/ 5.10.24

Are Selling & Distributing Drugs Different Crimes?

Written by: Doug Ridley

Differences Between Drug Charges in California

Many people assume that selling, trafficking, and distributing drugs are the same, but under California law, they may be distinct crimes. It is important to understand the differences between these offenses and the penalties they may incur. 

At Ridley Defense, our attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with drug crimes in Ventura and throughout Southern California. Ridley Defense founder Douglas Ridley is a former Ventura County prosecutor. He and the legal team at Ridley Defense will help you understand your rights and work to get you the best possible outcome in your case. 

Were you arrested for a drug offense in Ventura? Contact our office at (805) 208-1866 to schedule a confidential, complimentary consultation. 

What Is the Difference Between Drug Selling and Drug Distribution?

If you are found in possession of a large amount of drugs, you may be charged with a number of different drug charges. One of the most common drug charges is violation of California Health and Safety Code § 11351 or possession for sale of a controlled substance. Possession with intent to sell is a felony under California law and can be punished by up to two, three, or four years in prison. Possession with intent to sell may be referred to as drug distribution. 

What Is Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking, on the other hand, is a different type of crime. Drug trafficking is codified into California law under Health and Safety Code § 11352. Pursuant to this code section, it is unlawful for a person to transport, import, sell, furnish, administer, or give away a controlled substance or to offer to do these things. A person convicted of violating this statute may be sentenced to up to three, four, or five years in prison. 

Are Drug Charges State or Federal Offenses?

Drug crimes are unique in that they can be charged as state or federal offenses. For instance, drug trafficking may be charged as a federal offense if it crosses state lines. If you are facing drug charges, you need to speak with an attorney familiar with both state and federal cases to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case. 

Are There Defenses to Drug Cases?

Despite what many people assume, there are defenses that may be applicable to your case. There may also be alternative sentencing options that can help you to avoid harsh penalties. 

The only way to determine what defenses or lighter sentencing options are available is to consult with a qualified attorney. Early intervention is often critical in criminal cases. Contacting an attorney as early in the process as possible can help to ensure you receive a positive disposition in your case. 

Contact Our Office for a Complimentary Consultation

Were you arrested for a drug crime in Ventura or the surrounding areas? Contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. Our legal team will help you understand your rights and will help you to determine the best course of action moving forward. Call our office today at (805) 208-1866 to get started. 

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