges.  Many people who face possession for sale are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment.  There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of possession for sale or transportation of a controlled substance, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence.  You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively.  You need an attorney like Fred Thiagarajah. 

As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah has the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for his clients.  As a prosecutor, Fred Thiagarajah handled thousands of drug-related cases.  He now uses his specialized knowledge of possession for sale, sale and transportation of a controlled substance to get the best possible outcomes for his clients.   For an example of his work, please see his case results and read his client testimonials.  With offices in Newport Beach, Long Beach, Riverside, Murrieta and Rancho Cucamonga, Fred Thiagarajah has criminal defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Fred Thiagarajah – The Right Lawyer.  The Right Result. 

Make The Right Choice.


Top Reasons


A Former Deputy District Attorney

Fred Thiagarajah is a Former Deputy District Attorney.


An Accomplished Trial Lawyer

Fred Thiagarajah is an Accomplished Trial Lawyer


An Experienced Negotiator

Fred Thiagarajah is an Experienced Negotiator

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